Gabriel-Fernandez-social-workers-charged

Four California social workers are being charged with “child abuse” and “falsfying public records” in the beating death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez three years ago. Image source.

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff

This is National Child Abuse Month and we have Tammi Stefano, host of the National Safe Child Show joined by a CPS whistleblower (whose identity remains hidden to protect them) that has worked with the Department of Children and Family Services for over a decade coming forward now to reveal egregious corruption within the department.

This social worker has come forward after being privy to a case where they saw that court ordered family visits were impeded by the department in an alleged effort to manipulate the judges’ ruling in favor of adopting out the child instead of reunification with the family by making it appear that the family was not choosing to visit their child, among other things. This whistleblower says that this family is a safe and loving family who has done nothing wrong yet they are suffering at the hand of a corrupt system, a system that is right now seeing some of its own social workers criminally prosecuted by Los Angeles D.A. Jackie Lacey in the Gabriel Fernandez death.

A department that during business as usual allegedly accepts “orders for children”–taking children away from loving families to adopt them out for financial gain–while on the other hand is caught ignoring the cries of a young boy being tortured to death may not be a department that works in the best interest of children and their families.

LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey Files Criminal Charges Against 4 Social Workers in Gabriel Fernandez’s Death

Gabriel Fernandez social worker

Tammi Stefano opens the show by saying,

The first matter that I want to touch on briefly is Gabriel Fernandez that we have been covering for years now. Three years actually. He died on May 24, 2013, as many of the listeners know.

Well yesterday, District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed criminal charges against four of the social workers that were involved.

I’m not telling anybody anything new. It’s big news. The wonderful thing with that folks is it really hasn’t been done. It opens up a can of worms for social workers who continue to abide by the wrongdoings within the department, within Child Protective Services.

And I just want to send a message out loud and clear: when you as a social worker–and I know that many good social workers exist and are doing their best–when you as a social worker follow the protocol of wrongdoing, of illegal activities, of altering documents, you now have a scenario where you can be charged criminally–and this is what we all have to push for.

I’m very grateful to Jackie Lacey for opening this up, and whatever prompted her–three years in–whatever pushed her to make this happen I just want to say ‘thank you.’

LA County DCFS Whistleblower Comes Forward

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Tammi then says,

We have today a social worker on our show, we will keep their identity hidden because they are in fear on many levels. Their voice has been changed. We’re going to ask some really tough questions. We encourage our listeners today to come on the chat room, ask some questions, and hopefully we’ll be able to get some answers.

We have other social workers who are now stepping up folks so over the next month or so we’re going to be covering some really tough situations and we’re going to find out about the truth.

Tammi introduces the CPS whistleblower whose identity is being hidden to protect them:

I want to introduce without further delay, the social worker who came across and egregious situation and this person just decided, ‘I’ve had enough, I’m not going to participate in this. I’m a good person, I’m an honest person. I do my best for the parents. If a parent really isn’t safe then I do my best for the child.’ But ultimately if the parent is safe, this social worker has pushed to keep children together with their parents. But this social worker has come up against some roadblocks lately. And as we all know, the roadblocks have been prevalent for a long time but when this social worker came up against a roadblock I received a call. I was told about this situation. It’s an awful situation. We hope to have the parents come on soon–we will– but I also want to protect the parents while they are going through being away from their children.

As we know, this is National Child Abuse Month. Well, let me tell you, these children that these parents have are being abused in the system. They should be reunited with their parents. These are good parents.

Without further ado, I want to introduce (we will call this person Bob) Bob…thank you for joining us. Bob, I want to jump right in… you have been working for the Department of Children and Family Services for over a decade, is that correct?

Bob replies,

Yes, that is.

Tammi asks,

You have helped many parents–and made sure that their cases were handled properly–you’ve been the social worker on the case and in fact–this is the first time I’ve heard–you’ve shown me some letters where parents have actually praised you and thanked you for helping them in their case, isn’t that correct?

Bob answers,

That’s true.

Tammi states,

But recently, you have reached your limit because you’ve seen some really bad things happening, is that correct?

Bob answers,

It is.

