Lawyer was targeted by DSS, siblings say

Lawyer was targeted by DSS, siblings say

There are 202 comments on the Berkshire Eagle story from Mar 13, 2008, titled Lawyer was targeted by DSS, siblings say. In it, Berkshire Eagle reports that:

A Dalton man charged with kidnapping his children after failing to surrender them to the state Department of Social Services has been released on bail.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Berkshire Eagle.

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Lani

Montague, MA

#1 Mar 13, 2008
D.S.S. has become power hungry. They have taken kids away from parents for no other reason than a tale told without confirmation. They do not seek the truth either. Too many kids lie to get out of trouble they put themselves in and really dont care how much it hurts thier parents. Most foster homes are over crowded and make it tempting to kids to keep telling lies by giving them either all or part of the money welfare pays the foster home for the child's care. Time to investigate the homes and D.S.S.
scott

Rensselaer, NY

#2 Mar 13, 2008
i would like to donate $0.00 dollars
ANON NIM MUS

Syracuse, NY

#3 Mar 13, 2008
It is quite clear to me that these children should be placed in the care of extended family before being shipped off to foster homes. I hope that this issue gets resolved before more damage is done to those little people that agencies and laws like these are supposed to protect - THE CHILDREN.
Serious

Richmond, MA

#4 Mar 13, 2008
My thoughts and prayers to everyone dealing with this bascially garbage situation.
GTB

Springfield, MA

#5 Mar 13, 2008
It is obvious that we are not getting the whole story here. Of course DSS makes every attempt to find suitable relatives to take care of children that have to be removed from the home for one reason or another. DSS has to respond to all reports of abuse. That is their function. Their mandate is to keep children safe and to support families. I think it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the welfare of children.
And The Beat Goes On

Northampton, MA

#6 Mar 13, 2008
ANON NIM MUS wrote:
It is quite clear to me that these children should be placed in the care of extended family before being shipped off to foster homes. I hope that this issue gets resolved before more damage is done to those little people that agencies and laws like these are supposed to protect - THE CHILDREN.
Connecticut is just as bad. It's more about DCF (Connecticut equivlent) and their agenda than the children and families. Also, Connecticut gets money from the Feds for every child in their custody. One of the shams of the disgraced Govenor Rowland administration. In other words, They make money on this.
And The Beat Goes On

Northampton, MA

#7 Mar 13, 2008
GTB wrote:
It is obvious that we are not getting the whole story here. Of course DSS makes every attempt to find suitable relatives to take care of children that have to be removed from the home for one reason or another. DSS has to respond to all reports of abuse. That is their function. Their mandate is to keep children safe and to support families. I think it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the welfare of children.
SURE! That's why the Legislature has moved to clean up DSS, in light of that poor girl that had they crap beat out oh her.
Simple Jane

Syracuse, NY

#8 Mar 13, 2008
Is it safer for these children to be with family in Russia or to be with family in the USA ? Apparently leaving them with DSS is the last choice. Why ?
Thomas Payne

Glenside, PA

#9 Mar 13, 2008
GTB wrote:
It is obvious that we are not getting the whole story here. Of course DSS makes every attempt to find suitable relatives to take care of children that have to be removed from the home for one reason or another. DSS has to respond to all reports of abuse. That is their function. Their mandate is to keep children safe and to support families. I think it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the welfare of children.
It is official DSS policy and well established in the child welfare profession that children should be first placed with other family before any other option is considered. Foster Care is destructive and children in DSS care are routinely damaged and abused.
Thomas Payne

Glenside, PA

#10 Mar 13, 2008
Simple Jane wrote:
Is it safer for these children to be with family in Russia or to be with family in the USA ? Apparently leaving them with DSS is the last choice. Why ?
DSS is notoriously inept at caring for children - Abuse of children in DSS custody is rampant. 79 of 100 children who die each year in Massachusetts are in DSS custody. Two thirds of children in the care of DSS are being administered psychotropic drugs. In Massachusetts, DSS has knowingly approved scores of convicted criminals to be foster parents, including child abusers, drug dealers, habitual drunk drivers, kidnappers, armed robbers and other violent offenders. Recently, a foster care mother was indicted on second degree murder in the death of a four year old child in foster care. A Massachusetts legislative committee concluded after a 5 month investigation that children in state care were often worse off than they were in the original homes from which they were removed. The National Coalition for Child Protective Reform published a study of 15,000 children that concluded that foster care is much more damaging to children than keeping them with their families. Massachusetts DSS is infamous for ignoring reports of abuse within their own care and even harassing individuals who criticize their system and methods, while being vociferously aggressive in their pursuit of children from their natural parents.

Massachusetts is far more likely (over 30% more likely) than most other states to remove children from their homes. The median length of stay in Massachusetts DSS foster care is 15 months.

