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Understand “Children’s Law Centers” (NCLN – Eight nonprofits Get Organized) and “Children’s Rights,” in general

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On March 27, 2013, I started this page to make the point: “Local Government” isn’t local. Public Money isn’t necessarily public either.

This page sprang from an impromptu virtual “essay” on the National Children’s Law Network while writing a post on Minnesota Fatherhood grants. Parents are having problems in the courts — obviously. Often these problems center around some kind of court personnel (or, government agency) with the word “Children” in it.

The Problem

Major harm has been done in the name of protecting children, children’s rights, and even “defending children.” It is tempting to report only on that harm, year after year.

I encourage us to focus instead on the systems set up, and how they were set up, by people using the word “Child” or “Children’s” for specific, collaborative, and in general a privately determined agenda.

Ironically, the solutions used to reduce poverty and protect children often end up putting more money in private hands, and — as this is SOMEtimes who’s promoting the various programs — making sure there’s more work for more attorneys at public cost, after the attorneys have collectively decided that more of them means more justice for children.

DOES IT? As someone who has personal experience with a GAL in the courtroom (namely, a court-appointed and presumably public-funded attorney) AFTER my kids were stolen — I’m going to say, NOT necessarily — and in too many cases, No.

But First — Let’s talk about the use of the word “Children” to promote System Change of almost any sort!

While a specific network -“National Children’s Law Network” — was the prompt for a separate page, I have to discuss the (mis)use of the word “Child” “Children” (let alone “Family”) in organizations with an agenda — and this agenda is forced onto the public, often at its expense, in a top-down, lobbyist manner. Using the theme “child” as a buzzword to imply safety, protection, justice, or impartiality — when it results in the opposite to the point that agencies and individual GALs (Guardians ad Litem), social worker, etc. — are being sued by parents almost as fast as they can come up with new themes or programs – should tell us something is “up” with all these groups’ obsession with protecting children.

And it should be resisted when and where the systems, and how they were set up, was done without public approval. I do not want, and we should not want, socialism, or the equivalent of a return to a feudal society. I also personally am NOT in favor of a one-world government under elitist central control; after having already seen where that is heading — i.e., to eugenics, slavery, and genocide. Wars enable takeover of others’ assets and further restructuring of those supporting it and those sent to die in them. ALL of this relates to the economy, and until (again, or anew) more people can think in terms of how to counteract the centralization of government and balance that power — it is not going to slow down, or cease, until dissidence is, basically exterminated (or medicated) into silence.

UNDERSTANDING that inherent dishonesty in privatizing government “for the sake of children” when in fact, this is simply multiplying the ability of those so ethically “low” as to do this, or so arrogant as to believe that what society needs is more of them, and (correspondingly) LESS involved and less representative government (just shut up, pay your taxes, and be acted upon: we will keep the streets safe, the children educated, and the bad guys away….) — JUST MAYBE this will counteract some of the gullible passivity that’s normal for us. Because we can’t figure out an alternative to funding it through our jobs.

The end result is more expensive intervention — for longer periods of children’s childhood and adolescence — by more professionals at times, while alternately simply “dumping them” (and at least one of their parents).

The Real Problem is just Injustice

The real problem is injustice — throughout the system. I happen (experientially and logically) to have a problem with the concept that more lawyers, more social workers, and more psychologists on the task — is going to result in either better processes — or better outcomes — for anyone besides those lawyers, social workers, and psychologists (often on both private, parental and government (county, etc.) pay.

In general, we are finding that when women or children attempt to separate from abuse, for their safety, here comes some facet (usually of the court, or government agency), talking about “Children’s Rights” (to both parents, regardless of quality. Which is then used improperly to completely cut off contact, often with the noncriminal parent, and often & suddenly, with the natural mother of the children. Sometimes this then leads to foster care, or sometimes it leads to extended custody battles, which are very profitable for this arm of the government (courts) and those doing business with them. Just not for the “Children” in whose name all this was done.

I have survived domestic violence (marital), family of origin ongoing (so far), stalking, have had my children kidnapped illegally overnight and seen it treated as a “family matter” (dispute) and lost 100% of my income in that regard, as well as, while fighting to stay IN a viable profession, was driven out of it. Eventually, it was brought to my attention that welfare funding, to which some domestic violence victims are driven (for a simple reason; Their abusers tend to control the economics of a relationship — unbelievably so to those who have “normal” marriages.

We –not just I — are seeing bank accounts, credit, transportation, access to family funds, and eventually our work life — eradicated; we disappear as an economic entity from the GNP — while contributing to it by supporting others. This is a horrid situation to be in more than a year — but thanks to the collaboration of nonprofits, private money, federal money, and major structural changes in government (particularly the courts) — there is a serious “sea-change” and credibility gap between how business IS done, and how we are taught and led to believe it is done.

