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

A prenup can take many of the “what ifs” off the table in the event of divorce. What is separate property, who might have to maintain life insurance, and who will keep the heirloom piano that’s been passed down for…

Many people find it challenging to get started with estate planning. From confusion about the process to denying that estate planning is necessary, there are various reasons why people do not want to create an estate plan. That said, estate…

After divorce, it is common to experience feelings of shame. That shame could arise from multiple sources, including feeling that you let your spouse or children down or because you are worried about what others may think of you. Regardless…

Estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it is necessary to ensure your assets are in order and your loved ones are taken care of. Establishing an estate plan can also make certain issues easier for you and your family during…

In Washington state, alimony is referred to as maintenance. Maintenance is court-ordered spousal support payments that one spouse makes to assist with the living expenses of the other spouse for a period of time and for a particular purpose.  Maintenance…

The homes. The boat. The investment accounts. During a high-net-worth divorce, the disposition of these and other assets (and debts) may be one of the most significant reasons underlying the contention between you and your soon-to-be-ex, making these types of…

This is part three of our three-part series, “Expecting the Unexpected.” You can read part one on catastrophic illness here and part two on chronic illness here. Estate planning may initially bring to mind the process of outlining the manner…

It seemed like it was going to be just another day. Get the kids off to school, do household chores, go to work. But then your spouse let you know it was over between you, that they want a divorce.…

This is part two of three in our series “Expecting the Unexpected. You can read part one on catastrophic illness here. For many, estate planning immediately brings to mind ways you can protect your assets and retirement funds for your…

When considering divorce, you may toy with the idea of representing yourself. For example, you may think your divorce will be relatively straightforward. Or maybe you consider yourself a savvy negotiator and highly intelligent. Or the idea of saving yourself…