Our Discussions


A Child's Cry for Reunification
1 (a pedar)

fyi - Fairfax County is the Northern Virginia suburb of Wash DC with a fairly large Iranian population....

I apologize in advance if this is outside the scope of this alias. But I thought as parents, this might be a more sympathetic audience.

----Original Message Follows----

Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 09:07:26 -0400

Doostaneh Aziz Salam,

I had send out an e-mail regarding this family in September. We still need your assistance. I am sharing the information with you and leave it up to you to decide if you like to help. At anytime if you do not wish to receive such e-mails from me, please send me an e-mail and I will gladly take your name off the list.

Please share this information with others. Thank you for your time :-)

Should you have any questions please fax your questions to: 703-255-3184.

RESTORE JUSTICE: A CHILD'S CRY FOR REUNIFICATION

One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
How much money I had in my bank account,
Nor what my clothes look like,
But the world may be a little better
Because I was important in the life of a child.
We need your help immediately because we believe:

Parents are the best caretakers Children receive the best care from their parents even when parents are poor, under stress and ill Children learn better, function better, and have a better chance to preserve their cultural values and heritage in their own homes Foster care arrangement is detrimental to children because they are deprived from love, nurturing and care of their biological parents Family preservation should be given priority over foster care Removal of this child is illegal and against justice.

Saam, an 8th year-old Iranian boy, born in the U.S., was removed by Fairfax County Child Protective Services (CPS) because his mother missed the bus, came late and Saam was left alone on his 8th birthday for approximately one hour. The CPS has never been able to show any evidence of any child abuse in this family. The mother, with limited English, was initially deprived speaking her own language with the child and was forced to speak only English.

While in temporary foster care, the child was injured seriously. However, no injuries were reported while he was at his own home. During the past nearly two years, Saam's mother was court-ordered to see him only once a week under supervision.

Saam's father abandoned the family five years ago and his mother supported the two boys all by herself. Saam's brother is a senior in high school, but every night goes to Saam's bedroom and holds his bed, crying and thinking about the days they played together. The family has not seen Saam since July 99. The professionals working with the Saam family reported that Saam has already developed symptoms of 'Separation Anxiety Disorder' due to long term and abrupt separation from the family.

Saam's mother never committed any crime, never used any illegal drugs or alcohol. According to the social workers working on the case, she was always a dedicated mother to her two children.

The case was taken before the Circuit Court, after the lower court failed to order in favor of the truth. The higher court's judge did not find the child to be at an imminent risk at the time of removal from home.

Presently, the family attorney has filed an appeal with the Fairfax County Circuit Court, the procedure that required funding both for transcribing the court documents and also for the attorney and court fees.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

We, a group of volunteer professionals who act as family advocates and have been working on this case for the past four years, need your help now, to take the case, LAST CHANCE, before the court, and return the child to his mother.

We need your financial help to the direct rust fund called, Saam Trust Fund, Which is being managed and supervised in a committee composed of a group of social workers, academics, physicians, and the family attorney (names of the committee members may be revealed upon individual contributor's request). Organizations, individuals, and other contributions should send checks to:

Bank of America
Saam's Trust Fund, Account # 004117205286
Mailing Address:
PO Box 3603
McLean, VA 22102

Phone and Fax number for inquiries and questions: 703-255-3184


2 (a madar)

I have a question about this case: if the higher court's judge did not find the child to be at any imminent risk at the time of removal from the home, then why is it necessary to file an appeal? The child should have been returned after this judgment. Also, I would be happy to help if I could have some solid details about the case so I could make up my own mind. A letter with such scant information is not enough to sway me in one direction or another.


3 ( a pedar )

I also share (madar #2)'s view of this letter.

Being involved in reviewing these types of cases, I am certain that the court will not order the removal of child from home unless SOSCF (which is the social worker on the case) presents convincing evidence. The letter sent to us indicates that all the social workers in this case are in support of the mother. Something is not right here (?)

If in fact this case is being reviewed by the court, I suggest you seek help from the Citizen Review Board (CRB) in the County of jurisdiction over this case. They (CRB) are a group of volunteers advocating for the well being of the child and return of child to parent. They will definitely get the court's "ear" if SOSCF is playing hardball with the case.