The treatment of marginalized populations — as well as the ongoing creation of them by simply stealing things (like homes, businesses, children, revenue from their former businesses, and time) — is getting worse and worse, in my opinion.

As this happens, people continue existing (somehow) in their neighborhoods and are seen, and sometimes treated, as social “pariahs” — when in fact, the social “disease” is really closer to the top and relates directly to things like corporate tax exemption, money laundering, and undue influence on the courts. This can be seen AND felt throughout the country, people are crying out.

In order to understand the beast, it’s important to understand its nature. Logic, commonsense, and honesty are required. Again, it’s kinda hard to get past the reality; We may consider those kids “ours,” but the government we are consenting to (specifically “Social Security Administration”) considers parents just “trustees” on good behavior (as defined by it) to raise them.

Again, let “Clint” explain this matter of jurisdiction and the significance of even having a social security number, or becoming a party to a marriage license. This kind of government is by consent — and when you consent, you are a party to a contract; the contract is do to business with the United States (which is a corporation, at this point). True, hard to work, drive, eat, and survive without consenting — but that’s exactly what that consent means. He calls it the “Mark of the Beast” (and that beast is, basically collective human consent to this system of enslavement, which it is.

Then we want to complain about how are treated in its courts?

Put that together with “CAFR SCHOOL: How Corporations are Being Funded by Taxpayers (something I’ve been documenting for years, including mis-handling of those funds, not just for the wrong purpose, but also “losing” millions (really, billions) in the process!) and we may have something sensible to work with. His statements (see top section) are absolutely correct. I can see it logistically and experientially.

Please consider this as you read about the field of Children’s Law Network — remembering that historically, money will be taken from government (federal, state, county) funds — and money will also be donated to various nonprofits putting more lawyers and social workers in contact with more kids, for more of their lives, every year — it takes public money (although private money is also taken) to devastate one side of any couple, and then lecture them about co-parenting; to put people in jail properly (and improperly) and then fetch them out again, and so forth:

Where does that money come from?  From CAFR SCHOOL link, any font-changes, I added:

What would you do if you found out that your pension contributions** went to fund the corporate stocks and bonds that are used to build the weapons, the chemical biological agents, and the depleted uranium armaments that are killing and retarding millions upon millions of men, women, and children around the globe, including in America?

[[**some have no pension contributions. Nevertheless, if they are working “above the table” they are generally being taxed; it still goes into the treasuries and is held and invested.}}

What if you finally comprehended that the national and international banks, oil and pharmaceutical companies are all funded by your “contributions”, and that all of the taxpayer’s in America are also forced through taxation to contribute to your pension fund investment scheme (with no benefit to the taxpayers themselves), knowing that the U.S. occupations of the Arab nations like Afghanistan and Iraq are for the government’s and the corporation’s control of oil and opium, and that these beautiful countries and their infrastructures are decimated just so that corporations like Halliburton can rebuild those infrastructures via no-bid government contracts while being forced into debt by the very government you fund?

How would it feel to know that the entirety of the government-contracted corporations that make up the “Military-Industrial Complex” are all funded by our collective pension fund contributions?

What would you do?

A change of heart (like “repentance”) in this matter is required, otherwise it’s going to continue “business as usual,” and the remaining middle class can continue to become more and more stressed out by the increasing lower (and the increasing price of commodities, plus their increasing LESS paychecks, often enough) — while scrambling to keep up takes up time that would otherwise perhaps study this system and realize its built-in thievery, and where that’s leading.

By the way, I believe this change of heart will eventually (and should) lead to religious organizations learning to function on a more fair basis — i.e., eradicate the “religious nonprofit” designation, which is unfair to the rest of us who are, collectively, no less moral, no less hard-working, and definitely not necessarily worse human beings, than those flocking to lead the flocks and write off the housing, while taking in tithes and donations for the beautiful buildings, or to support them while recruiting membership.  The IRS privileges church and church associations are listed.  1979 discussion (IRS) includes investigation of the Unification Church, issues with Church of Scientology, Bob Jones (over racial discrimination) and others.  You can see some of the more obvious issues — using church status for personal power, or to prevent auditing or inquiry while amassing considerable “temporal power”:


It’s entirely possible to believe in God (or not) without contributing to social economic distress by supporting these institutions that got their start in the time of the Roman empire, really, ca. 315+ AD, and whose history is a history of war, blood-letting, and definitely oppression of women and boys and girls, beautiful temples (and what’s inside them) aside….it’s still just basic “empire” behavior. That’s also what the tax system is about — and it’s time we learned this!

Are people really incapable of self-organizing without a pyramid scheme of leadership? Possibly — if the goal isn’t to strip one area of the world of assets and trade them overseas for forced overconsumption in another part, not to mention the cost of transportation… But we’d have to first “detox” of being so passive about our own lives, raising children, etc.

