San Diego County Grand Jury Letter Regarding CPS Abuses

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February 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The San Diego County Grand Jury conducted years of investigations into misconduct of San Diego County DSS and CPS and their social workers. Despite overwhelming evidence of a routine pattern of misconduct and government abuse of power, the problems have not stopped even years later. This letter from the San Diego County Grand Jury in 1992 explains the problems well. Sadly, nothing much has changed other than the name of the agency, now called Child Welfare Services. The children and families, particularly the fathers, continue to pay the high price of lives damaged and destroyed by San Diego County Child Welfare Services.

In the early to mid 1990’s, there was a push to force CPS agencies to behave according to due process and to be accountable for their misconduct. This was only partly successful. Although the extreme atrocities of the Alicia Wade and Dale Akiki cases are now less common, CPS continues to abuse its power and acts with incompetence, irresponsibility, and impunity ruining the lives of children and their parents without due process.

Social Worker Immunity Leads to Abuse of Power

The following letter was not released to the public for two years. It is the result of the San Diego County Grand Jury investigation into CPS as a result of the Alicia Wade case.

Mothers who’ve lost their babies to adoption know that similar social worker abuses have existed for decades. Fathers who have been victimized in child custody battles with parental alienation and false accusations of child abuse also know social workers frequently side with the abusive parent.

San Diego County Grand Jury Letter regarding Social Worker Abuses in California

Date: April 20, 1992

From: Grand Jury, County of San Diego
1420 Kettner Blvd, Suite 310
San Diego, California 92101-2432

To:Honorable John Burton
Assemblyman, 16th District
Chairman, Public Safety Committee
California State Assembly
2179 State Capitol

Dear Mr. Burton & Committee Members:

The San Diego County Grand Jury has spent nine months in an intensive study of the Juvenile Dependency System. This has included hundreds of professionals in the system, review of literally thousands of pages of documents, study of hundreds of Juvenile Court cases, observation of approximately one hundred Juvenile Court proceedings, and one month of sworn testimony. This study resulted in Grand Jury Report #2, “Families in Crisis.”

Since issuing this report, the County Grand Jury has been inundated with an additional flood of citizens and professionals desiring to testify regarding their adverse personal experiences with Child Protective Services. The Jury has serious concerns that these abuses have seriously eroded public confidence in CPS’ ability to fairly protect children and their families. If the legislature does not approve legislation to control social worker abuse of public confidence the Jury fears a public backlash which may seriously impact society’s ability to protect children.

The S. D. County Grand Jury made ninety-two (92) recommendations to improve the system, including that the Board of Supervisors seek legislative changes in immunity provisions governing social workers and others involved in the child abuse system. This may, in fact, be the most important recommendation of the Jury because that single change carries the potential to remedy a great many of the other problems found in the system. The Jury believes the current system of absolute immunity is the single greatest deterrent to change. It is sad but true that many of us change our behavior primarily to avoid adverse results.

This Jury is well aware of the historical reasons for extending total immunity to social workers. This Jury recognizes that the majority of social workers perform their tasks appropriately. It is empathetic to the difficult decisions facing social workers and does not seek to impair their ability to perform these tasks. Police officers are faced with very similar situations. Wisely, they have only been granted qualified immunity. Social workers who perform their tasks in good faith will have nothing to fear protected by qualified immunity.

The San Diego County Grand Jury has witnessed the unfortunate truth of a statement made by a trial attorney within the Fourth District Court of Appeal. “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Absolute immunity is absolute power.” The Jury was hesitant to reach the conclusion that absolute immunity must go, but having seen the results of this immunity in the lives of the citizenry, we adamantly believe it must.

The San Diego County Grand Jury has:

  • seen repeated episodes of social worker perjury in court reports, and indeed, even in court testimony;
  • heard testimony by attorneys and court-appointed therapists that social workers have threatened to remove them from court approved lists if they failed to adhere to social worker recommendations;
  • heard testimony that social workers have threatened to remove additional children from families who fail to exactly follow social worker recommendations even when there is no issue regarding that child;
  • heard testimony that even repeated adverse reports by professionals about individual social workers have resulted in a failure to discipline;
  • heard testimony by attorneys that when faced with the most blatant abuses of power, there are still no remedies available to their clients;
  • heard therapists testify that social workers have threatened to ruin their careers with a report that they have “accommodated the denial” of a client, or questioned a “true finding”;
  • seen documented evidence of social workers conspiring to place children for adoption with their own family members even while reunification with natural families was in process;
  • seen evidence of social workers placing children in particular foster homes which would render the opportunity to reunify non-existent;
  • heard testimony of social workers lying to adoptive parents about the past history of the children available for adoption;
  • heard testimony of social workers misrepresenting to natural family members, in order to gain their necessary consent to an open adoption, that they will be able to have a permanent role in the life of the child when the law does not guarantee that right;
  • seen evidence of social workers placing children with an unfit parent in apparent reprisal against the other parent;
  • read numerous Social Study reports written by social workers and filled with innuendo, half truths and lies.
  • seen evidence of social workers so obsessed with molestation scenarios that they were unable to maintain even a semblance of objectivity.

