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quiversR4hunting

Family SUV plunges off cliff in CA - family from WA

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Mama Mia

Reading the latest article is making my rage level go through the roof.

Those children had family that loved them. They were taken from their Aunt, who was in the process of adopting them for ONE mistake !  While the Adoption with the Hart’s went through AFTER one of the women was found guilty of actually abusing a child ! Unconscionable. 

They should NEVER have been taken from their Aunt. Never. I was involved in a Child Protective Services Improvement Project in the past - there HAVE to be structures to support kinship care. And there has  to be acknowledgement that unless the biological parent(s) have been shown to be extremely dangerous - they are likely to sometimes see the children, termination of rights or no. You often see these CPS plans that call for no-contact - it’s not realistic, and it’s a set up for failure. The emphasis should be on making sure that happens safely. Should the Aunt have used the mom for childcare, unsupervised, with such young children? No. But you address that issue, you don’t remove the damn kids. The social worker could have tried to help her find on-call childcare resources, seen about adding a stipend of extra cash so she could turn down the shift, etc. even just simply tell her it was against the rules and not to do it again ffs. 

So many of these assessments of safety and need come down to money. Pure and simple. On every level. Even the article notes how state foster care funding is tied to how quickly kids are adopted out. Money is tied into which family can better care for children - far more than it needs to. The bigger house of strangers with more space per child “wins” over a crowded home with family. 

And both mixed in with $ and racial and cultural biases - there is always the underlying bias ( often not acknowledged ) that if your family raised up the drug addicted / neglectful parent - your whole family is probably trash. And that is especially true if the family is “other” - poor, a different culture than the CPS worker, etc.

Aagghhh ....

 

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hoipolloi
5 hours ago, Howl said:

Also, my fundy-dar started to ping re: the tiny Minnesota adoption agency that had way too many adoption referrals from Texas.  I'm way curious now about that story.  

My fundy-dar started going off, too. Would really like to see some follow-up on that. 

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Pecansforeveryone

I posted on this in a Bates thread where I recommended the book Child Catchers by Katherine Joyce. I will recommend that book again. It really opened my eyes to the need to keep children in their family of origin, if at all possible. Then, secondarily, to keep them in their community of origin if at all possible. 

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Mama Mia
9 hours ago, Pecansforeveryone said:

I posted on this in a Bates thread where I recommended the book Child Catchers by Katherine Joyce. I will recommend that book again. It really opened my eyes to the need to keep children in their family of origin, if at all possible. Then, secondarily, to keep them in their community of origin if at all possible. 

Absolutely. There also needs to be a much more flexible, and on-going, safety net set up whenever possible.  

I’ve worked with some parents who were loving, and bonded, but they just mentally could NOT  care for their kids independently/stay clean/keep creepers away. Permanent supportive family housing ( low-income Housing with on-going service, on-site supervision and monitoring /mentoring ) would be a huge benefit . Respite care. Funds for things like bunk beds and screens so kids can share small spaces. A means to split up financial support and resources between multiple caregivers - sooooo many kids could stay with family if there was a way for Mom’s  Grandma and Dad’s Auntie and family friend Tony could share the responsibility! Or a fund to pay for school clothes eVERY year. So many things that COULD be done, but it’s easier to have systems that fit in neat check-off boxes.

And, equally important, being ok with “good enough” parenting- caregiving. So many systems have a set ideal that doesn’t match the reality of the people they work with. Sure, give parenting classes, and counseling, and substance abuse treatment, of course- but realize that harm reduction is often  preferable to taking a kid from their home and community. Give the kids themselves training in self-care, resiliency, and safety skills. 

And....can you tell this is a topic where  I have very strong opinions ? 

 

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nausicaa

Not to get too into the weeds here, but is anyone else puzzled by the financial aspects of this case?

Apparently only Sarah Hart worked--as a cashier at Kohl's. To support six kids and a SAHM? And they were traveling all the time and owned a large house on the West Coast? Granted, they got $2,000 a month in adoption assistance, but still. They were really only middle class culturally, not in terms of earned income. I wonder if there was family money, and if so, why the family wasn't more involved. 