The Principle: The MEDIUM (the Corporate Container) IS the “Massage”!**

**Thus we have the meaning of “the medium is the message:” We can know the nature and characteristics of anything we conceive or create (medium) by virtue of the changes – often unnoticed and non-obvious changes – that they effect (message.) McLuhan warns us that we are often distracted by the content of a medium (which, in almost all cases, is another distinct medium in itself.) He writes, “it is only too typical that the “content” of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium.” (McLuhan 9) And it is the character of the medium that is its potency or effect – its message. In other words, “This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.”

Federman, M. (2004, July 23). What is the Meaning of the Medium is the Message? Retrieved 3/27/2013 from http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/article_mediumisthemessage.htm .

When it comes to “Children’s Rights” groups — the people who set up these media (the corporate containers) act with purpose to bring structural change, nationwide, and are experienced in doing so from prior movements they’ve been involved with — but it’s time for the rest of the public to understand! It’s basic information to functionality in this country to understand how the significance of the setup.

To Understand the Content, Focuse on the MEDIUM (the containers)!

But without organization and without a vocabulary to SPEAK about what has happened — we might as well be voiceless. For this purpose, I say — focus on the structure and the systems, notice who’s peopling them — but the structure and the practices are most important. You have to learn, in context, what the terms mean.

“CHILDREN’s RIGHTS [etc.]” What’s in a Phrase?

The “Children’s Rights” movement should be properly understood as what it is: a “Systems Change” movement, following after: Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, Father’s Rights” (etc.). ALL of these movements used forcible organizing techniques to challenge and confront the status quo, and many times top-down organizing. While the banner of these movements were legitimate (especially the first one), the thing we should have been watching more closely all along — was how the same organizing tactics developed — can be used under, literally, ANY banner.

For example, ‘The Children’s Defense Fund’

Understand — the post is about National Children’s LAW Network. This is an example to teach the concept — how did people organized and intend for system change under the phrase “Children’s DEFENSE Fund”? (noting that it IS a fund, also!)

The organization “Children’s Defense Fund” [See WIKIPEDIA article] is the brainchild of Civil Rights Leader Marian Wright Edelman, does NOT take government funding, has SPECIFIC political goals that it believes — and has a good chance at making sure happen — should apply to ALL children.

Any search on the term will see how well-organized it is, state by state. The entire premises on lifting children out of poverty includes (incorporates) a major structural upgirding of one basic, pervasive institution: The public school system, and all that goes with it (Early Head Start, Head Start, Child Care, After School, Universal Health Care) and other trademarked terms. In other words, the insistence is that we all invest in an institution which has a solid track record of FAILURE, collectively, and is itself (since I learned about CAFRs, this is shown to be fact — not fancy) — itself simply an arm of government, by definition. And like government, it keeps a lot of its assets and funds “Off-Budget” and unreported to the general public.

The principal public policy initiative is summarized by CDF’s advocacy of the “Dodd-Miller Act to Leave No Child Behind (S. 448/H.R. 936)” bill, introduced in Congress in 2001. This differs only slightly from the No Child Left Behind Act. (George W. Bush used this phrase, trademarked by the CDFM, [1] in his Presidential campaign despite objections from CDF.)

The CDF bill’s provisions would, according to the organization [1]:

  • prepare every child for school through full funding of quality childcare, Head Start and Early Head Start, and new investments in universal preschool education programs
  • lift every child from poverty by 2010
  • ensure that every child and parent has health insurance as a first step toward universal coverage
  • end child hunger through the expansion of food programs, living wages, tax credits, and family supports
  • make sure every child can read by fourth grade and can graduate from high school able to succeed at work and in life
  • provide every child safe, quality after-school and summer programs to learn, serve, work, and stay out of trouble
  • ensure every child decent affordable housing
  • protect all children from neglect, abuse, and other violence and ensure them the care they need
  • ensure families leaving welfare the supports required to be successful in the workplace, including healthcare, childcare, education, and training

Mrs. [Marian Wright] Edelman—a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School—witnessed abject poverty first-hand in the Mississippi Delta and worked with Dr. King and Senator Robert Kennedy in the 1960s to help the millions of poor people in America. Mrs. Edelman then moved to Washington, D.C., and founded CDF to continue Dr. King’s call for justice for the poor and to ensure a level playing field for all children in America.

Any level playing field that doesn’t shut down alternate forms of schooling (MOST of which are better than a public school one) isn’t a level playing field. Congress are hardly likely to (all of them) send their own children to the public school system, not did all of them come up through it, either. Even Horace Mann, who helped create some of these systems, was not himself a product of them! The entire picture doesn’t question government influence on EVERY aspect of life, and assumes this influence is beneficial, etc. It is essentially a socialist vision, which will leave the elites running it, out of the ‘level playing field.’