Tammi inquires,

And what you told me, I don’t know if you recall telling me, you need to sleep at night and you need to look at yourself in the mirror and you’re not going to participate in illegal activities, is that right? Illegal activities such as taking a child away from a safe parent and having them adopted out or kept in foster care.

Bob responds,

Yes.

Putting Orders in for Children, as Easy as Online Shopping?

Tammi asks,

Have you ever heard of a foster parent who makes a decision that they want somebody elses’ child and regardless of the safety of the biological parent a decision is made to give that child to the foster parent simply because the foster parent wants it?

Bob replies,

Not until this case, I haven’t.

Tammi states,

You have actually heard of that scenario now, intimately.

Bob replies,

Yes.

Tammi states,

You are not the only social worker to disclose this situation to me, there have been other social workers/whistleblowers who have told me–and National Safe Child has actually been working on this for about two months now. Do you feel bad for the parents…?

Bob answers,

Yes, I do.

Tammi asks,

Are the parents desperate?

Bob replies,

Yes.

Tammi asks,

Are the parents crying out to be helped because they don’t understand what’s happening and they don’t understand why they’re not getting their children back because they followed and jumped through hoops over and over again?

Bob replies,

Yes. She [the mother] is very desperate.

Tammi asks,

And you feel that this is a safe parent?

Bob replies,

Yes, absolutely.

Tammi clarifies,

Absolutely, like 100% safe?

Bob affirms,

Yes.

Is DCFS Committing Fraud?

LA-County-DCFS

Tammi asks,

So when it comes to drug issues, have you ever heard of or been part of a situation within DCFS that it is alleged that there are dirty drug tests when you know for certain that there are not dirty drug tests?

Bob replies,

Not until this case.

Tammi explains that in some cases a parent will have a dirty drug test but later it is discovered that the name on the test is not their name or in other cases the parent is called in to take a drug test on very short notice–while they’re at work, trying to catch a bus, etc.–and they are unable to show up for their test on time on such short notice so then their test is deemed a “dirty drug test.”

Tammi asks,

Would it be fair to say that one of these case scenarios happened with the case that you’re familiar with?

Bob answers,

It was similar.

Tammi asks,

There was a dirty drug test, or more that came up with this case, correct?

Bob answers,

Yes.

Tammi asks,

Was it proven to be inaccurate?

Bob replies,

It [the drug test] was not accurate.

Tammi asks,

So at that point when the department had evidence that there was a drug test that came up positive but in fact it wasn’t positive, did the department correct that?

Bob replies,

No.

Tammi then asks Bob to tell us about facilities that are set up to help children, or so-called facilities that are set up to help children that collect money for years but do not ever help children.

Bob states,

I only know about one program, I don’t know what the name of it was, but it was for children from birth to three years old.

Tammi inquires,

So to understand, a program was established that appeared… that it was a program for ages newborn to three years old–for children that needed assistance–and this program was funded and kept going for a period of three years, however, it became apparent–not to the public but internally–that within this three year time span that this program was being funded that only one child was ever in the program?

Bob says,

I’m pretty sure.

Tammi asks,

And a social worker was given the task of overseeing this program, would that be fair to say?

Bob replies,

The social worker was overseeing the one child that was in the program.

Tammi asks,

The social worker was overseeing the one child–one child for how many years?

Bob replies,

I think three years.

Tammi inquires,

In your opinion, would other children under three years old have benefitted from maybe going into this program?

Bob answers,

I would imagine. That is why it was set up…

Tammi asks,

Are you familiar with supervisors who ask social workers to alter their reports from one direction to a whole different direction even when it isn’t true…?

Bob replies,

Yes.

Tammi asks,

Was it just typos; was it the language wasn’t very clear, or was it flat-out-blatant-lies that the supervising social worker was suggesting happen within any particular case?

Bob replies,

Yes.

Tammi clarifies,

Yes, what?

Bob answers,

Yes, the information was made as though the parent had failed. [She was not eligible to get her children back.]

Tammi asks,

Tell us a little bit about sanctioning of social workers–internally–is there a sanctioning process for social workers within the agency?

Bob answers,

Only if you want to include children’s court. The only sanctions that I have ever heard of come from children’s court. Like if you don’t have a report in on time… missing… or that kind of thing.

