I am a licensed social worker, and by law mandated to report child abuse I am aware of. When a report of suspected child abuse is made, the current practice is to immediately remove the child, and its siblings, from the home. The belief is that if the parents have an abusive mindset, that the other children are also not safe in their hands. An investigation is done, interventions made, and the children are not returned to their parents unsupervised until the Department of Children and Families determines that the parents have, through the interventions, become parents who can keep their children safe.
Personally, I don’t agree that removing the children immediately, always, is the best approach, as in many cases the children are more traumatized by the separation from parents and each other, than by the reported abuse. Indeed in 1979-81 I worked under a grant experimental program in NYC, to see if interventions could be successful while leaving the child in the home, in families where a multi-disciplinary team made an assessment that the child would be safe from further abuse in doing so. However, I am not aware of such an approach being adopted in NYC or in CT where I now live, and I do know that the practice of immediate removal is the prevailing practice across the country.
Therefore, as a mandated reporter I here report Sarah Fabian, the DOJ lawyer who has defended the policy of denying migrant children soap, toothbrushes or toothpaste, kept for weeks in clothes they’ve peed in or are otherwise filthy, and made to sleep on cement floors (including babies) as ‘legal’, arguing that the Flores Settlement that mandates that children in U.S. custody be kept in ‘safe and sanitary conditions’ doesn’t specify they must be afforded soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, clean clothes, and the ability to sleep, i.e. beds.
If Sarah Fabian needs a law to specify that ‘sanitary’ means showers with soap and water, the ability to brush their teeth, and have their clothes clean of filth, then any children in her home would be unsafe, and should immediately be removed, until Ms. Fabian can go through a re-education process. Also, anyone who witnesses serious abuse of a child and allows it to happen is also prosecutable, so I report all legislators who are supporting this policy, indeed who are not actively fighting it, as equally unsafe in their parental ideology and their children need to also be immediately removed. If in doing so, suddenly a whole lot of our people in power reverse their stands and acknowledge that sleep, and hygiene, fundamentally define safe and sanitary, 1. Then let them end the atrocity, and 2. Then we know clearly that shocking ignorance was not the source of the abuse, rather it is a hate crime based in racism. President Trump, William Barr, Kirstjen Nielsen, and all the others responsible, need to be immediately arrested for the serial, life-threatening, and in some cases fatal, abuse of children, along with the kidnapping of thousands of children that they have no way of returning to their parents. President Trump and his accomplices need to be tried for crimes against humanity.
I’m not alone in the demand to stop the abuse, and hold the government accountable. On July 12, Lights For Liberty, a call to all Americans to band together to end the atrocities, is holding vigils around the country and at the detention sites so that all of us can come together and end the torture of children in our hands. Hug your kids, and your grand kids, and come join us, lightsforliberty.org