My main point is, the use of the word “Children” in almost any capacity, to demand national changes, and the organizing capacity to make them happen, including setting up in each state (Google the term to see), and being smart enough to Trademark the phrases.http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org/ (that’s the 501(4)c to go with the 501(c)3. Privately taking NO government funds — but wanting to run it, anyhow! Here are 25 LIVE (there are more if I checked “LIVE & DEAD”) trademarks (word search only) listed on USPTO.GOV registry for either Children’s Defense Fund — or Children’s Defense Fund Action Council:

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
2 78651795 3100604 CDF SHOUT TSDR LIVE
3 78651793 3106504 CDF SPROUT TSDR LIVE

here are “live and dead,” and I find it interesting that “Haley Farm” is no longer in use because (after first publishing this page) I found that Haley Farm is hardly “dead” but seemingly in operation, as came up in association with a Florida church going by “Trinitychurch.tv” and it was in the church’s schools that I found one was a CDF “Freedom School.”  Corporate “shenanigans” had been, yes, involved.

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
3 78651795 3100604 CDF SHOUT TSDR LIVE
4 78651793 3106504 CDF SPROUT TSDR LIVE

“(ABANDONED) IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Educational services, namely conducting classes, seminars, conferences, workshops, retreats and motivational programs for students, schools, churches, community leaders and individuals in the fields of children’s advocacy, health and welfare, women’s issues and multi-culturalism”

Filed:  Feb. 2002 // Abandoned:  June, 2005


The CDF “Haley Farm” seems alive and well… and still has Marian Wright Edelman, Geoffrey Canada, and what looks like other very important people still involved, including from Oakland and Los Angeles, California.


Children's Defense Fund

Please excuse the temporary disability of this table; blame it on wordpress (it was fine, and I assure you I didn’t personally

go in and remove all the “row” designations while working on another part of this post).  I’m storing it here, rather than lose

the record from an earlier printout.  For example, I notice “Cradle to prison pipeline” doesn’t even show on the search conducted 2-7-2014.


SEARCH LINK: Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead 1 78837579 3201616 CHILD WATCH TSDR LIVE 2 78651795 3100604 CDF SHOUT TSDR LIVE 3 78651793 3106504 CDF SPROUT TSDR LIVE 4 78976732 3080916 CRADLE TO PRISON PIPELINE TSDR LIVE 5 78595223 3068194 CDF ACTION COUNCIL TSDR LIVE 6 78594232 3068151 CHILDREN’S DEFENSE FUND ACTION COUNCIL TSDR LIVE 7 78958222 3258469 CDF FREEDOM SCHOOLS TSDR LIVE 8 78506130 3509896 CRADLE TO PRISON PIPELINE TSDR LIVE
10 77390885 3652089 TSDR LIVE
11 77280736 3664272 YALT TSDR LIVE
12 77280734 3434978 GWANC TSDR LIVE

What’s in a Word?

The word “Children’s Rights” has a lot different sense when it’s a mother, or father, attempting to save a child from some imminent harm and exploitation — and when it’s from people in government or seeking government function to over-ride the checks and balances/ representative elected leadership setup that some (mythologically) seem to believe our country should be organized around.

There’s the “NACC” (National Association of Counsel for Children) which is ONE nonprofit associated with “AFCC.” There are also “CFCCs” opened underneath Administrative Offices of the Courts (in San Francisco, California) and/or at Law Schools (UBaltimore School or Law, Maryland). All of these are utilizing the phrases “children” and “families” even as Task force for Children Exposed to Violence — or “Defending Children” initiatives, or for that matter “CPS” (Child Protective Services) utilize the word “children” in their programs. For that matter, “Office of Child Support Enforcement” (OCSE) also claims to be “about the children,” which at this point, I have to say, it ain’t.

What about the Children’s Rights Council (“CRCkids.org”) headed up by (last I looked) and Episcopalian Priest, and having identified association with a holiday (National Parents’ Day) tied to the Unification Church? Is that “just” about Children’s Rights — or is it about fathers’ rights, or rights of access to children? What was Daniel Levy really onto when he co-founded that, and pushed “Access Visitation” as a term, and Supervised Visitation Network as a profession?

So, we have to start to understand these (typically nonprofit) organizations (i.e., CORPORATIONS under US Code), initiatives, task forces, institutes, and agencies — AS what they are structurally, and financially. Which is FIRST: nonprofit organizations, task forces (who appointed them? Often, Governors, i.e., the “CEO” of a State, which spells — top-down, centralized control for that state). Institutes (could be anything: see how’s funding it — they occur independently and often are set up at universities, by their funders. I have a draft in the work about one at UDenver which is stacked from top to bottom with AFCC personnel, and was started as a “nonprofit” (but to donate to it — donate to the university) by a retiring judge. And “Agency” typically refers to an acknowledged part of government — whether federal, state, county, or local.