Social Workers Being Asked to “Take the Fall” for the Department

Tammi asks,

Have you ever heard of any social worker being asked by a supervisor to take the fall for another social worker who had too many sanctions and would be in trouble?

Bob replies:

Yes.

Tammi asks,

Could you explain that just in a generalized sense, please?

Bob states,

[inaudible] the department speaks with one voice.

Tammi asks,

What does that mean?

Bob explains,

That means that whatever the social worker is feeling doesn’t matter, it’s whatever the higher-ups decide that they want… that’s the way it has to be.

Tammi asks,

Have you ever been asked to take the fall for another social worker who was being sanctioned?

Bob replies,

Not for another social worker, for a clerk. …and I refused.

Tammi then inquires of Bob about what happens when a social worker refuses to follow the orders of supervisors and higher-ups. Bob explains that you get shunned, cases are taken away from you, you can get demoted, and they try to get rid of you…

Tammi asks,

So when social workers are scrutinized, when they’re shunned is there a fear that they might be terminated or something perhaps might be made up to ensure that they’re not part of that ‘We Speak With One Voice’ group? Are you fearful of that?

Bob replies,

Yes.

Tammi asks,

Do you think that other social workers are fearful of that? Have you ever heard of that?

Bob replies,

Yes.

I Want to Encourage More Social Workers “Do the Right Thing”

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Tammi inquires,

So even social workers that don’t want to participate, that want to be able to sleep at night, that can’t fathom being part of stealing children from safe parents who may have made a mistake–and show me a person who hasn’t made a mistake–that they are fearful that they are going to lose their jobs and not be able to feed their families themselves.

Bob replies,

That is true.

Tammi says,

I want to send a message out to each and every social worker that is good, that has this feeling–and I know that I’ve spoken with two others beside yourself right here in Los Angeles who don’t want to participate anymore–I want to encourage more of you through this show…

Do the right thing.

The D.A. Jackie Lacey is going after people now. Social workers who are participating, who are altering these reports, you’re going to be responsible, you’re going to be the one who is culpable for something that you’re actually being told to do. Now I know that there’s many social workers who actually enjoy this. They enjoy the power. They enjoy intimidating parents. They enjoy watching them run through hoops/jump through hoops. They enjoy seeing their suffering for whatever evil reason. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. A lot of social workers, they cry, they are petrified, they don’t want to participate. I want to encourage you good social workers to come forward now.

Tammi encourages listeners to go to www.nationalsafechild.com and use their contact form here to come forward and speak up and do the right thing.

Tammi says,

You can remain anonymous. We actually have a group that is helping. We are encouraging social workers because we have a group of attorneys that is willing to help you–to stop wrongful termination–or to stop you from having to be put in a situation where you don’t want to be simply because you have to continue eating or feeding your family.

Tammi then encourages listeners,

I encourage you, honest social workers, honest people who are privy to bad situations to call the D.A. Flood her line now so that we can put a stop to the illegal activity of stealing/kidnapping children.

A Corrupt System is Tearing Apart Good Families

Bob then explains that the reason facilities exist that specifically are set up for children newborn to three years old is because children under three can be fast-tracked to adoption in the system. Even in cases where the biological parents are safe, as in the case this whistleblower is was privy to, there are ways within the system that a good family can still be torn apart by a corrupt system with the power to fast-track children out of their parents home and into a waiting foster parents home.

Tammi asks,

Do you think that the system called Child Protective Services or Department of Family and Children Services… do you think that it’s a system that runs well or is it broken?

Bob states,

It’s definitely broken.

Tammi asks,

Do you think that children have a better chance if we had a system in place that worked with parents that did have problems…? …helped them and supported them and gave them… invested the money in the parents vs invested the money in ensuring that the parents never see their children again. Do you think that we’d have better communities?

Bob answers,

Yes, absolutely.

Tammi asks,

This mother that we have been discussing today… she’s not a family member, right?

Bob replies,

No. No, she was a client.

Tammi inquires,

Did she have to do more programs than other case plans normally lay out for a parent?

Bob states,

It appeared to me that she did. She volunteered to do more programs to prove that she wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Tammi asks,

Were any of those volunteered, successful, graduated programs… did mom get a pat on the back/good job?