Also, both were 38 when they died. That means they were only 26 when they were approved for the adoption of the first set of three siblings. They were only 24 when they bought a house in Minnesota and began the adoption process. 

Their young ages and seeming lack of income just really jumps out at me. Especially because I used to nanny for an adoptive family who was active in their adoptee community. Everyone was notably older and wealthier than the average. I can tell you that no one was getting an international adoption approved at age 26 while working an entry level job. 

 

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hoipolloi
35 minutes ago, nausicaa said:

Not to get too into the weeds here, but is anyone else puzzled by the financial aspects of this case?

I'd like to see Kathryn Joyce or someone of her calibre do a whole book on this case. The financials, the sketchy adoption agency in MN, the Texas "oversight" for those kids, the OR & WA oversight -- there is a lot that should be looked at.

 

ETA: Not to mention the psycho-pathology of the two "parents." There was so much wrong there but I doubt it began with their adoptions. Would like to hear from people who knew them when growing up or in college.

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Mama Mia
12 minutes ago, nausicaa said:

Not to get too into the weeds here, but is anyone else puzzled by the financial aspects of this case?

Apparently only Sarah Hart worked--as a cashier at Kohl's. To support six kids and a SAHM? And they were traveling all the time and owned a large house on the West Coast? Granted, they got $2,000 a month in adoption assistance, but still. They were really only middle class culturally, not in terms of earned income. I wonder if there was family money, and if so, why the family wasn't more involved. 

Also, both were 38 when they died. That means they were only 26 when they were approved for the adoption of the first set of three siblings. They were only 24 when they bought a house in Minnesota and began the adoption process. 

Their young ages and seeming lack of income just really jumps out at me. Especially because I used to nanny for an adoptive family who was active in their adoptee community. Everyone was notably older and wealthier than the average. I can tell you that no one was getting an international adoption approved at age 26 while working an entry level job. 

 

Yea, I wondered about that too. Especially, as you point out, with the first set of kids.

I assumed an inheritance, or general family money, or money from a lawsuit for the home purchase. They also are from South Dakota - but both went away to college ( or maybe commuted from home ? - I don’t know if it’s close enough to Minnesota ? But still - out of state tuition ) - and yet only one job, and not one that requires college ? 

It is much easier, I’ve heard, to get approved for domestic adoptions from foster care, particularly of sibling groups. Which, of course, is horrifically ironic since they had family ready to care for them! There can be special incentives and on-going financial support available as well. 

If any of the kids were considered disabled they could have also been receiving Social Security Disability Benefits. And possibly caregiver benefits as well. They may also have been invested in portraying the Kids as disturbed / damaged for that same reason. If the kids qualified for in-home support care, the stay-at home parent could also be paid for care giving. Which would explain why Jennifer was the one accused of abuse, but Sarah (?) took the blame. 

Quite the mysterious rabbit hole, for sure.

 

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Nervous
applejack
1 hour ago, Mama Mia said:

I assumed an inheritance, or general family money, or money from a lawsuit for the home purchase. They also are from South Dakota - but both went away to college ( or maybe commuted from home ? - I don’t know if it’s close enough to Minnesota ? But still - out of state tuition ) - and yet only one job, and not one that requires college ? 

SoDak native here, I grew up in Sioux Falls. Mmmm, commuting into Minnesota doesn't seem particularly likely, there's no schools particularly close to the border that would make commuting a worthwhile venture. Some Community and Technical Colleges in small towns near the border, but nothing that a community and technical school in South Dakota wouldn't have similar enough classes to avoid paying out of state tuition.

But, a quick google search brought up that Jennifer Hart was from Huron, Sarah Hart was from Big Stone City, and they went to Uni in Aberdeen, all in South Dakota, and they didn't move to Minnesota until after they had finished school, however they finished school, whether that was graduating or dropping out.

Huron's about 2 hours northwest of Sioux Falls, Big Stone City is about 2 hours directly north of Sioux Falls, and Aberdeen's a little further northwest of Huron, so they're kind of in the middle of nowhere in eastern South Dakota. For references' sake, Sioux Falls is not very far from the SoDak-Minnesota border.

