What if I told you that out of the 3.5 million children removed from their families every year by Children and Family Services, 2.7 million are wrongfully removed.
What does it mean to be wrongfully removed? It’s when a judge decides that allegations are false and/or the CFS returns the children to their parents without a judgment. One of those cases of being wrongfully removed is Stevevonna Evan’s case.
Currently, Ms. Evans serves as a councilwoman for the City of Adelanto, California, and recently launched her non-profit, Haven’s Future – but it was a series of heartache and defeat that has lead her to where she is now – fighting for a difference, to help other victims within the system get the justice they deserve and to help fix the problems within the CFS.
A little over eight years ago, Stevevonna lost her daughter, Haven, who was only 5 weeks old.
Her death catapulted their family into a CFS infestation, and after six weeks of interviews, examinations, and providing documentation, the CFS decided to remove her two living children and build a case against them. This case lasted over a year, but Stevevonna was able to gain full custody of her now 17-year-old son. However, the judge ruled that it would be detrimental to her now a nine-year-old son to return him to her as he’d been with her mom longer than with her, so her mother adopted him.
Fast forward 4 years, Stevevonna and her husband, had another son, and the CFS came back again and took him with the only allegation being that they had a case 4 years prior. After 2 years of fighting, another judge came back with the same judgment, “he has never lived with you, so it would be detrimental to him to remove him from the only home he’s ever known” parental rights terminated, and her sister adopted him.
Stevevonna’s story isn’t rare. In fact, it’s all too familiar to those within the foster care and those currently advocating for change, and that’s what Haven’s Future is all about; change. Its sole objective is to help protect the rights of children and their families as they navigate through the difficult, confusing, and detrimental system that is Children and Family Services.
Haven’s Future looks to build facilities that will house families that have been accused of abuse in hopes of keeping families together while CFS builds their case. Their facilities will have 2 and 3 bedroom suites where the families will be monitored 24/7 to ensure the safety of the children. In addition, they will provide all the services that CFS typically recommends a family do, such as Parenting classes, anger management, AA, and therapy. They will also be in partnership with a group of lawyers who will assist the families in fighting their cases.
You can learn more about Stevevonna’s and other cases like hers as well as how you can support Haven’s Future.