Bob replies,

Not since I’ve had her case. Had her case. I did see that there was quite a few certificates of completion in her file.

Tammi asks,

Tell us a little bit about parents who have court ordered visitations with their children. Have you ever been privy to any cases at any time–even one–where the court ordered that a parent see their child (they have these visits) but somebody with an evil push, with a controlled power trip made a decision that it doesn’t really matter what the courts say because you’re not going to see you’re children?

Bob replies,

That’s what I felt was happening with this case.

Tammi asks,

Why did you feel like that?

Bob explains,

Because mother had so many obstacles put in her way to see the child that they want to adopt out.

Tammi wonders,

Would it be fair to say that the least amount of visits would be better for, not the child, not the parent, not the family but for the foster mother and the agency that was backing the foster mother and foster father?

Bob affirms,

Yes, because the court looks to see if the visitation from the parents has been consistent.

Tammi clarifies,

So the court takes that into consideration when making determinations as to return a child to their biological families, is that right?

Bob says,

Yes.

Tammi inquires,

So if it appears or it is presented falsely to the court that the parents have not made any efforts to visit their children then the court frowns on the parents and veers/could veer more towards adopting the child out, is that right?

Bob replies,

Yes.

Tammi says,

So an easy way that the foster parents–if they are corrupt and they have an in with the department–an easy way to get that foster parent to get that child that they want would be just to interfere with a parent’s court ordered visitations.

Bob affirms,

Yes.

Advice to Parents – Hire a Private Attorney

Tammi says,

Wow. It’s incredible. What can a parent do when that happens… do you have any suggestions?

Bob replies,

We always say the parent is told to talk to their attorney. Talk to their social worker to arrange the visits but if the parent doesn’t get any response… other than going to court and raising your hand and saying you want to say something (sometimes they will let you tell your side).

Tammi asks,

The parents that you have had on your cases, do they have money for private attorneys or are they really given court appointed attorneys?

Bob answers,

They’re given court appointed attorneys.

Tammi asks Bob whether or not it seems that low-income families without the resources to hire private attorneys to fight for their children are easy targets for the department.

Bob explains,

My only hope is that there are some children’s and parent’s attorneys that are willing to go the extra mile.

Tammi states,

There’s very few.

Tammi then asks,

Have you ever seen a case where an attorney just might have a lot to say… but that attorney really doesn’t speak up for the parent too much?

Bob says,

Yes.

Tammi says,

Everybody has to ask themselves the question, what if it were your child, how would you want people to handle your case? Right?

Bob agrees,

Yes.

Tammi explains,

I speak about the targeting of people who have less money or harder situations but I do not negate the fact that there are people who have lots of money and are thrown into this system as well. It just seems like the majority are people that have less money, less ability to be able to financially afford the professionals that are needed/the experts that are needed to fight for their own children.

Bob agrees,

It’s true.

Bob explains that when parents have stated that they would get an attorney and fight the department that the fact is they don’t have as much money as the department does.

Tammi states,

That’s for sure. We’re dealing with a multibillion dollar industry. That’s a hard monster/that’s a hard machine to shut down that’s for sure.

69 Calls to DCFS Went Unchecked by Social Workers and Cost a Little Boy His Life

Tammi then talks about the torture and murder of Gabriel Fernandez and the failures of 4 social workers in his case. Tammi mentions a teacher who made many calls to the department that went unheeded.

Tammi states,

…69 calls made to the department… and yet this child ended up being tortured and murdered by his mother and her boyfriend. Do you feel that Jackie Lacey the head of the DAs is just in going after the social workers?

Bob says,

Yes.

Tammi asks,

Do you feel that the social workers when they just ignore cases they do what I refer to and many others refer to as a ‘drive-by’ meaning they go by the house however they never stop and they put it in their report as if they did. Do you think that they are responsible?

Bob says,

Yes. I’d be responsible if I did that.

Tammi agrees,

Right, I’d be responsible too.

Tammi then takes some questions from listeners who have emailed in.

Q. Is there anything that the parent can do to make the social worker not even open up an investigation?

Bob answers,

There’s different social workers. When they get a referral from a hotline, they send out emergency social workers. They’re the ones that make the first contact. If no one answers the door they usually leave their card and from what I’ve heard they’ll leave the card maybe 2 or 3 times and if no one answers well then they close it. But nobody saw the child.

