How One Family Fought CPS

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.


Subscribe to our newsletters

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


Latest Blog Posts

If you and your partner reside in Washington state and are unmarried, you each might qualify for the legal protections availed to you by law by classifying your relationship as a committed intimate relationship.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your family is to build an estate plan while you are alive and well. Estate planning allows you to formally communicate your wishes so they will not be up for interpretation by…

A co-executor can help facilitate the distribution of assets, minimize conflicts, and provide much-needed support to grieving families.

The law makes it easy for people to get out of bad marriages. Washington, like most states, acknowledges no-fault divorce. This means that if you want a court to dissolve your marriage, all you have to do is file for…

Washington state’s laws on non-marital relationships, including committed intimate relationships (CIRs), can be convoluted, especially in the absence of a cohabitation agreement. Given the ambiguity that exists for unmarried partners in Washington state, thinking about the future and what it could look like is more important than ever. This is especially true in terms of aging, incapacity, and death. Fortunately, you can address each of these issues in a comprehensive estate plan.

Prenups and postnups can strengthen a marriage, given how they require relationship partners to put their cards on the table for each other to see, offering transparency and peace of mind. Despite their similarities, there are a few significant differences between the two.

Child support is one of the most contentious issues in divorce cases where parties have minor children. Even though Washington state law uses the same complex mathematical formula to determine the amount of child support for each child, there is…

Family law and estate planning often intersect. This is particularly true when contemplating divorce, remarriage, or blending families.

At some point during your divorce case, friends and family members whose own marriages ended in divorce probably told you that it gets better, and it does. Of course, from your perspective, getting out of a bad marriage might be…

Co-parenting over a long distance when you are a non-residential parent does not have to equate to sacrificing involvement in your children’s lives. But it likely does mean you will have to make tweaks in your communication and parenting style to accommodate the new living arrangement.