To: Mike Dewine, Kamala Harris
Avery's Law: Children's Rights/Immutable Circumstances
A child's right to prohibit reunification to a custodian convicted of felony child abuse against a child under the age of 13 where the crime committed resulted in physical or mental harm.
Immutable Circumstance: The creation of a “tag” added to a criminal charge much like the tag of a special circumstance. “Special circumstance being an act of the accused or conditions under which the crime was committed.” The immutable circumstance would be unchangeable over time or unable to be changed when a criminal charge pertains to a victim under the age of 13. It is actionable when the accused committed a crime of abuse, malice, endangerment, and or neglect that was either felonious in nature or a secondary charge of similarity. The immutable circumstance tag would adhere to that criminal charge. This tag's immutable construct would define that the accused be prohibited from reunifying to the said victim through legal interaction by any entity designed to do such.
Once a person has the attachment of immutable circumstance, it would eliminate this party from child protection services and or the courts’ ability to restore these parties’ custodianship to said child.
Why is this important?
The importance of a tag of immutable circumstances should speak for itself. For it is a condition that cannot evolve by crime or resolution.
When a crime against a child threatens that child's life, we should never permit the interference of an agency to lessen the value of that life. Yet, we have done so through outdated laws dictating that all parents have rights to their children & that concept, at times, is deadly.
Child Protection is a state's service. Its purpose is to investigate, educated, & reunify. The courts often adapt to the decisions made by that agency. Meaning a child's life is in the hands of a social worker. Yet, if that agent causes harm to that child via their choices, that social worker is immune to prosecution.
The concept of an immutable circumstance tag would, at minimum, protect the children who fell into the direst of situations.
In my history, I had a mother who had historical markers from injuring two of her children. One by strangulation & one by near deadly force within a year of one another. Both were in court for custody at the same time with two different outcomes.
The child of strangulation was not under the services of child protection. The courts classified the mother as a threat & reunification was void. The child of deadly force was under child protection. The ruling was that the mother was appropriate & reunification took place.
The difference, the child not in the service survived.
The policy of the agency states they must try to rehabilitate these parents. But should this be a standard policy? It should not.
We cannot begin to change the laws or policies that have been in place for decades, but what we can change is who would be applicable for those policies to apply.
With immutable circumstances added to a felonious criminal charge, we can ween the direst of children away from the possibility of reunification to parents that should never have the opportunity to harm that child again. Hense, saving their lives, their future, & the person they may become if we keep violence out of a life already scarred.