In Camden County, Georgia, six families have joined forces with Libertarian activist Scott Cohen’s “You Are the Power” initiative to highlight a grave concern: the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has been accused of seizing children unnecessarily to receive more federal funding. This issue, which has caused immense distress to many families, was addressed at a press conference on May 13th, 2024, in front of the Juvenile Justice Court Building in Woodbine, Georgia.

Introducing Red Beach Nation: Veteran-Founded Patriotic Apparel

During the press conference, Corey Sullivan, one of the affected parents, spoke about his ordeal. He and his wife, Diana, are fighting to regain custody of their three children after they were accused of child abuse when their baby was found to have multiple fractures. The Sullivans maintain that there is a medical explanation for their child’s injuries and have spent upwards of $80,000 in their legal battle. “My biggest complaint is that we have so much medical proof in our favor from the time that she was pregnant with our daughter to now and they don’t want to hear it,” Sullivan said. “They have an agenda.”

The families, represented by attorney Kevin Gough, also highlighted the broader issues within DFCS. Gough mentioned a case involving a DFCS employee who had been reported for inappropriate behavior with children but had not been charged. Additionally, another DFCS employee, Donnelle Hill, was arrested in April on charges of aggravated sodomy. According to a police report, Hill allegedly propositioned a mother to perform oral sex to avoid losing her children.

The investigation conducted by U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff found that between 2018 and 2022, 1,790 children in DFCS care were reported missing, with 410 of these children likely being victims of child sex trafficking. These findings were part of a broader investigation into systemic failures within DFCS, revealing that the agency failed to properly assess and respond to threats to children’s safety in 84% of reviewed cases. Senator Ossoff emphasized that this issue is not merely about statistics but about the real, vulnerable children who rely on state agencies for their safety.

The allegations against DFCS also include claims that the agency operates as a “discount adoption agency,” prioritizing adoption over reunification due to financial incentives. In Camden County, the reunification rate is alarmingly low, with only about 10-11% of children returning to their biological families, compared to a national average of nearly 50%. This financial incentive creates a perverse system where the more adoptions DFCS facilitates, the more federal dollars they receive, making child removal a lucrative business.

As these six families continue to fight for justice and reform, the allegations against DFCS demand urgent attention. The practices of seizing children unnecessarily for financial gain not only violate the rights of families but also inflict profound harm on the most vulnerable members of society. It is imperative that policymakers and the public scrutinize and address these issues to ensure that the welfare of children and families is genuinely prioritized.

For more details, please refer to the reports and findings from Senator Jon Ossoff’s investigation.