When it comes to private money and people actually RUNNING (as in setting policy for, setting the infrastructure for, and controlling the output) of GOVERNMENT — we don’t like to think this is American, or the USA way. But, welcome to the world — and let’s start keeping those terms straight! IN otherwords– the MEDIUM (institute, nonprofit, agency, etc.) is the MESSAGE, and regardless of services delivered, labeling, or “content” — we must be aware of them — or be “asleep at the wheel.”

OK, Now I’m ready to bring in some background information (from a recent post) about the origins of the National Children’s Law Network.

The National Children’s Law Network, and Minnesota, Chicago, Pennsylvania origins:

(information from the 990finder site is unusually thorough on this organization: Here are its partners – -notice locations:

Support Center for Child Advocates, Philadelphia, PA
Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts, Lynn, MA
Children’s Rights Project, Los Angeles, CA
Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN
Children and Family Justice Center, Chicago, IL
JustChildren Program, Charlottesville, VA
Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, Oklahoma City, OK
Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, Denver, CO

TV show? (2004, Oklahoma) The Verdict, Oklahoma Basis, interview includes Frank Cervone of the Philadelphia Support Center for Child Advocates (“advokid.org”) (included for the photo):

The “CLC” (the Minnesota Group) explains some of its roles in “SYSTEMIC REFORM” particularly (section quoted here) regarding foster youth:

Writing amicus briefs to state and federal appellate courts, including the Minnesota Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court on issues that affect foster children.

Serving on statewide and nationwide committees and task forces, such as the Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Foster Care and Adoption, the Minnesota Supreme Court Juvenile Protection Rules Committee and the National Children’s Law Network. Currently, CLC staff attorneys participate in the Children’s Justice Initiative for Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, the Children’s Mental Health Partnership, the MSBA Children and the Law Section, the Civil Gideon Task Force, the Youth Law Summit, and other groups active in systemic reform efforts.

Below here is a transplant of the material from my last post about Minnesota Fatherhood Programs. A specific person (Ms. Jean Halloway) was involved in this organization, which was how I believe it came up at the time.

For example, “Children’s Law Centers” are often associated with law schools, OR they are private nonprofits. In Connecticut, for example, a Children’s Law Center shows obvious AFCC & NACC influence and their CEO, a typical policy attitude reflected by those associations.

From 2012 Annual Report (bright colors:  red, green, yellow, child-friendly prints, etc.) shows a trademarked phrase:  “Families in Transition” and a focus on training mediators and pushing mediation.

the Families In transition Mediation program

helps parents successfully navigate their family’s transition, retain decision-making power, and find a way to effectively co-parent their children. Most parents who mediate become better at both communicating and co-parenting as they restructure their relationship. The mediation team is gender balanced and is made up of one mental health professional and one legal professional both of whom are familiar with the family court process.

2012 was a successful year for the FIT program. The program provided services to 54 families, serving 85 children. Services were mainly provided in the Hartford county area; however, we were able to begin to branch out into other jurisdictions. In 2012 we recruited 12 new volunteers who are trained as mediators and have experience with family court. Ultimately, our goal is to change the way parents get divorced (or break up) in Connecticut, thereby creating a healthier future for their children.

Jeff Asmar, LCSW Shari Bornstein, JD Margaret Bozek, JD Susan Busby, JD Tom Buczynski, LCSW Mary Cheyne, Psy. D Cynthia Eastman, M. Ed. Robert Fiedler, JD Doug Fishman, JD Sandi Girolamo, JD Maureen Gould, MA Charles Higgins, JD Rabbi Andrew Hechtman Viola Hughes Don Hope, LCSW Judy Hyde Kate Kowalyshyn, JD Deanna Levine, JD Robert Madden, JD/LCSW Pam Magnano, JD Polly Marston Jeff Mickelson, JD Kathleen Nevins, JD Ben Shapiro, JD Heath Tiberio, JD Martin Wheeler, JD/MFT Stacey Widlansky, JD Stacie Zimmerman, JD

This Children’s Law Center acknowledges that the response to a father shooting his daughter DURING a supervised visitation in 1992 (an event repeated August 2013 DURING a supervised visitation center, again the father, again he shot to killed his 9-yr-old son then himself, in Manchester, New Hampshire; apparently it’s not crossed people’s mind that supervised visitation is dangerous), and decided that this wasn’t because of violent fathers being required or allowed access to children, but because of “lack of legal services.”  (As it’s said, the cobblers see shoes, the lawyers see, lack of access to their services…):

In November 1992, a six-year-old girl was shot and killed by her father during a supervised visitation session at the office of the Child Protection Council of Northeastern Connecticut. From this tragedy sprang a coalition of concerned professionals and parents united to examine the weaknesses in the system that had failed that child.* The lack of legal services for children in family court was identified as a major concern, which led to the founding of the Children’s Law Center.

