|Georgia State Senator Nancy Schaefer
My introduction into child protective service cases was
due to a grandmother in an adjoining state who called me with her tragic story. Her two granddaughters had been taken from
her daughter who lived in my district. Her daughter was told wrongly that if she wanted to see her children again she should
sign a paper and give up her children. Frightened and young, the daughter did. I have since discovered that parents are often
threatened into cooperation of permanent separation of their children.
The children were taken to another county and
placed in foster care. The foster parents were told wrongly that they could adopt the children. The grandmother then jumped
through every hoop known to man in order to get her granddaughters. When the case finally came to court it was made evident
by one of the foster parent's children that the foster parents had, at any given time, 18 foster children and that the foster
mother had an inappropriate relationship with the caseworker.
In the courtroom, the juvenile judge, acted as though
she was shocked and said the two girls would be removed quickly. They were not removed. Finally, after much pressure
being applied to the Department of Family and Children Services of Georgia (DFCS), the children were driven to South Georgia
to meet their grandmother who gladly drove to meet them.
After being with their grandmother two or three days, the
judge, quite out of the blue, wrote up a new order to send the girls to their father, who previously had no interest in the
case and who lived on the West Coast. The father was in "adult entertainment". His girlfriend worked as an "escort" and his
brother, who also worked in the business, had a sexual charge brought against him.
Within a couple of days the father
was knocking on the grandmother's door and took the girls kicking and screaming to California.
The father developed
an unusual relationship with the former foster parents and soon moved back to the southeast, and the foster parents began
driving to the father's residence and picking up the little girls for visits. The oldest child had told her mother and grandmother
on two different occasions that the foster father molested her.
To this day after five years, this loving, caring blood
relative grandmother does not even have visitation privileges with the children. The little girls are in my opinion permanently
traumatized and the young mother of the girls was so traumatized with shock when the girls were first removed from her that
she has not recovered.
Throughout this case and through the process of dealing with multiple other mismanaged cases
of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), I have worked with other desperate parents and children across the
state because they have no rights and no one with whom to turn. I have witnessed ruthless behavior from many caseworkers,
social workers, investigators, lawyers, judges, therapists, and others such as those who "pick up" the children. I have been
stunned by what I have seen and heard from victims all over the state of Georgia.
In this report, I am focusing on
the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). However, I believe Child Protective Services nationwide has
become corrupt and that the entire system is broken almost beyond repair. I am convinced parents and families should be warned
of the dangers.
The Department of Child Protective Services, known as the Department of Family and Children Service
(DFCS) in Georgia and other titles in other states, has become a "protected empire" built on taking children and separating
families. This is not to say that there are not those children who do need to be removed from wretched situations and need
protection. This report is concerned with the children and parents caught up in "legal kidnapping," ineffective policies,
and DFCS who do does not remove a child or children when a child is enduring torment and abuse. (See Exhibit A and Exhibit
In one county in my District, I arranged a meeting for thirty-seven families to speak freely and without fear. These
poor parents and grandparents spoke of their painful, heart wrenching encounters with DFCS. Their suffering was overwhelming.
They wept and cried. Some did not know where their children were and had not seen them in years. I had witnessed the "Gestapo"
at work and I witnessed the deceitful conditions under which children were taken in the middle of the night, out of hospitals,
off of school buses, and out of homes. In one county a private drug testing business was operating within the DFCS department
that required many, many drug tests from parents and individuals for profit. In another county children were not removed when
they were enduring the worst possible abuse.
Due to being exposed, several employees in a particular DFCS office were
fired. However, they have now been rehired either in neighboring counties or in the same county again. According to the calls
I am now receiving, the conditions in that county are returning to the same practices that they had before the light was shown
on their deeds.
Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide, I am convinced there is no responsibility and no accountability
in the system.
