Parents Enpowerment
Parent Volunteers as Peer Educators
Parents in Action
For Leadership and Human Rights

Goal: Using the train-the-trainer model, by which expects to multiply the number of participants and their leadership role in society; the parents not only transform themselves, but become effective vehicles of social transformation. As the name of our organization states, we emphasize Leadership in a Human Rights frame in relation to the Child Welfare and Public School Systems.

Hours of Training: 10 hours of intensive training to be provided in two weeks.

Description of the Course:

The course is made out of 14 modules, that will be taught in a total of 10 hours. during 5 weeks.

1- General Description of the Child Welfare System (an Overview): Facts, statistics, the ACS, the Foster Care, the Law Guardians, The Family Court, the coming uphill battle, etc. Knowing the Law. Article 10 of the NYS Family Court Act. CAPTA, ASFA. Important Federal Court Decisions. CPS fishing expedition. Cooperating or not cooperating. Psychological Warfare. Class and Race. Disregard for the 4th, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. The Revenge of the Mediocre. Social Engineering. Social Control and Population Control.

2- The Psychological Factor: The need for urgent change and the indispensable transformation. Business as usual is over. The concept of War. The battle of your Life. Your Children and Your Survival is at Stake. Healing the extended family. Creating a support system. Getting rid of petty issues. Unconditional love for your child. Don’t let the system poison you. Golden opportunity for transformation. Rising to the challenge. Convert Your Pain and Anger into Action. Action, the best therapy. Self-Control and Self-Discipline a must. Do not allow them to destroy you Financially and Psychologically. The concept of asymetrical warfare. The concept of Total War. Prepare Yourself for a Long Battle. Focus in getting Your Child Back. Includes Family Court Etiquette: the importance of Your Appearance in Court. Dressing as an Attorney.

3- The 72 Hour Conference and the1028 Hearing: Facts and Rules of the 72 Hour Conference. Facts and Rules of the 1028 Hearing. The importance of this hearing. Changing the odds. Keeping a log of everything. Gathering documentation, affidavits, witnesses, etc. Making Sure that Family Re-Unification is always the goal. From the beginning: pack the Courtroom. Let the Judge know that You are Not Alone. Beware of the 1051A Admission: convenient for ACS, the 18B attorneys, Law Guardians, Foster Care Agencies, Family Court Judges, but rarely for the Parents. DO NOT allow your 18B attorney to coerce you into pleading guilty.

4- Visitations: Your rights. Avoiding confrontations. Getting support. Documenting abuses. Going with a friend. Making complaints. Asserting your rights. Keeping and Strenghtening the Bond: Communicating with your Child everyday. The Service Plan Review (SPR). Turning things around at the SPR. Make allies of your enemies. Getting help from other Parent Advocates. Be aware of provocations. Bring your camera and your tape recorder. Be aware of the Stockholm Syndrome.

5- Services: Foster Care Agencies a profit-driven Industry. They make money by keeping Your Child and Giving you Services. Parenting Classes. Anger Management. Counseling. Psychological Evaluation. Psychiatric Evaluation. Drug Testing. Drug Treatment. They keep moving the target. The longer your Child stays, the more money they make. Keeping you busy all day: on the way to become a parasite, while they profit from you and your Children. The complicity of the ACS prosecutors (lawyers) and the Law Guardians in delaying your case. The rubber stamping job of the Family Judge.

6- Helping your 18B attorney to help you: Your 18B attorney does not have the time or resources to win your case without your help. Keeping a good flow of communication between your Court Appointed attorney and you. Making timely appointments (bring an Advocate with you). Doing the foot work that needs to be done. Asking all the rights questions. Making sure that you and him/her are on the same page. Having copies of All materials and documents. Reviewing carefully all those materials and documents. Making a report for your 18B attorney. Forcing your 18B attorney to do their work. Making sure that all favorable evidence is on the record. Calling witnesses. Developing an strategy to win. Making sure that all evaluations go only to Your Lawyer (and if the evaluation is favorable, then he will share it with everyone else). Never sign or agree to anything without your lawyer present. Use him/her as an excuse to refuse to sign or agree to anything that you are not 100% sure that is in your favor.

7- Appeals: The right to appeal. Challenging wrongful decisions. Getting free counsel for appealing. Appealing prose. How the Appellate Division Works. Rules and Procedures. Timely appeals. We encourage everyone to Appeal all the time as an instrument of system change to force the Appelate Division to realize that Family Court in New York City is an Institutionalized System of Injustice.

8- Writing letters and complaints: Writing to anyone who could be of help: public and elected officials, politicians, the media. Using the media to your advantage. Developing media contacts. Organizing a letter writing campaign. Getting an email address. Use of computers in public libraries: writing in a word processor, saving your work on a diskette, e-mailing your material if necessary. The advantage of Faxing documents over e-mailing them. Going to the ACS Office of Advocacy for help. Searching for the ACS Commisioner or Deputy Commisioners at Public Forums and asking them for help.

9- You, the Activist: Rallies, Demostrations and Getting Allies: Putting pressure on the system by having many people rallying to your cause. Press Releases and Press Conferences. Using the media to help your case. Choosing very carefully your target. Going to Public Hearings, City Council, State Assembly, PTAs, SLTs (School Leadership Teams), CECs (Community Educational Councils), Borough President meetings, CDs (Community Districts), etc and rising your concerns (either through a statement, a question or both). The same goes to attend or even join organizations, coalitions, collectives, etc that we see as beneficial of being educated in our issues, and eventually having them as our allies. The benefit of joining the Steering, Coordinating, Planning, etc, decision making body to assure that our issue is part of the agenda.

10- Helping Others: Mutual Support (Circle of Support), fixing the system, and helping yourself. By advocating for system change you are not only helping others but you are helping yourself. Code of Ethics. Becoming an efficient vehicle for social change. The role of the Parent Advocate: helping one-self, helping others, becoming an agent of system change. The Family Court Patrol.

11- The Fact Finding: Facts and Rules of the Fact Finding Trial. The importance of this process. Here you need all your weapons. Plenty of fact witnesses and Character Witnesses. Changing the odds.

12- The Disposition Hearing: Facts and Rules of the Disposition Hearing. The importance of this hearing. Changing the odds. Making Sure that Re-Unification is the Goal. Beware of Judge's Unwritten agenda in cases where Parent uses psychotropics: Termination of Parental Rights regardless of Parent's Compliance with Agency's Services Plan.

13- The Termination of Parental Rights Hearing (TPR): Facts and Rules of the Hearing. The importance of this hearing. Changing the odds. Adoption Hearing: Facts and Rules of the Adoption Hearing. The importance of this hearing. Re-directing the termination of Parental Rights, in cases where the Parent's Rights have already been terminated. Changing the odds. Forced and Illegal Adoptions: a continuation of the Slavery system.

14- Putting Everything Together: An Overview. Never Giving Up. Looking at the whole picture. Thinking out of the box. Working on the solutions. You, the Spiritual Warrior, Master of the High Game.

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