In 1996, the Children’s Law Center hired its first staff attorney, Garret Tuller, through a contractual arrangement with Connecticut Legal Services. Under his direction the organization represented over 200 abuse/neglect cases in juvenile court. In 2002, the Children’s Law Center relocated its office from eastern Connecticut to Hartford, to become more accessible to a wider demographic of clients

Although some of the main clientele will be dealing with domestic violence or child abuse, there is no mention of it in the annual report, or in the programs offered.

Did no one see fit to explore the supervised visitation field per se?  Well, others have.  I do.  You should see their corporate filing records…Not to mention, what example does it give children? (Click on my gravatar to link to a 1992/1993 discussion of that, by a NOMAS person Jack Straton, Ph.D. in front of domestic violence agency, in Duluth, MN ).  It is a field supported federally by both the USDOJ (Safe Havens) and USHHS (Access/Visitation, i.e., welfare diversions), but also billable privately by the providers, and thereby court-connected contractors, facilitating:  Grants fraud, parental extortion, conflicts of interest, and in general an entire professional field of trade-association groups convinced that THIS is the answer, if it’s only done right. It’s now being used to put “alienating” mothers on supervision and extort them; do re-unification therapy for incarcerated fathers who may or may not actually have expressed an interest in seeing their own offspring, or who might have been in jail for very good reasons.  New associations are often springing up, some of them strangely with a very close connection to personnel administering those grants, who then lobby for laws requiring “certification in the field,” as happened in California within recent years.  The Supervised Visitation Network will file in one state until it’s closed down (for failing to file annual reports), then move to another,

Children’s Rights as a field is, like Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, etc. is a form of institutional forced change towards a different model. Children’s Defense Fund is a major player in this field; so that Holloway has worked with them is significant. The subject matter label is for public appeal — but the purpose is institutional change, and funding to do so.

Please read this 2009 newsletter well, showing that, first of all, its initiation began about the time of welfare reform.

(2009- 13th year = 1996 in my book). This particular (Minnesota’s) “CLC” was among the founders of a National Childrens’ Law Network (shows states involved are: PA, MA, MN, IL, CO, CA, & VA), that someone went from its ranks to judge, and view the variety of donors ($10,000, $1,000, $500, etc.) and let’s ask — what if that went to directly helping a family BEFORE someone was shunted off to foster care? Why all the amazing effort AFTER they’re in the system and going through hell? It also has a case hit Minnesota Appeals where CLC is very proud it persuaded them to reopen the CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection or Services) case of a boy sent into foster care at age 13 (it didn’t work), the parents rejected him, then shelters (he fled the shelters), then the county re-united him with his father, who’d been in prison for a sex offence against a child while the boy was first in child protection services! The County (very possibly as a result of some of its existing fatherhood programs, and/or the financial benefit of family reunification, compromise of arrears if child support was ever involved — who knows?) then tried to make the son’s status with his
Dad — again, who was in prison for sex offenses against children — PERMANENT, but Dad didn’t want it. They can’t find a foster care home, and so the boy goes to Mille Lacs Academy, runs away, and the state, having got whatever it wanted out of the situation, closes the CHIPS case (he aged out, right?)…
and we’re wondering why this young man has problems???… CLC’s great accomplishment is to get the CHIPS case re-opened, I guess.

Self-education on NCLN (National Children’s Law Network) — the link from the Foundation Center goes to Pennsylvania’s “advokid..org” link, which says it and the MN group co-founded the network in 2002, and this network consists of EIGHT centers around the country. Advokids, of course goes back further. Here’s a pargraph from its history relating to (our concerns today), namely, the GAL focus. In included a good chunk of its “history”” page for reference, but the last para. is most relevant:

Pennsylvania, history of “Advokids”


One day in 1971, Judge Lois Forer and young attorney Meg Greenfield met on the street in Philadelphia. This newly-elected judge explained to Meg that children were involved in child welfare cases with no one to represent them. About the same time, Judge Hazel Brown phoned attorney Jim Redeker, looking for a guardian ad litem to represent a baby. In June of 1971, the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association formed the Committee on Child Abuse, with Meg and Jim as Chairs, with a mandate to help fill the gap in legal services for children for whom reports of abuse had been filed. The word went out!

Meanwhile, in March 1972, social worker Solomon Levy petitioned the Family Court to intervene and appoint counsel for a 10 year-old boy who had been hospitalized from severe physical abuse. Meg Greenfield recruited her Pepper Hamilton & Scheetz colleagues Arthur Pressman, Jeffrey Hayes and the late Lloyd Ziff, to represent this child, F.A. These early Child Advocates worked through the night of May 18, 1972, preparing their Petition for Extraordinary Relief to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. They had been denied access to the child’s records and even access to the child! But these young lawyers prevailed, and won the right of a child’s lawyer to gain access to his records on the case. That was only the beginning!