Absolute immunity fosters these wrongs and then when the system has wrought devastating financial and personal harm on individuals and families, leaves them no recourse. More significantly, however, absolute immunity promotes societal damage by removing any deterrent to repeating these same types of activities, thereby removing a primary incentive for change.

It is the view of the Jury that it is ultimately the children of California who have been most damaged. We have seen the results of the adoptions which must be undone, the relatives still seeking their children, the throw-away children on the streets, and the extraordinary costs of this system to the taxpayers.

This can not be totally rectified by this legislation but it will mean some accountability among the line social worker and every Department head. It will allow the system to purge itself of the the social worker who abuses power and leave in place those who are the willing to live within the standards of law. This highly sensitive and very vulnerable area of social service is not the place for the abuse of power.


It appears County of San Diego has tried to block the public from obtaining the reports on CPS by moving or hiding them from its website.

Here is where to find the Report #2 Families in Crisis now:

1991-92 San Diego County Grand Jury, Report 2, Families in Crisis

1991-92 San Diego County Grand Jury, Report 2 Supplement, Families in Crisis

Further Reading

San Diego County Grand Jury Report “Families in Crisis.”

Torture of the Wade Family by San Diego CPS

  1. CPSVictim
    June 24th, 2009 at 21:04 | #1

    Wow – hit the nail on the head with that one. They stole our newborn (6 days old) on Mothers Day (cold bastards) using the testimony of a 6 year old girl who had been “taught blatent pornagraphy” over a 1 year period … AND who recanted on the accusations entirely. None the less – the worker was ..and I quote:

    “… so obsessed with molestation scenarios that they were unable to maintain even a semblance of objectivity.”

    BAM – Took our newborn. The lowest price we can find for a lawyer is $7,000 retainer. We are broke. So – since May 10th 2009 – we are WITHOUT CHILD and are being smeared to the ends by this SW. May God have mercy on her soul for what she’s done.

    I wish SOMEONE would help us – At the end of myself.

  2. sharena
    June 16th, 2010 at 19:10 | #2

    A visitor in our home would not leave and assaulted me very badly. When I ran to the pay phone to call for help, police arrested me for an old warrant and didn’t even take a report on the assault. When I got out, I went home and told my boyfriend I was leaving with my child because I didn’t feel safe. He didn’t want me to leave him so he chased after me. A neighbor called the police. They arrested him for my injuries that I suffered from our unwanted guest.

    Police dropped the charges on my boyfriend. CPS made him do DV classes and took our parental rights away because we won’t admit to domestic violence between us.

    Our unwanted guest is enjoying his life freeloading off the owner of the house we rented and left him at. He is like a live in maid/nanny/strong arm. CPS should have gone after him.

    I left my boyfriend in hope that since he completed everything in his case plan he could get our son back but they still took his rights away. Probably because he has a marijuana prescription. The judge told my boyfriend that there is no such thing as a medical marijuana prescription. Yes there is! The case should have been dismissed due to that and many other things.

    I am not giving up even if I lose my rights I am going to help change the system for all other children and their families until the day I die.

    Where is the justice?

  3. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2010 at 01:17 | #3

    I too am a victim of the corrupt CPS (Corrupt Pathetic System). That is my interpetation of these three letters. I am truly wondering how an individual that has the presence of a somewhat drug user, prostitute, be allowed to be a so called Social Worker for the Government, have immunity, and to be allowed to work with innocent children during a very vulnerable time. Just want to share my feelings of the Government Hired Child Protective Social Worker that I have had to encounter, and put up with nothing but BS ever since.

  4. R J Solomon
    October 5th, 2010 at 15:16 | #4

    The San Diego CPS has terribly harmed both my daughter and myself. Are there any Class Action Suits currently in progress, that I might join and/or support?

  5. October 23rd, 2010 at 17:18 | #5

    Please visit my website for advice and support! CYF also placed my child in danger. Michele and Barack Obama want to help. Please see my website for details. Evil prevails when good men do nothing!

  6. laura
    June 5th, 2011 at 04:15 | #6

    cps has harrassed us for years. we have five children.myselg being chronicly ill and dissabled. sufferring from a spinal injury, i have migranes , hypertension, ulcers (gurd), my pancreas is ruined from throwing up when i was pregnant so i cant eat meat and dont digest my food right, i have neobathian cysts and fibroids on my ovaries and uterus. well i was bleeding for five days and police came through a locked gate came around my house came to the back door. i went out there and they ased if wee were living in an abandoned house and i said no weve been living here since september. he asked if i was home by myself and he pushed his way through the door. he said my house was messy which it was barely i was folding clean clothes and they were eating lunch, and i was getting ready to sweep the floor.they took the kids and said it was a mess and we had cat poop everywhee which there definitly was not. any way they had to give them back but now therew mad because their trying to fore us into ths voulentary case. what do we do???????????? if its voulentary cant we tell them to go away? im calling a civil rights lawer in which i advise us all to do enough of us togther and thell have to listen. i am also writing alettet to the us supreme court. please let me know your opinons . we could band together and stop this. we have to. laura [email protected]

