In the last several weeks, SASSNA has received two clients where Child Protective Services have taken custody of autistic teenagers away from parents because of the parents' "inability to keep the child safe at home". In both cases, it appears on initial review that Alta regional center failed to provide the necessary and legally mandated services to the children and families to appropriately address the autistic teens' problematic behaviors. In addition, there are indications that CPS presented to the court false and/or unsubstantiated claims in CPS's basis for taking custody of the teens. Furthermore, in both cases court-appointed attorneys for the parents and teens appear to have provided significantly poor representation that was complicit with the efforts of CPS.
One case is in Sacramento County and the other in El Dorado County. SASSNA recently made a court appearance in the Sacramento case and was received well by the judicial officer. A hearing in the El Dorado case is scheduled for early November.
So after the government failed the kids and families, the government takes custody of the kids as a solution. Really?
SASSNA has begun aggressive assistance to the two families in order protect the best interest of the two teens involved.