In March 1974, the Legal Intelligencer reported that the Child Abuse Committee was “receiving an unprecedented number of referrals from hospitals.” The Committee had 75 volunteer lawyers, including: Faith Angell, Marlene Lachman, Howard Harrison, John Mullican, Tom Bell, Edward Fitzgerald, Jim Mundy, Harry Oxman, Steve Green, Lou Paul and Norbert Bergholtz. Bob Schwartz , Judith Chomsky, Marsha Levick[[Juvenile Law Center, later; she’s on the Board.]] and Phil Margolis were frequent volunteers after their graduation from Temple Law School and the opening of the Juvenile Law Center in 1975. [[This is a key organization taking MacArthur Foundation Funding, participating in “Models for Change.” While they are alsso famous as prosecuting in the Luzerne Counnty “Kids for Cash” situation, I sometimes wonder if they weren’t so busy ccooperating with systems change, they might’ve noticed the kickback factor, which parrents brought to their attention, not that they themselves discovered…]]

Most of the early referrals came from the hospitals, but calls from Judge Nicholas Cipriani and Judge Edward Rosenberg and even some courageous internal DPW sources would soon inundate the informal mechanism. Four cases in 1972. Twenty-two cases in 1973. Sixty in 1974. Seventy-four children in 1975. Volunteer faculty offered a new multi-disciplinary training program in child abuse at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in a program that continues to this day at the Bar Education Center. Of course, the cases kept coming.

Meanwhile in the legislature and academia, child abuse was getting the world’s attention. Our founders worked with State Senator Mike O’Pake to draft the new Juvenile Act and the Child Advocate legislation. In 1975 as well, Peg O’Shea would found the Child Advocacy Unit at the Defender Association, and the right to counsel would become institutionalized… . .

In the mid-seventies, some lawyers saw volunteer service as competition for fee-generating work, but the leadership of the Philadelphia Bar Association stood tall. When Meg and Jim were honored by the Association with the Fidelity Award in 1976, they announced that The Pennsylvania Public Health Trust Fund had awarded $60,000 as seed money from an anti-trust action! The Bar was full of excitement! On February 1, 1977, the Support Center for Child Advocates was incorporated. The first Board President was Libby Fishman. Carol Schrier was hired as the first Executive Director, fresh out of Temple Law School. Dechert donated office space, and the Pepper and Morgan law firms gave furniture. In 1978, a foundation sent a large three-year grant, telling Jim and Carol, “We are looking for FUNKY things to fund and you are about as funky as we can get.”

The group moved to 1315 Walnut Street in 1978, and to 801 Arch Street and the Equal Justice Center in 1991. Naomi Post succeeded Carol Schrier as Executive Director in 1983, and Paul DiLorenzo followed in 1987. The Board of Directors appointed General Counsel Frank Cervone as Executive Director in 1992.

From the Guardian ad Litem Project and Adoption and Foster Care Task Force of the 80s, to the Children of Substance Abusing Families (ChildSAF) and the Teen Permanency Project of the 1990s, to the domestic violence/child abuse initiative Families Without Violence, and current work with gay, lesbian and transgender youth, Child Advocates has worked to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and to improve the system of care.

Filed in 1990, the decade-long federal class action known as Baby Neal – with our clients as class members and our staff and volunteers serving as Next Friends – brought sweeping changes at DHS and Family Court. The agency co-sponsored the first National Conference on Kinship Care in 1991, and continues to advance the field with Kids’n’Kin: The Caregiving Program. We were recognized three times with the Glaxo (SmithKline Beecham) Community Health Impact Award for Volunteers for Medically Needy Children and for efforts to improve outcomes measurement for children’s law programs in 1999, 2006 and 2011. In 2000, we received the Please Touch Museum’s Great Friend to Kids Award.

In 2002 we co-founded the National Children’s Law Network, a consortium of eight children’s law centers around the nation that works to ensure that every child is “in school, in the right school, and finishing school.” We were named the 2012 Non-Profit of the Year by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Amazing and hard work. However, I’m going to still point out — it’s a nonprofit taking private and public funding both, and the lawyers chose to lead. The assumption among the bar, naturally, is going to be that they should lead — and that more attorneys = more justiice, and why not change the family courts (rather than possibly examine what the family courts were doing, i.e., around covering up abuse!) to accommodate more of us?