  7. M Knight
    June 28th, 2012 at 20:57 | #7

    My children were taken away. After the first court hearing the ER social worker forced me to take a ride from her (she said ride with me or walk 30 miles because I called your assigned cps ride and told him not to come). During the ride home I was victim to her abusive taunts and ridicule. The second worker met with me and asked family history and wrote in her report that I was unstable bc of my family history. She then gave me a number of my “New SW” and it took the New SW a month to return my phone call, she only called bc I filed a complaint with regional manager. She was ok for a while til my daughter had her hair PULLED OUT by her Foster mom. I made a complaint and the findings were: “No neglect or abuse just screaming between foster mom and sister, we told them to stop”. Then she stopped returning my calls so when my children were coming to the visits smelling of urine and not being bathed for weeks at a time “I have proof and witnesses”, I complained again and Was brushed off til the children were moved to another foster home. The new foster mom was great at first…then my daughter kept getting “hurt”. The FFA with that foster mom treated us like shit and looked down at us. I filed a complaint and then she got worse. I went to her BOSS and made a formal complaint and I went through a big ordeal where my SW final words were “you are making things up and you aren’t going to get your kids anyways by the next court date”. So I complained to her Supervisor and ended up at a TDM where I had to keep my mouth shut or else they wouldn’t send my kids to my sisters house. Its been 2 months and haven’t got a phone call from my SW in 2 weeks after leaving 6 msgs. I finally decided to email the President, CA Senators, My Congresswoman, My District Supervisor in the last 2 days and finally I get a call from my SW regional manager and I get the answers I needed 4 months ago and her main concern was my SW’s Customer Service. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT. Almost 7 months pass, We are done with our caseplans and they still want to start us off with unsupervised visits within a couple weeks. ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The president has accountability why not the Social Workers who don’t even have enough education to this job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do we have the right to ask that an educated person deal with our case or even ask to have a jury of our peers judge us? HELL NO! Then CPS would be out of business!!! They even had one of their own murdered because she was exposing all the corruption. THEY ARE A MOB!!!!!!!!!! And taxpayers pay for it! LAND OF THE FREE NO MORE!!!!!!!!!! Let’s see CPS take the presidents children and what he has to say about that.

  8. Rachael Di Leo
    March 19th, 2014 at 13:34 | #8

    Wow,I can’t believe this I’m going through misery Here I am a hard working mother and they removed my son with out a safety plan due do arguing with my spouse. My son is 11 WAS going to the best school in North County a charter school. Since my son has been removed his grades went down hill all he does is cry and wants to come home. I never abused my child he never has been in trouble at school. Now Im missing work Im going to classes I feel that are a waste of tax payers money. I had a routine with my son We sat at the dinner table every night at 6 and talked about the day, Read for 20 min every night, My son and I had a ritual of saying when I tucked him into bed every night and never missed a night with out saying this :Don’t let the bed bugs bite see you in the morning my son son son Good night I love you followed with a kiss. Now since being removed that has stopped Now all he does is cry and threatens to run away. Why is this dragging on I want my son home…please someone anyone HELP ME GET MY CHILD HOME. CPS said they gave a me a verbal plan over the phone. That never happened it’s just Myself against the them.

  9. teejaya Johnson
    October 28th, 2015 at 18:41 | #9

    I myself don’t have a child but i do know someone that dose, There child taking from them two months ago I can’t believe that cps and cps court is allowed to operate in an unlawful way the court is not a court, the court appointed lawyers are working for cps and so are the judge social worker judge and lawyers are all stake holders and nobody by law is getting a fair hearing. last time i know everything has to be done by law and under there code of ethic no one should be working there that can not uphold the law of the USA for right for a fair hearing . Dianne jacob should be ashame of herself for running a unlawful agency Mrs Jacob you need to step down from being the director cps if you can’t run this gov agency lawful under the USA

  1. February 15th, 2009 at 18:08 | #1
  2. February 16th, 2009 at 01:15 | #2
  3. February 16th, 2009 at 07:59 | #3
  4. April 22nd, 2009 at 23:26 | #4
  5. July 5th, 2009 at 17:49 | #5
  6. July 20th, 2009 at 00:55 | #6
  7. August 13th, 2009 at 04:34 | #7
  8. September 21st, 2009 at 21:22 | #8
  9. October 28th, 2009 at 16:41 | #9
  10. November 20th, 2009 at 07:13 | #10
  11. March 11th, 2010 at 02:25 | #11
  12. March 13th, 2010 at 14:49 | #12
  13. February 12th, 2012 at 07:11 | #13

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