4 ( pedar #1)

I made an inquiry and here is the response:

===========

It is best if this person sends a fax or leaves a message on the phone number I provided that way the person that has been working on this case which I am helping out "Mrs. Sh." will get back with her.

============

the phone number they are talking about is 703 255 3184


5 ( a madar )

Dear all,

I just got done talking to Mrs. Sh., who is one of the social workers familiar with this case. She told me the history at a high level, and how the child got taken away from his home last year when he was 8. Today he is 9 years old and living with an American woman.

The child's Mother is a single Mother who is trying to make ends meet and raise her kids. The system here can be very cruel in response to some of our cultural composition, one being "I will kill you if you take my child away". If I make such a remark in Iran, it is fully understood as an intense love of a mother for her child and a plea to not take the child away!!! In this country these comments are taken very seriously and literally as substantiated treats.

Guys, and Gals,

This woman needs our help, I left a message this morning with the Case Manager, inquiring about fostering the child in my house to provide the child with a more familiar environment (Iranian). Mrs. Sh. warned me that my call might be ignored and not be answered since other people have been interested but they never got a response back.

Seems to me that the county might have made a mistake in this case and we need to prove this legally and professionally the American way. WE NEED A LAWYER IN FAIRFAX COUTNY OR VICINITY TO PICK THIS CASE UP FOR FREE. There is already a lawyer on the case, per Ms. Sh., a very sincere man, but the money is running out.

I will continue to pursue with the case manager the possibility of fostering the child, but if they even allow this, it is only a Band-Aid. This case needs to be worked in the legal system and brought to a closure (child going back to his mother and brother) soon, before this 9 year old child is hurt by being away from his mother and brother anymore.

IF YOU ARE A LAWYER AND ARE WILLING TO AT LEAST STUDY THE CASE AND HELP THE EXISITNG LAWYER ON THE CASE. PLEASE DROP ME A LINE WITH YOUR PHONE NUMBER

Thank you, (everyone else please offer their prayers for this family)


6 ( a pedar)

Salaam madar #5:

The easiest way for the court to order the return of this little boy home is for the mother to make some changes in her life. Usually the State will stipulate the conditions for returning the child home in a simple agreement called "Service Agreement". The State indicates their expectation of the mother so that the child can return home. These expectations can range from taking drug and alcohol treatment counseling, anger management, parenting classes, getting an apartment, etc., as the case may need.

I suggest someone in Fairfax County voluntarily go and talk to the mother directly. Perhaps even with the help of Ms. Shahrokhi. Find out what the expectations are from her and then explain to her that the best thing she can do for her son is to keep up with the visitations, get a reasonable agreement worked out with the State as to what their expectations are (Service Contract) and refrain from showing "extreme emotion". The system does not respond to emotion, but does respond to action.

In case no one has explained to her yet, there is a brand new federal law, called SB 409, which deals with the time frame the State is obligated to work and offer services to parents. If the parents do not comply with the time line, the child will be removed permanently from them and placed in a permanent home.

I hope the above is helpful. I am not an attorney, but I will be more than glad to help in any which way I can. I would be curious to know what the mother's needs are.


7 ( a pedar)

Salam madar #5,

I'm very hurt by what's going on to this family. It might be difficult for everyone to help financially, but they might want to buy just a postcard for 1 or 2 dollars.

If u want, I can offer u some 1000 postcards about IRAN that u might sell and collect the whole money for this case.

Good luck


8 ( madar # 5)

I share your hurt feelings. Is it possible that you coordinate the sale of your cards and I get you an address to send a check to? I hate to commit to this important task and not be able to fully attend to it. I have two kids (4 and 5!) and a full time and demanding job add to that a husband and you can see I do not have much time left! If you can offer this service for the family, that is if you can afford the time, it would certainly be truly appreciated by me and the family I'm sure. Also I will be your first customer and will buy 100 of them. I think $2.00 is a fair price. Please let me know.

Thank you,


9 ( pedar # 7)

salam madar #5,

I'd have done it with pleasure if only I was in the USA. I think the best plan will be that I send the cards to someone in the USA and then he or she wil dispatch them around.

I can prepare a web page to take the orders centralize the orders.

Don't worry, we'll do it.

