About the Family Preservation Foundation
The Family Preservation Foundation was forged out of necessity in 2017 to provide free legal assistance and support, while defending the rights of children and families that were being traumatized by the government due to family separation. Everyone, especially the less fortunate and low-income who could not afford legal representation, were being unwittingly and unconstitutionally caught in the clutches of child protection services when there was no harm to their children because of unconstitutionally vague, overbroad and not narrowly defined statutes which are affecting children’s and parent’s rights alike. FPF also works to educate Minnesota communities and professionals about child protection matters, and advocates for state and federal policies which respect the universal rights of children and their families.
Every child has priceless value and unlimited potential regardless of the circumstances of their birth. Children should be protected, and nurtured to their full potential, but that is not what is happening with the current Child Protection and Foster Care System. Unbeknownst to the general public, our country has silently victimized millions of children in the last 5-years by putting them in foster care. As reported last year, Minnesota had 15,004 in foster care and the highest amount of American Indian out-of-home placement in the nation. When looked at over a 20-year period, the sheer number is staggering. America as a society has been failed to protect these children. We must save the children; every child is sacred!
After 52 years as a law-abiding citizen, the founder, Dwight Mitchell, became involved in a lengthy unconstitutional legal battle with child protection services of Minnesota and prevailed. This experience showed him how utterly broken the current model of child protection and foster care is. Like so many other trusting Americans, Dwight assumed that if child protection services were involved in the investigation or removal of a child, the parents must be guilty of extreme child abuse. This stood to reason because why else would child protection services be involved?
People assume that CPS interventions are only in extreme cases of abuse or neglect, but this is far from the case. In fact nationally, only 12% percent of the cases are for physical abuse and 4% for sexual abuse. The remaining 84% of the cases is purely social worker discretion based upon allegations with no evidence and Minnesota is no different. The law does not restrict child removals to extreme cases of abuse or neglect. Children are removed in what are called “dependency proceedings”. The word “dependency” is used because the outcome is to make the child a “dependent” or ward of the court. In the law of many states, dependency is defined not as abuse or neglect but as the parents’ “capability” to provide “care and supervision”, or as a question of the “well-being” or “welfare” of the child. So, the threshold for child removals is actually much lower than actual physical abuse or neglect.
Currently, as reported to the U.S. Congress, 437,465 children were removed from their families in 2016 and placed in foster homes as published in the federal Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Report (AFCARS) as of October 2017 (Click here to see AFCARS report)
Subtracting that 12% percent of the cases are for physical abuse and 4% for sexual abuse, there are at least 367,470 children in foster care that need legal representation so that they can be RESCUED and returned to their parents. We will be challenging the constitutionality and evidence in all of these CPS retentions. Because as we all know, the government does a horrible job at raising children.
This has been thoroughly documented in numerous independent reports over several decades. Nearly one third of the children in foster care reported being abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home. That study didn’t even include cases of foster children abusing each other. What's even worse, statistics suggest bleak futures for children who grow up in foster care, therefore as a society, we are failing our countries children. (See graph below)
Using the freedom of information act, an independent study on Child Protection Services for Minnesota was conducted by the 25-year international management consulting firm of Mitchell & Associates, who are also Oracle Platinum level partners. Due to the federal funding of state managed programs, the scope of the project was extended to review the intersection and requirements of federal funding and the total number of children affected nationally.
The scope of the project was straight forward, using current business model best practices, for project management, change management and business process reengineering, determine opportunities for business process optimization and efficiencies. In other words, “What work and changes need to be accomplished to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions desired”. The review which was conducted over the course of 14-months, included but was not limited to, examining over 3,970 documents relating to processes, procedures, policies, finances, laws and the judiciary.
After reviewing the study output, Dwight determined that a paradigm shift was necessary in the division of child protection and foster care services because it just doesn’t work constitutionally or fundamentally to protect the rights of children. In fact, it was having the opposite effect, and most importantly, it was tearing families apart unnecessarily.
Dwight along with and on behalf of the Association SCPSLKC filed the first of many federal civil rights lawsuits in Minnesota that will challenge the constitutionality of their Social Services system. [Case Number: 18-CV-01091] The organization will file associational lawsuits moving forward and continue to litigate cutting-edge cases that include protecting the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of this nation’s most vulnerable citizens, its children.