Tammi asks,

So if nobody sees the child and there is no contact you can’t open up a case, isn’t that right?

Bob replies,

I’m not an expert on that because I’ve never been an emergency social worker but the one that decides whether there’s a case or not is the emergency social worker’s supervisor. A social worker doesn’t have that much say, it has to go by whatever the supervisor says.

Tammi and Bob then discuss the protocols for case reports that are required to be written by social workers.

Tammi inquires,

Is there a new rule regarding these reports?

Bob replies,

Yes. The children’s court mandated that we have to turn in court reports 30 days before the hearing to our supervisors.

Tammi asks,

Once you turn in the report 30 days before the hearing then what happens?

Bob states,

It’s being approved by the supervisor–if there’s any corrections to be made it’s returned to the social worker to make the corrections–and once it’s signed off by the supervisor then the report is ready to be processed to deliver to court.

Bob explains,

We have a new system now where they barcode the reports to prove that they were handed in to the supervisors by 30 days and then I think they get barcoded at the 20th day when court is supposed to receive the court report.

Tammi asks Bob if parents receive a copy of the report and Bob explains that it is mandated that social workers provide a copy of the report to the parents 10 days before court, however, sometimes parents are not given these reports and they do not always know it is their right to demand that they obtain a copy.

Tammi asks,

You always give the reports [to the parents]?

Bob replies,

Yes.

Tammi says to Bob,

Tell the listeners what you’d like to say.

Bob says,

I would say be cooperative and work with your social worker. If you feel the social worker is not helping you can always contact the supervisor–

Tammi says,

[interposing] –wait a minute, but the supervisors though are the ones that might play very dirty so contacting them might not be helpful for the parent.

Bob responds,

Right. So then you contact the ARA which is the supervisor of the supervisors. I don’t think there is any chart that shows… up the ladder who you’re supposed to contact.

Tammi states,

Well, we need to make a chart.

At this point in the program the connection to the caller is lost.

Tammi says in regards to the criminal prosecution of 4 negligent social workers in the Gabriel Fernandez case,

I just want show the pictures of the social workers that are being criminally charged here in Los Angeles County based on their lack of helping, protecting, visiting, caring for–gosh they did nothing for little, beautiful Gabriel Fernandez–a little boy who fought harder than these people could ever dream about, who had the will to fight for his life until monsters came in and literally tortured him to death.

Take a look at these people, folks. These are people that have to look at themselves in the mirror everyday and I hope every day that they do they think about the little boy.

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One of the four social workers criminally charged in the death of Gabriel Fernandez. Source.

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One of the four social workers criminally charged in the death of Gabriel Fernandez. Source.

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One of the four social workers criminally charged in the death of Gabriel Fernandez. Source.

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One of the four social workers criminally charged in the death of Gabriel Fernandez. Source.

Tammi says this ought to be a lesson to every social worker,

Now I’m not saying that that was their intention. They never thought about it but you know what, let this be a lesson to every social worker who is ignoring children who are in danger. Here they are. They don’t look like criminals, right? They don’t look like they would lie on social worker reports; don’t look like they would say that they would visit somebody and then make up a whole case scenario about the visit – but they did and it cost little Gabriel Fernandez his life.

Tammi then encourages honest social workers to come forward,

If you don’t want to be responsible and face jail time for a department that is telling you to lie, come forward.

Medical Kidnapping final

Tammi concludes,

MedicalKidnap.com, I am very pleased and honored to have assisted in a very small way but I feel honored–Medical Kidnapping: A Threat to Every Family in America–there’s a book out now folks. Look at this book. This book really says it all.

What You Can Do

As Tammi Stefano stated earlier,

I encourage you, honest social workers, honest people who are privy to bad situations to call the D.A. Flood her line now so that we can put a stop to the illegal activity of stealing/kidnapping children.

Contact Los Angeles District Attorney, Jackie Lacey here: 818 439 3081

Tammi encourages listeners to go to www.nationalsafechild.com and use their contact form here to come forward and speak up and do the right thing.

Watch the entire show here:

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