I have come to the conclusion:
that poor parents often times are targeted to lose their
children because they do not have the where-with-all to hire lawyers and fight the system. Being poor does not mean you are
not a good parent or that you do not love your child, or that your child should be removed and placed with strangers;
that all parents are capable of making mistakes and that
making a mistake does not mean your children are always to be removed from the home. Even if the home is not perfect, it is
home; and that's where a child is the safest and where he or she wants to be, with family;
that parenting classes, anger management classes, counseling
referrals, therapy classes and on and on are demanded of parents with no compassion by the system even while they are at work
and while their children are separated from them. This can take months or even years and it emotionally devastates both children
and parents. Parents are victimized by "the system" that makes a profit for holding children longer and "bonuses" for not
that caseworkers and social workers are oftentimes guilty
of fraud. They withhold evidence. They fabricate evidence and they seek to terminate parental rights. However, when charges
are made against them, the charges are ignored;
that the separation of families is growing as a business
because local governments have grown accustomed to having taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets;
that Child Protective Service and Juvenile Court can always
hide behind a confidentiality clause in order to protect their decisions and
keep the funds flowing. There should be open
records and "court watches"! Look who is being paid! There are state employees, lawyers, court investigators, court personnel,
and judges. There are psychologists, and psychiatrists, counselors, caseworkers, therapists, foster parents, adoptive parents,
and on and on. All are looking to the children in state custody to provide job security. Parents do not realize that social
workers are the glue that holds "the system" together that funds the court, the child's attorney, and the multiple other jobs
including DFCS's attorney.
that The Adoption and the Safe Families Act, set in motion
by President Bill Clinton, offered cash "bonuses" to the states for every child they adopted out of foster care. In order
to receive the "adoption incentive bonuses" local child protective services need more children. They must have merchandise
(children) that sell and you must have plenty of them so the buyer can choose. Some counties are known to give a $4,000 bonus
for each child adopted and an additional $2,000 for a "special needs" child. Employees work to keep the federal dollars flowing;
that there is double dipping. The funding continues as
long as the child is out of the home. When a child in foster care is placed with a new family then "adoption bonus funds"
are available. When a child is placed in a mental health facility and is on 16 drugs per day, like two children of a constituent
of mine, more funds are involved;
that there are no financial resources and no real drive
to unite a family and help keep them together;
that the incentive for social workers to return children
to their parents quickly after taking them has disappeared and who in protective services will step up to the plate and say,
"This must end! No one, because they are all in the system together and a system with no leader and no clear policies will
always fail the children. Look at the waste in government that is forced upon the tax payer;
that the "Policy Manuel" is considered "the last word"
for DFCS. However, it is too long, too confusing, poorly written and does not take the law into consideration;
that if the lives of children were improved by removing
them from their homes, there might be a greater need for protective services, but today all children are not always safer.
Children, of whom I am aware, have been raped and impregnated in foster care and the head of a Foster Parents Association
in my District was recently arrested because of child molestation;
that some parents are even told if they want to see their
children or grandchildren, they must divorce their spouse. Many, who are underprivileged, feeling they have no option, will
divorce and then just continue to live together. This is an anti-family policy, but parents will do anything to get their
children home with them.
fathers, (non-custodial parents) I must add, are oftentimes
treated as criminals without access to their own children and have child support payments strangling the very life out of
that the Foster Parents Bill of Rights does not bring out
that a foster parent is there only to care for a child until the child can be returned home. Many Foster Parents today use
the Foster Parent Bill of Rights to hire a lawyer and seek to adopt the child from the real parents, who are desperately trying
to get their child home and out of the system;
that tax dollars are being used to keep this gigantic system
afloat, yet the victims, parents, grandparents, guardians and especially the children, are charged for the system's services.
that grandparents have called from all over the State of
Georgia trying to get custody of their grandchildren. DFCS claims relatives are contacted, but there are cases that prove
differently. Grandparents who lose their grandchildren to strangers have lost their own flesh and blood. The children lose
their family heritage and grandparents, and
parents too, lose all connections to their heirs.
that The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in
1998 reported that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official
"safety", these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population.
That according to the California Little Hoover Commission
Report in 2003, 30% to 70% of the children in California group homes do not belong there and should not have been removed
from their homes.
my desk are scores of cases of exhausted families and troubled children. It has been beyond me to turn my back on these suffering,
crying, and sometimes beaten down individuals. We are mistreating the most innocent. Child Protective Services have become
adult centered to the detriment of children. No longer is judgment based on what the child needs or who the child wants to
be with or what is really best for the whole family; it is some adult or bureaucrat who makes the decisions, based often on
just hearsay, without ever consulting a family member, or just what is convenient, profitable, or less troublesome for a director
I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to these families that I am not sure if I even believe reform
of the system is possible! The system cannot be trusted. It does not serve the people. It obliterates families and children
simply because it has the power to do so. Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It's time to pull back the curtain
and set our children and families free.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights
of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy." Proverbs
Call for an independent audit of the Department of
Family and Children's Services (DFCS) to expose corruption and fraud.
