Language barrier at CPS

A very disturbing article about how CPS bungled the case of a Chinese-American family. Clearly this child could have been raised by relatives, yet because the caseworker and the agency did not provide interpreters and basically operated out of a white, English-language framework, this child has now been with his foster parents long enough for the courts to consider it in his best interests to remain with them.

As a former public child welfare worker, I believe the agency and caseworker completely mishandled this case and operated out of a white supremacist framework. Harsh words, maybe, but there was a complete lack of best practices here.

Language Barrier at Child Protective Services

For the first year, Baby Raymond lived happily with
his family. Then the agency took him away and even though his
Chinese-American family fought to get him back, they couldn't find the
right words.

If Raymond loses access to his extended family, there is a good
chance he will never be apprised of the facts surrounding his removal
from their lives. This story has tried to present the unvarnished
facts, which are buried in a bungle of oft-­puzzling court orders and
about 1,000 pages of trial testimony and exhibits. Hopefully, if
Raymond ever chooses to read anything about that part of his life, he
will have the time to look at the primary sources.

And if he chooses to read anything else, I hope it would be this:

Raymond, due to language and geographic issues, it has been
difficult to illustrate exactly how much your Aunt Connie loves you,
and how this ordeal has torn her, and the rest of your family, apart.

However Connie appeared to the jurors, her words on paper express a
woman unsure of her tongue and unsure of the legal system, who was
stumbling over herself to, in her words, "try to explain so the jury
member can understand better."

By the time your mother's case went to trial, it really ceased to be
about the truth and about what was best for Raymond Liu. It was purely
adversarial. It was about using your family's lack of English and lack
of legal sophistication against them. And it worked. Sure, it was also
about pointing the finger at CPS. And you can make up your own mind
about that.

This is an extremely long-winded way of saying you have to believe
this: Your Aunt Connie loves you. She fought hard for you. She and your
Aunt Ling were there for the first year of your life. They had such
respect for your grandmother, who they always wanted you to be with, so
she could care for you like she cared for them. And you have to believe
this: You were happy.

You can read the entire article here (it is very lengthy)

Advertisements

One thought on “Language barrier at CPS

  1. This is a really disturbing case. This especially floored me… “CPS had decided by April 20, 2006 — about one month after Raymond’s removal — that Raymond’s long-term goal be designated “Unrelated Adoption.””
    I can’t help but think of the contrast with our case. We’ve been waiting more than a year for placement of my son’s brother, and only recently was his goal changed to adoption. Even though every one of his living biological relatives, plus his foster parents (my son’s ex-foster parents) wants us to raise him together with his brother. One year… and it might take longer to actually get placement. It’s just not a priority for the bureaucracy.
    I’ll speculate that Raymond was viewed as highly adoptable because he was presumably healthy, and Asian babies are in high demand. I’ll also speculate that cultural considerations for foster placement were not taken into account since his foster parents don’t have a Chinese-American name.
    Also, I’d like to add that given the Houston location, it’s likely that the caseworkers at fault in the Liu case were mostly black or Latino. That doesn’t mean they weren’t operating within a white supremacist framework, but the bias involved is definitely a complicated system.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s