Where’s the public and their right to representative government — which they PAY for — in all this? If the agenda is being set from on high and from out of state, should we continue funding non-representative government in local jurisdictions? Are lawyers, as a class, REALLY the kind of professional we need to solve society’s problems? How many of society’s probelms were caused by professionals — and what’s to be done when this class is collabroating among itself without adequate public input as EQUALS in the mix?

Here’s a well-developed Collaboration Narrative (on the FoundationCenter website, not the ADVOKIDS website; that alone is ffairly unusual, I believe. In this I notice that it was Frank Cervone of the Pennsylvania group and Bernadette Dohrn of Northwestern School of Law (Evanston, IL — = North of Chicago)’s “Children and Family Justice Center

We are supposed to be literate enough to have a grasp of

Former Terrorists (Dorhn and parents) and the DailyCall in DC:

Inside the DC’s Dinner with former Weather Underground Terrorists 2/6/2012 Jamie Weinstein

CHICAGO, Ill. — At an extravagant penthouse apartment in downtown Chicago, The Daily Caller dined with former terrorists Sunday night.

That’s not a sentence one often has the opportunity to write, but on Super Bowl Sunday former Weather Underground leaders and Obama friends Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn feted TheDC to an elaborate gourmet meal at the home of a very rich friend to fulfill the obligations of a charity auction won by Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson.

Back to the
NCLN self-description found on “”FoundationCenter” website:

Initially our lead funder[**] approved the Network’s leadership of co-directors Frank Cervone (Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia PA) and Bernadine Dohrn (Children and Family Justice Center, Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago IL). Mr. Cervone and Ms. Dohrn identified a slate of candidate organizations, and selected a total of eight(“Partners”) including their own organizations, which were identified as the “Managing Organizations”<. We hired a Project Coordinator to provide staffing support. We created the Participation Agreement (attached) to define Partner Requirements including eligibility, record-keeping, data collection, and commitment to participate in meetings. All 8 Partners continue to participate fully…….

[**”our lead funder” is essentially, here, “mystery money.” We are not told who.]]

Learning to use the public media to advance our advocacy goals was another challenge. At a time when a few notable juvenile offenders were being vilified as “predators” and “untreatable”, we wanted to highlight the broader need for services, supports and public funding for disadvantaged, court-involved youth. We engaged the editor of a leading national publication*** to train Partners in working with the media and shaping the message>. We co-wrote op-eds for placement in diverse locales, and several of our works were published in local and national publications.

{{****notice: which national publication or editor, is not mentioned. Part of the privacy factor..}}

Funding from “Anonymous” donor ($1.5 million), Casey Families, and a nonprofit association of American Trial Lawyers,” …..Casey family fortune is very active in restructuring the American judicial and legal system according to its standards — this includes, FYI, plenty of fatherhood funding throughout the system. I think over at Scranton Political Times (if it’s still posted) I had a whole section (topic) on “Annie E. Casey” foundation. Casey Families isn’t the same, but overall we are talking the family whose fortune came initially from UPS; and they were stricken with a father-absence narrative from the start (she was a widow, as I recall). For a fatherless family, this one made out quite well. This was before it was official family court policy to punish mothers for failing to keep fathers in the family, federally funded…Not that there weren’t plenty of challenges for women (and mothers) in those days also, including inability to vote, lower wages, and havint to send their sons or husbands off to war, etc.]].

Savings: The NCLN and the several Partner Agencies reduced expenses and realized out-of-pocket savings in several ways: shared use of the group’s training manual; use of same curricula nationwide; and reduced printing costs by economies of scale and donation of printing services.

Revenues: The NCLN allowed {{sic. It means “helped”}} the 8 Partner Agencies to attract national attention and national funders. Several large multi-year grants from an anonymous funder, totaling more than $1.5 Million over 6 years, along with two two-year grants from the American College of Trial Lawyers Foundation (total: $100,000) and Casey Family Programs (total: $64,475), provided opportunities that simply would not have been possible for any of our organizations. From these funding sources, NCLN helped to increase operating revenue for each organization, and provided funds to hire a Network Coordinator as well as reimburse Partners for modest travel expenses.

Follow-up recommended…. Do your homework!

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

March 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm

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  1. […] just put up the page on “>Children’s Law Center” (NCLN) and was closing (my computer’s) windows -when I ran across this — from […]

  2. […] Understand “Children’s Law Centers” Excerpt […]

  3. […] UNDERSTANDING that inherent dishonesty in privatizing government “for the sake of children” when in fact, this is simply multiplying the ability of those so ethically “low” as to do this, or so arrogant as to believe that what society needs is more of them, and (correspondingly) LESS involved and less representative government (just shut up, pay your taxes, and be acted upon: we will keep the streets safe, the children educated, and the bad guys away….) — JUST MAYBE this will counteract some of the gullible passivity that’s normal for us. Because we can’t figure out an alternative to funding it through our jobs. Read the rest of this entry » […]

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