How One Family Fought CPS

Huffington Post recently featured an interview with Jessica Weisberg, the author of a thought-provoking article in The Atavist which contrasts the efforts of a California couple who fought for their children back with the endeavors of an attorney who devoted his career to suing CPS. Randy and Danyelle Branning had their children removed from their home with “no warrant, no formal review, no time to tell their side of the story.” Their daughter had apparently disclosed allegations of abuse against the father in retaliation for being disciplined by the parents. The article highlights several concerns with the child welfare system in California and nationwide. 


Particularly, a lack of clear federal guidelines defining abuse or emergency situations results in social workers being forced to “read the tea leaves” and make extremely difficult and profound decisions with limited information. State legislatures are similarly reluctant to implement narrow definitions of abuse that would provide better guidance but less discretion to social workers. While child abuse is particularly complicated to define, this lack of guidance and the high degree of independence many social workers have often leads to costly errors in judgment. Weisberg’s article goes much deeper than that, highlighting the perceived flaws of the child welfare system through the step-by-step lens of the Branning’s story. Regardless of one’s opinions of the child welfare system generally, the article and author interview are recommended reads which certainly challenge the reader to examine their own perception of how the system should function.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

Death is a part of life. Like taxes, there's no avoiding it. Also, like taxes, you may not like thinking or talking about the subject. However, if you think about death and how to handle your remains from a planning…

Every child deserves love, stability, and consistency. Is there a child in your life that you have considered adopting, perhaps because they are the child of your spouse or a child you are fostering? Perhaps there is an adult in…

The thought of losing your home or its contents in a disaster is a scary thought. Loss of life, destruction of irreplaceable items such as home movies, photos, and heirlooms make it unconscionable. But as we know in life, sometimes…

Spoiler alert: If you’re doing everything around the house (or at work) because you’re living (working) with a bunch of incompetent fools, or so they’ve led you to believe they are, you’re being manipulated. So pervasive is this phenomenon, there’s…

If you've created an estate plan, you've already spent a good deal of time thinking about what will happen to you if you become sick, incapacitated, or die, including where you will go (literally) when you die. After all, you don't want your…

If you're 18 or older and live in Washington State, you can legally change your name to anything you want as long as you're not doing so to commit fraud. For example, if your goal is to change your name to evade…

Your estate plan should ensure your special needs child experiences the best quality of life they can, that the assets upon which they will rely will last as long as possible during their lifetime, and that their eligibility for public services will be maximized. Learn more.

Popular culture is using the moniker "America's daughter" to describe Gabby Petito because she could've been any of our daughters. Learn how to talk to your daughter about the signs of domestic abuse.

When a couple decides to divorce, and one spouse is unable to support themselves, spousal support becomes a hot-button issue. Learn how to mitigate conflict and move forward.

To date, 676,000 people in the US have died from COVID-19, many parents of minor children. Without a will there is no instruction on who should care for them. Make your wishes known, learn how.