A recent New York Times article tates “Massachusetts Foster Care Shaken by Abuse Cases” and confirms that 20% of 13,000 children in foster care have been in temporary placement for more than four years. Over half of these children have been moved from home to home. Alec Gray, DSS Counsel stated that “By law, it’s unclear whether the child’s best interest is the state’s top priority”.
Thomas Payne

Glenside, PA

#11 Mar 13, 2008
If the abuse charges were bogus, and the children should have been placed with other family members, then wouldn't that make the kidnapping charges bogus too? Judge Perachi gave custody of the children to DSS in a hearing where the parents and children were absent - highly unusual and possibly illegal? This father was placed in solitary confinement for a month after voluntarily surrendering himself to sort out the mess that DSS and Judge Perachi made on bogus charges. Is anyone in the Berkshires afraid that this could be done to them?
GTB

Springfield, MA

#12 Mar 13, 2008
I agree Mr. Payne. Children should be placed with relatives before being placed in foster care. That is my point. There must be a reason why they were not placed with relatives.
Bob

Ludlow, MA

#13 Mar 13, 2008
DSS they think there god in MASS.
Family Friend

United States

#14 Mar 13, 2008
The portion of this article that states that Mr. Piccone was evasive when DSS and the Dalton Police went to the home initially is completely inaccurate. If you look at the web site you will see a video where Mr. Piccone states CLEARLY that he is ameanable to having his children interviewed AS LONG AS IT IS VIDEO TAPED!!! Thats when Heather Nietsche (who was laughing about this situation by the way) went running from the house. Additionally, police reports from the night in question state unequivocally that the children appeared to be well cared for and did not appear to have been abused...or words to that effect. I KNOW....I HAVE SEEN THESE REPORTS AND THE VIDEO...APPARENTLY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE HAVE NOT!!!!!!!

“What are you looking at?”

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#15 Mar 13, 2008
Before you make the blanket statement that children should be palced in the family BEFORE being moved to foster homes...consider that many of the "families" of those children at risk have been party to the abuse.

If a grandmother watches her daughter abuse her grandson...then why place the child with the grandmother.
If a girl ran away from home due to sexual abuse, then had a child, would you immediately want to place her child back with her family?

In the end children should be placed in the SAFEST environment that also allows their social and educational development. Sometimes that will be with the family, sometimes that will be someplace else.
Family Friend

United States

#16 Mar 13, 2008
Swinson

Before taking the drastic step of removing the custody of children from their parents, don't you think there needs to be at least a modicum of actual evidence??????? Or do you think children should be removed merely on an allegation!

Think hard before you answer...DSS may be at your door someday!!!
mmee

Bloomington, IL

#17 Mar 13, 2008
"...Their mandate is to keep children safe and to support families." It might be their mandate but it isn't the reality. Ask any parent unfortunate enough to have DSS involvement if they feel "supported". You'll hear horror stories of how DSS uses intimidation tactics and half truths on these families. Sometimes outright lies. Children not being able to have contact (person or phone) with their parents or only being able to see their parents for an hour once or twice a month. Supervised.

"...Is anyone in the Berkshires afraid that this could be done to them? "

Every day.

"...DSS is notoriously inept at caring for children..." Amen to that.
mag05

Pittsfield, MA

#18 Mar 13, 2008
DSS is a group on a power trip. They are as concerned about these children as they are about the parents they take them from. Its all about seeing how many cases they can handle in a day, its a competion.(Unfortunitally,Im an insider in this field)

“What are you looking at?”

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#19 Mar 13, 2008
Family Friend wrote:
Swinson
Before taking the drastic step of removing the custody of children from their parents, don't you think there needs to be at least a modicum of actual evidence??????? Or do you think children should be removed merely on an allegation!
Think hard before you answer...DSS may be at your door someday!!!
I am not saying anything about the proof or lack there of. I am saying that if a decision is made (and not saying if it was right or wrong)...saying that the "best place" to then place the child is with another family member, is not always correct.

Please READ before you comment.

The decision of DSS, in this case or otherwise, is not in my relm of expertise, as I do not have all the evidence and facts of the case.

It is equally incorrect to state that all actions of DSS, with regards of removing children from homes is flawed. Simply put each is a case by case basis and the "facts" presented in a newspaper article are not the actual facts of the case nor should be used as such.
Thomas Paine

United States

#20 Mar 13, 2008
Family Friend wrote:
The portion of this article that states that Mr. Piccone was evasive when DSS and the Dalton Police went to the home initially is completely inaccurate. If you look at the web site you will see a video where Mr. Piccone states CLEARLY that he is ameanable to having his children interviewed AS LONG AS IT IS VIDEO TAPED!!! Thats when Heather Nietsche (who was laughing about this situation by the way) went running from the house. Additionally, police reports from the night in question state unequivocally that the children appeared to be well cared for and did not appear to have been abused...or words to that effect. I KNOW....I HAVE SEEN THESE REPORTS AND THE VIDEO...APPARENTLY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE HAVE NOT!!!!!!!
You can actually view part of the video of the father volunteering his children to the interviews as long as it is videotaped while Ms. Nietsche laughs at him and walks out at http://www.BerkshireHorror.com/Civil_Rights_A... and scroll halfway down the page to play the video.

It's interesting that Heather Nietsche said "DSS doesn't do video" in light of the fact that DSS Commissioner Angelo McClain distributed digital cameras to ALL DSS social workers in October. See article in Patriot Ledger http://www.southofboston.net/specialreports/r...

Her refusal to record the interviews was clearly not consistent with DSS policy and was one of the escalating decisions in this matter.

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