Activate immediate change. Every day that passes
means more families and children are subject to being held hostage.
End the financial incentives that separate families.
Grant to parents their rights in writing.
Mandate a search for family members to be given the
adopt their own relatives.
Mandate a jury trial where every piece of evidence
before removing a child from his or her parents.
Require a warrant or a positive emergency circumstance
removing children from their parents. (Judge Arthur G. Christean, Utah
Bar Journal, January, 1997 reported that
"except in emergency
circumstances, including the need for immediate medical care, require warrants upon affidavits of
probable cause before entry upon private property is permitted for the forcible removal of children from their parents.")
Uphold the laws when someone fabricates or presents
false evidence. If a parent alleges fraud, hold a hearing with the right to discovery of all evidence.
Jeremy's Story (Some names withheld due to future hearings)
told to Senator Nancy Schaefer by Sandra (XXXX), a foster parent of
Jeremy for 2 ½ years.
My husband and I received
Jeremy when he was 2 weeks old and we have been the only parents he has really ever known. He lived with us for 27 months.
(XXXX) is the grandfather of Jeremy, and he is known for molesting his own children, for molesting Jeremy and has been court
ordered not to be around Jeremy. (XXXX) is the mother of Jeremy, who has been diagnosed to be mentally ill, and also is known
to have molested Jeremy. (XXXX) and Jeremy's uncle is a registered sex offender and (XXXX) is the biological father, who is
a drug addict and alcoholic and who continues to be in and out of jail. Having just described Jeremy's world, all of these
adults are not to be any part of Jeremy's life, yet for years DFCS has known that they are. DFCS had to test (XXXX) (the grandfather)
and his son (XXXX) (the uncle) and XXXX) to determine the real father. (XXXX) is the biological father although any of them
might have been. In court, it appeared from the case study, that everyone involved knew that this little boy had been molested
by family members, even by his own mother, (XXXX). In court, XXX), the mother of Jeremy, admitted to having had sex with (XXXX)
(the grandfather) and (XXXX) (her own brother) that morning. Judge (XXXX) and DFCS gave Jeremy to his grandmother that same
day. (XXXX), the grandmother, is over 300 lbs., is unable to drive, and is unable to take care of Jeremy due to physical problems.
She also has been in a mental hospital several times due to her behavior.
Even though it was ordered by the court that
the grandfather (XXXX), the uncle (XXXX) (a convicted sex offender), (XXXX) his mother who molested him and (XXXX) his biological
father, a convicted drug addict, were not to have anything to do with the child, they all continue to come and go as they
please at (XXXX address), where Jeremy has been "sentenced to live" for years. This residence has no bathroom and little heat.
The front door and the windows are boarded. (See pictures) This home should have been condemned years ago. I have been in
this home. No child should ever have to live like this or with such people.
Jeremy was taken from us at age 2 ½ years
after (XXXX) obtained attorney (XXXX), who was the same attorney who represented him in a large settlement from an auto accident.
I am told, that attorney (XXXX), as grandfather's attorney, is known to have repeatedly gotten (XXXX) off of several criminal
charges in White County. This is a matter of record and is known by many in White County. I have copies of some records. (XXXX
grandfather), through (XXXX attorney's) work, got (XXXX), the grandmother of Jeremy, legal custody of Jeremy. (XXXX grandfather)
who cannot read or write also got his daughter (XXXX) and son (XXXX) diagnosed by government agencies as mentally ill. (XXXX
grandfather), through legal channels, has taken upon himself all control of the family and is able to take possession of any
government funding coming to these people.
It was during this time that Jeremy was to have a six-month transitional
period between (XXXX grandmother) and my family as we were to give him up. The court ordered agreement was to have been 4
days at our house and 3 days at (XXXX grandmother). DFCS stopped the visits within 2 weeks. The reason given by DFCS was the
child was too traumatized going back and forth. In truth, Jeremy begged us and screamed never to be taken back to (XXXX his
grandmother) house, which we have on video. We, as a family, have seen Jeremy in stores time to time with (XXXX grandmother)
and the very people he is not to be around. At each meeting Jeremy continues to run to us wherever he sees us and it is clear
he is suffering. This child is in a desperate situation and this is why I am writing, and begging you Senator Schaefer, to
do something in this child's behalf. Jeremy can clearly describe in detail his sexual molestation by every member of this
family and this sexual abuse continues to this day.
