State Lawyer Basic Pursuing a Courtroom Order to Compel County’s Compliance With 2018 Baby Welfare Judgment | Misplaced Coast Outpost
Note: In response to a request from the outpost, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Human Services of the Humboldt District (DHHS) said the ministry would issue a statement on the matter this afternoon. We will update this post as soon as it arrives.
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced today that it is seeking a court order requiring the Humboldt County Children’s and Social Services Department (CWS) and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to take steps to enforce a California court verdict fully comply with the Ministry of Justice (DOJ) in 2018.
Despite mixed progress, the DOJ remains concerned about the implementation of and compliance with the provisions of the 2018 Ruling by CWS, which was uncovered following an investigation by the DOJ into systematic non-compliance with California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) and the Code of Welfare and Institutions was revealed. As a result, the attorney general’s office is taking action to extend the ruling’s corrective action and the county oversight for an additional two years.
“There is no room for half measures when it comes to protecting our children from potential abuse or neglect,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our local child protection and law enforcement agencies need to respond quickly, effectively and appropriately. When they come up short, we must have clear eyes as to the way forward and we owe it to the California children to act decisively to fix it. Our submission is about doing just that for the children of Humboldt County. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to advocate our state’s child safety laws and do everything we can to ensure local people have the right tools to protect vulnerable children. “
According to CANRA, local child protection and law enforcement agencies must accept all reports of child abuse and neglect and ensure that each one is screened, reported, coordinated and investigated in a timely manner. A DOJ investigation launched in 2015 found that Humboldt County authorities had failed to comply with their legal obligations to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect, leading to reports falling through the cracks and inadequate assessment of the safety risk to children. In addition, CWS did not work with local tribes as required by law. Each of these deficiencies created widespread suspicion in the community, placing children at greater risk of injury.
To address these issues, in 2018 the CWS and the Sheriff’s Office agreed on a comprehensive set of corrective actions aimed at ensuring compliance with state laws and protecting the well-being of all children in the county, including those who are members or entitled to them belong to a tribe. As part of the settlement, the county agreed to the registration of a judgment that included a three-year monitoring period that allowed the DOJ to obtain orders and extensions, if necessary or appropriate, to ensure compliance with the requirements of the judgment. So far, these requirements have not been fully met, so the measure announced today is necessary.
The DOJ is now seeking to extend the assessment and monitoring period to require ongoing and further positive corrective action, including with respect to provisions from the judgment that the district authorities have not complied with or consistently implemented, such as:
- Emergency Response System that, 95% of the time, complies with legal requirements for investigation completion or excess extensions as developed in policies and procedures;
- Personnel development plan, developing and implementing a plan to maintain, hire, employ and support a high quality and stable workforce;
- Tribal cooperation that takes additional steps to demonstrate compliance with the requirements set out in the judgment, including notifying you of referrals to the appropriate tribe within 24 hours for cases involving a child, member, or tribe membership is; and
- Child Death Review Process that ensures a thorough review of child welfare practices in relation to any child who dies of abuse, neglect, or who previously received child welfare services in Humboldt County.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting youth rights in California and across the country. In August, the Attorney General secured settlements with school districts in Barstow and Oroville to address discriminatory treatment of students based on racial and disability status. He also announced a $ 600,000 deal with an online special education services provider to help protect schools and students with learning difficulties.
After worrying reports of discrimination and retaliation, Attorney General Becerra announced in July a far-reaching settlement with the Mojave Unified School District. Last year, the Attorney General received a historic desegregation agreement with the Sausalito Marin City School District. He also reached an agreement with the Stockton Unified School District and its law enforcement agency on the discriminatory treatment of minority students and students with disabilities.
In addition, Attorney General Becerra cautioned all school districts in the state of their obligation to protect student civil rights, especially in the face of reports showing that implicit bias among school administrators results in students of color and those with disabilities who are disproportionately exposed to disciplinary action.
Attorney General Becerra encourages anyone with information about suspected practices in violation of state or federal laws involving child support schemes in California to report it to the DOJ’s Child Justice Bureau using the online complaint form at https://oag.ca. gov / bcj / complaint or by email to [email protected].
A copy of the DOJ’s application for a court order can be found here. A copy of the proposed supplementary judgment can be found here.