GREAT FALLS - A group of protesters claim the Department of Public Health and Human Services is illegally kidnapping their children, and using them as cash for federal funding. KFBB had a chance to visit the protest at the Cascade County Courthouse, and talk with some of the protesters about their reasoning behind the accusations.
“The corruption of CPS is absolutely horrible,” said Monty Bauch, a concerned citizen and one of the protesters
Concerned Citizen Monty Bauch was one of the people protesting against DPHHS’s Child Protective Services, with a single message in mind.
“As Montana state citizens, we are here today to re-dress our grievances to the Montana state government who has allowed CPS, a non-profit organization, to freely infringe upon our civil rights and liberties daily,” said Destiny Field, who organized and attended the protest.
Many at the protest said CPS was not only wronging them, but their children especially.
“If your kids are in it for a minute, or years, the damage is already done. When you get that kid back, you need to take them to counseling,” said Bauch. “And you need counseling yourself to how to deal with the new child that you got back, because you're not going to get the child back. It may look like the one you gave them, but it's not going to be the same kid.”
Some protesters have even gone as far as to say that CPS taking their children was a crime in itself.
“They're illegally removing children with no court orders, no evidence,” said Field.
“They're kidnapping children on a daily basis to meet their quotas for their federal funding,” said Bauch.
KFBB reached out to DPHHS, and received a written statement from the department denying the allegations. The agency wrote:
“We make every effort to keep children safe within their home. CFSD provides in-home safety services to prevent placement of children into foster care, out-of-home safety services, and reunification services that include working with the parents to identify those services needed to reunite the parents and child safely."
DPHHS went on to say that reunification was their primary goal, and that they’re making every effort to keep children safe within their homes.
“A child’s safety must be our top priority,” DPHHS continues. “To this end, CFSD provides in-home services to preserve, strengthen and stabilize families.”
Despite the values of Child Protective Services, some in the community say they feel the system is flawed.
“This is what the movement is about. We want parents to know their rights and know how to exercise their rights,” said Field.
“You can't do this. It’s got to stop. You got to tear down the whole system and re-do it,” said Bauch.