When Jeremy was 5 years of age I took him to Dr. (XXXX) of Habersham
County who did indeed agree that Jeremy's rectum was black and blue and the physical damage to the child was clearly a case
of sexual molestation.
Early in Jeremy's life, when he was in such bad physical condition, we took him to Egleston
Children Hospital where at two months of age therapy was to begin three times a week. DFCS decided that the (XXXX grandparent
family) should participate in his therapy. However, the therapist complained over and over that the (XXXX grandparent family)
would not even wash their hands and would cause Jeremy to cry during these sessions. (XXXX the grandmother), after receiving
custody no longer allowed the therapy because it was an inconvenience. The therapist reported that this would be a terrible
thing to do to this child. Therapy was stopped and it was detrimental to the health of Jeremy.
During (XXXX grandmother)
custody, (XXXX uncle) has shot Jeremy with a BB gun and there is a report at (XXXX) County Sheriff's office. There are several
amber alerts at Cornelia Wal-Mart, Commerce Wal-Mart, and a 911 report from (XXXX) County Sheriff's Department when Jeremy
was lost. (XXXX grandmother), to teach Jeremy a lesson, took thorn bush limbs and beat the bottoms of his feet. Jeremy's feet
got infected and his feet had to be lanced by Dr. (XXXX). Then Judy called me to pick him up after about 4 days to take back
him to the doctor because of intense pain. I took Jeremy to Dr. (XXXX) in Gainesville. Dr. (XXXX) said surgery was needed
immediately and a cast was added. After returning home, (XXXX), his grandfather and (XXXX), his uncle, took him into the hog
lot and allowed him to walk in the filth.
Jeremy's feet became so infected for a 2nd time that he was again taken back
to Dr. (XXXX) and the hospital. No one in the hospital could believe this child's living conditions.
Jeremy is threatened
to keep quiet and not say anything to anyone. I have videos, reports, arrest records and almost anything you might need to
Please call my husband, Wendell, or me at any time.
Sandra and (XXXX) husband (XXXX)
Failure of DFCS to remove
six desperate children
A brief report regarding six children that Habersham County DFCS
director failed to
remove as disclosed to Senator Nancy Schaefer by Sheriff Deray Fincher of Habersham County.
Sheriff Deray Fincher,
Chief of Police Don Ford and Chief Investigator Lt. Greg Bowen Chief called me to meet with them immediately, which I did
on Tuesday, October 16, 2007.
Sheriff Fincher, after contacting the Director of Habersham County DFCS several times
to remove six children from being horribly abused, finally had to get a court order to remove the children himself with the
help of two police officers.
The children, four boys and two girls, were not just being abused; they were being tortured
by a monster father.
The six children and a live in girl friend were terrified of this man, the abuser. The children
never slept in a bed, but always on the floor. The place where they lived was unfit for human habitation.
on one occasion hit one of the boys across his head with a bat and cut the boy's head open. The father then proceeded to hold
the boy down and sew up the child's head with a needle and red thread. However, even with beatings and burnings, this is only
a fraction of what the father did to these children and to the live-in girlfriend.
Sheriff Fincher has pictures of
the abuse and condition of one of the boys and at the writing of this report, he has the father in jail in Habersham County.
should be noted that when the DFCS director found out that Sheriff Fincher was going to remove the children, she called the
father and warned him to flee.
This is not the only time this DFCS director failed to remove a child when she needed
to do so. (See Exhibit A)
The egregious acts and abhorrent behavior of officials
who are supposed
to protect children can no longer be tolerated.
Senator Nancy Schaefer
50th District of Georgia
302 B Coverdell Office Building
18 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Senator Nancy Schaefer
P O Box 294
Turnerville, Georgia 30580
GBI: Husband shot ex-senator, then self
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
7:14 a.m. Monday, March
The husband of a former state senator shot his wife before turning the
gun on himself in the couple's Habersham County home, the GBI said Saturday night.
A handgun and several letters, including a suicide note written by Bruce
Schaefer to family members, were found in the home he shared with Nancy Schaefer, his spouse and the one-time Georgia politician,
according to John Bankhead, GBI spokesman.
"A GBI medical examiner determined that Mrs. Schaefer died from a single
gunshot wound to the back and Mr. Schaefer died from a single gunshot wound to the chest," Bankhead said in a statement.
Autopsies on the Schaefers were conducted Saturday afternoon, and investigators
said all evidence indicates the deaths were a murder-suicide.