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Mama Mia
7 hours ago, applejack said:

SoDak native here, I grew up in Sioux Falls. Mmmm, commuting into Minnesota doesn't seem particularly likely, there's no schools particularly close to the border that would make commuting a worthwhile venture. Some Community and Technical Colleges in small towns near the border, but nothing that a community and technical school in South Dakota wouldn't have similar enough classes to avoid paying out of state tuition.

But, a quick google search brought up that Jennifer Hart was from Huron, Sarah Hart was from Big Stone City, and they went to Uni in Aberdeen, all in South Dakota, and they didn't move to Minnesota until after they had finished school, however they finished school, whether that was graduating or dropping out.

Huron's about 2 hours northwest of Sioux Falls, Big Stone City is about 2 hours directly north of Sioux Falls, and Aberdeen's a little further northwest of Huron, so they're kind of in the middle of nowhere in eastern South Dakota. For references' sake, Sioux Falls is not very far from the SoDak-Minnesota border.

Thanks ! I went and found this background article about Jennifer Hart - so strange. Her family life seemed really typical. But she had a falling out with her dad and hadn’t  spoken to him in 17 years. In many ways their home life remind me of a much less extreme version of the Turpins and their 13 tortured children. It brings up the really strange impact of social media on these people. There have always been Families who put on a shiny front in public, but behind closed doors, everything is horrific. But think with social media how much easier that is. Dress the kids up, take them on an outing, post lots of pictures of your happy family. Why would people question it ? And if there are questions - there’s lots of evidence of your happy life. 

https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/04/_devonte_harts_mother_tracing_her_life_from_the_midwest_to_her_drive_off_the_california_cliff.html

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Mama Mia

The above story also quoted friends as saying that the couple frequently described ALL the children as disabled and that they would never have the capacity to care for themselves ( meaning a transfer to adult disability payments ) . If they received the $750 a month federal benefit, per child, that’s an additional $4,500 a month in ( tax free ) income. 

The children would also receive Medicaid, and I would bet $ Jennifer was receiving In-Home Provider support to care for the disabled children. A very, very conservative estimate of another $1,000 a month if only a few kids qualified for this service, at minimal hours. Probably at least double that.

And someone referenced $2,000 a month in adoption support. 

So it seems likely the Hart’s were pulling in close to 100k a year ( tax free ) to keep these kids stunted and abused and pulled out like show ponies for happy photos.

Those are all such vitally important resources for families, then these assholes use them for their own selfish, twisted motives.

:my_angry::my_angry::my_angry:

 

 

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nausicaa

Don't know if anyone else has looked at Jennifer Hart's YouTube channel, but it's pretty interesting. This video in particular really shows how these kids were just coached for this contrived progressive Benetton image she wanted to create. These kids are so obviously coached. Also, I wonder if Devonte was treated better because he was so much more outgoing and better able to "sell" the image. 

Also--Nahko is the lead singer of Jennifer Hart's favorite band Medicine for the People. This looks to me like an awfully desperate attempt at getting his attention and/or getting free tickets. 

 

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TooTired2bOriginal

Written long before their deaths. Someone they didn't fool. https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/10/the-problem-with-hugs/

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Howl
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, TooTired2bOriginal said:

Written long before their deaths. Someone they didn't fool. https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/10/the-problem-with-hugs/

Thanks for posting that. Jennifer Hart was quoted in that article as saying, "He [Devonte] trembled holding a Free Hugs sign as he bravely stood alone in front of the police barricade. Tears rushing from his eyes and soaking his sweater, he gazed upon them not knowing how they would react."

Call me cynical, but now that we know the magnitude of the physical and psychological level of abuse in that household, his tears may have had a much different source. 

 

 

Edited by Howl

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TooTired2bOriginal

That Youtube channel is disturbing. I'm surprised that it hasn't been closed down - esp. showing Devonte dancing in his underwear. Now we know that it could be performing to avoid food deprivation or physical violence. Sick.

Totally agree how the videos are very much staged.

 

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Howl
On 7/14/2018 at 12:00 PM, Mama Mia said:

The above story also quoted friends as saying that the couple frequently described ALL the children as disabled

Cynical me wonders if they deliberately withheld food to keep the kids small.  

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