Best wishes


10 ( madar # 5)

In that case, I will be happy to do it. I will write to you directly to give you the address. If there are a thousand cards, I might even be able to sell them here locally. Thank you so much for your generous offer.

Also, I need to let everyone know that Mrs. Sh. is very happy to receive your faxes with questions, she would like to be able to answer back, but she has no access to email, so PLEASE ADD YOUR CALL BACK TELEPHONE NUMBER ON THE FAXES so that she can reply.

Thanks,


11 ( madar # 5)

Salaam,

Look, I don't want to put a damper on this "Child wants...." e-mail request for funds, but I'd sure like to caution your readers that it could be a fraud. First off, it just doesn't sound true based on my experiences with the court system.

It could be real, but there are a lot of charlatans out there. I'd suggest that one of your readers who live near there check it out.


12 ( madar # 5)

I live near "There". I can assure you that this is not a fraud, I have talked to the Case Manager and the child and the situation is very much real. Thank you for your word of caution.

Regards,

Ps. I have received word from an attorney in California (thank you!), I will contact her for consultation. Also Seems like we may be able to raise at least $2000.00 for the mother (thanks to generosity of pedar # 7). So things are looking better. (:


13 ( a pedar)

Subject: Confirming a "CRY FOR HELP"

Bany Aadam A'zaayeh yekdigarand Keh dar aafarinesh ze yek goharand
Cho ozvy be dard aavarad roozegar Degar ozv haa raa namaanad garaar

Dear friends:

There is a mother in need of legal help in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has been struggling with the State for some time now for getting her 9 year old son back from placement in foster care. She is not a model citizen but is a very caring mother with very limited financial means. After two years of struggling with the System, she has lost her parental rights and is now appealing her case. I have talked to one of the social workers that was involved in her counseling (a very caring Iranian Woman). She has explained to me, in detail, the situation of this mother and the need for good legal representation so that she can get her child back. I am convinced that the mother is a victim of "cultural" misunderstanding.

We can help in two ways.

1) By monetary donations so that her present attorney can keep moving the case forward. Her present attorney is American and has been more than understanding and has helped quite a lot. However, he needs help.

2) By finding a local Iranian Attorney in Virginia that can either pick up this case or help the present attorney, and convince the court that the mother has the support of her community and can provide for her son.

The address for sending donations is:

Bank of America
Saam's Trust Fund, Account # 004117205286
Mailing Address:
PO Box 3603
McLean, VA 22102

The best thing for this case is for us to have an Attorney in Fairfax County to either help this mother's attorney or pick up the case.

Please pass this message to people on your mailing lists and let's help a mother in need.

If you need more information, please feel free to contact me or any of the original writers.

Thank you all,


14 ( a madar)

It is very difficult to donate funds when one knows absolutely nothing pertinent about the case. These emails have been posted now for some time and I am partial to any mother who has her child taken away by the government. I agree that the government often makes despicable decisions regarding children, especially multicultural children. However, I still don't know exactly why this child was taken away from the mother. All the emails have concentrated on obtaining help, either legal or monetary, in order to reverse the sorry situation. What does it mean when you say "the mother is not a model citizen"? Iranian or American, a mother should be a model citizen, unless we define the phrase differently. And has anyone talked to the child? It's not fair to appeal to our sense of obligation to donate help and money without giving us the entire story so we can decide for ourselves. Perhaps we could know the email address of the social worker involved in the case. Shouldn't we know both sides of the story? After all, it is the well-being of the child that is of paramount importance.


15 ( a pedar # 13)

Dear madar #14:

I can understand your need for more information. However, being involved in these types of cases here in Oregon, I can say that the details of these cases are "confidential". You are absolutely right that every mother should be a model citizen. However, if they were, then there would be no need for agencies such as Children's Services Division (CSD).

I agree with you that we must be skeptical initially. I was myself. However, I have talked directly with some of the people involved in the case and I am convinced that she (the mother) needs help. As I have mentioned before, I am involved with these types of cases in Oregon and know how the process and the "system" works. The mother in need did not, and now she is in deep trouble.

I don't think that it's appropriate to discuss her case "over the net". However, if you or anyone else would like to help and will do so by getting more specifics, please feel free to call me. THE NEED IS REAL.

Regards,


Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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