“We’ve got some evidence of why it was done,” Sheriff
Joey Terrell told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Why it happened? That question will never be answered.”
The bodies of Bruce and Nancy Schaefer, 74 and 73, respectively, were found
Friday evening around 6 p.m. by their daughter at the couple’s Clarkesville home. The daughter, one of the Schaefers’
five children, lived in the same gated community as her parents and entered the home when she was unable to reach them. After
finding her parents dead in their bedroom, the woman called 9-1-1.
The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of
the GBI, which sent several investigators to the crime scene Friday evening.
Roger Harvey, a nephew of Nancy and Bruce Schaefer, released a statement
to the AJC on behalf of the couple’s five children.
“We are grieving over this indescribable loss of our parents who
we all adored,” the family statement said. “Our parents were extremely loving and caring people who took great
joy in helping those in need.”
News of the Schaefers’ deaths spread quickly at the state Capitol
Friday evening. Several legislators offered their condolences following the death of a woman known for her conservative, Christian
values, her large family and long-time marriage.
Sen. Don Thomas of Dalton, a friend of the Schaefers, said Friday evening
that he believed Bruce Schaefer had an illness, possibly cancer. The family declined to discuss specifics about the couple.
“In those moments, you are not at your complete sanity,” Sen.
Don Thomas of Dalton, a friend of the Schaefers, said Friday night. “Some people figure the best way is to end it for
both of you. They were married for so long. Loved each other so much. When you see somebody that you love so much, every now
and then, you think the best way out of it is to go and be with the Lord.”
Several notes written by Bruce Schaefer were left behind.
But the Schaefers' daughter told Sheriff Terrell that Bruce Schaefer
was not suffering from any serious illnesses at the time of the shootings, the Gainesville Times reported. Authorities were
unaware of Nancy Schaefer, 73, having any major health problems, Terrell said.
Terrell told the Times that financial problems could have contributed to
"Some financial problems were mentioned [in the notes]," Terrell said.
"That might have been one reason."
A two-term senator, Nancy Schaefer lost her seat in 2008 to Habersham County
Commission Chairman Jim Butterworth in a north Georgia Republican runoff. She represented the 50th district, including Banks,
Franklin, Habersham, Hart, Rabun, Stephens, and Towns counties, and part of White County.
During the family’s 35 years in Atlanta, Schaefer was a candidate
for Atlanta mayor, Georgia lieutenant governor and governor.
The daughter of a North Georgia Superior Court Judge and granddaughter
of a state legislator, Nancy Schaefer became visible to the public in 1985, when she organized a constitutional liberties
rally in Atlanta. In 1986, she founded Schaefer Family Concerns, Inc., a nonprofit foundation dedicated to issues such as
display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings and opposition to abortion.
Nancy Schaefer worked on the campaign team for former New York Republican
Jack Kemp, who ran for president in 1988. During Kemp’s campaign, Schaefer met Rusty Paul, former head of the state
Republican Party and State Senator from North Fulton.
“[With] her passion and tenacity, she was unyielding in her beliefs
about what was important,” Paul said Saturday. “She was one of the leaders in trying to get fundamental Christians
actively engaged in the political process.”
Schaefer was the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor in 1994. In 1998,
she sought the GOP nomination for governor. Her political involvement also extended to the United Nations, where she represented
both Family Concerns and the Southern Baptist Convention at various conferences.
Schaefer will likely be best remembered for efforts to blur the lines between
politics and religion.
Sadie Fields, who chairs the Georgia Christian Alliance, first met and
became friends with Schaefer during the latter’s Atlanta mayoral run. Fields, who saw the Schaefers at a luncheon a
few weeks ago, described her friend as dedicated and unflappable in her commitment to the causes she championed.
“Nancy was a stalwart of conservative causes in Georgia,” Fields
“As long as I’ve known her, she stood for what she believed
in and never backed down. She was the epitome of the Southern gentlewoman. She handled everything with grace and was the epitome
of the quintessential steel magnolia.”
Funeral arrangements for the Schaefers have not been announced.
Staff writers Peralte Paul and Ernie Suggs contributed to this report
Find this article at:
* * * *
We may never really know what happened, but something happened to trigger
Rest in peace, Nancy Schaefer. Go with God. Your work shall go on!
Revelation 14:13 - Then I heard a voice from heaven saying
to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,”
says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”