How Title IV Grants work

Judge rules DSHS did not follow the law in case of Enumclaw child

by Michele Johansen & Lexie Tigre, Seattle Eastside Parenting Examiners

In a happy twist, a judge ruled today that AnneMarie and Doug Stuth may get custody of their three-year-old granddaughter after all. The Stuths had been granted emergency custody of the Enumclaw child two years ago when their teenage daughter was unable to properly care for the infant. While in the care of the Stuths, the child thrived and was happy, which was noted by her child advocate in paperwork filed with the court at that time. After the child’s mother tried, and failed, to get her life back on track in transitional housing for young mothers, the child was again removed from the mother’s care and placed in foster care instead of back with the Stuths. With no warning, the Department of Social and Health Services changed their opinions of the Stuths.

The allegations raised against the Stuths by DSHS stated that the grandparents were hyper-critical and did not support their daughter’s parenting. The example given to the court was that the Stuths had given the child a pacifier, which was against the mother’s wishes. Other allegations that were proven false by King 5 Investigators and Northwest Cable News stated that the Stuths were not financially supporting their daughter or driving the child to visit her mother. Cancelled checks and mileage reimbursement forms from the state were found that showed the Stuths were sending money to their daughter and taking the child to her for visits. DSHS did not work towards placing the child with biological family, as is the law in Washington state, and were trying to have the mother’s parental rights terminated so the child could be adopted by the foster mother. This scenario likely would have ended all contact the Stuths had with their granddaughter.

Today, King County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kessler ruled that DSHS did not properly follow state law. “The department and the dependency court in attempt to get (the mother) on track to parent failed to adequately to consider the legal obligation to consider relative placement.  I understand the reason for it but I think it was in error,” said Kessler. The state’s request to terminate the mother’s parental rights was denied and the Stuths were given one week to file paperwork requesting custody of their granddaughter. The Stuths and their daughter are elated by the ruling.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, DSHS has to say about this case. There had been no previous comment due to it being an active case. Will there be an investigation into how and why this case was mishandled to the extent that the law was not followed? Don’t bet on it.


2 thoughts on “How Title IV Grants work

  1. First paragraph = posting a link, blowing off steam. Second paras, more informative. Bottom, the rant, a reaction mode of choice today in particular. Came here from a like to a previous post. my petition site since April 2014. Far below, I blurt out that story. Currently (I am finding out) this person (Jean Pfann) has officially– but not in reality– resigned from the funds (trust) in question, but NOT delivered it to the successor timely; and I am apparently being categorized as a “case” instead of a person with successor trustee. That process was dragged out a year, which is a form of abuse when it takes about a month (or at most two) to settle properly. Some of us are still lucky to be speaking our native languages after the chronology of life in USA under these institutions, and people who simply can’t tell right from wrong, when wrong is, obviously, more profitable to them.
    ____________For many years I did not go public because of minor daughters in others’ control. Within one month of going public about this fiduciary abuse after both were adults, the person decided to resign (after two years of not admitting having been asked. She never DID admit having been asked to resign, in private to me, or in the courts). )____________

    Blog title references Title IV Grants, Blog Post says nothing about it, though interesting in its own right. Title IV-A: Marriage/Fatherhood grants come from here (CFDA 93086 on “”) and Title IV-D (OCSE) provides father-focused “Access and Visitation” grants. These are no longer, from what i can tell, the largest grants dumped towards removing mother/child bonds, or bankrupting a family, but they are not (what’s more) being handled honestly.

    If you want to learn about those, and other kinds of grants influencing the courts, or their operations and structures, see my main blog (since 2009), We all, I think, now that children are being trafficked into foster care first ensuring no contact with biological mother, or father, or sometimes both. Search National Responsible Fatherhood Initiative – “Quality Improvement Center” NRFI-QIC or similar term, and see some bigwigs, with help from the American Humane Association, for a mild example I won’t try to explain in a comment.

    My sister and brother in law seeing me escape (no thanks to them) domestic violence, went right for undermining my independence through taking up with the ex-batterer father, when it became clear if left “alone” I would no longer be fleeing in distress to their home from incidents, only to return having no other real option (certainly no referrals, resources, or offers to help stop the violence, or help me get away from it, came from that home) — over a period of years. I didn’t flee their often, but often enough. They knew.

    Once “Dad” was in full charge of our daughters and had cut off contact with Mom (with support from this same, multiple forms, and making sure to continue saying NOTHING about the event to me, or help during the SIX subsequent court appearances in one year, which almost bankrupted me, and caused work loss), then I was no longer a major “problem” and not long after, DAD was suddenly kicked out of (or, by pre-arrangement simply abandoned — i”m never quite sure which it was) his own daughters he’d just told the courts he wanted sole, legal custody of, because he loved them (that child support arrears was retroactively compromised by 1/3, being at the time $15,000, and needed, particularly in light of recent loss of my prime viable profession (music) — must have been just a coincidence) — and being thus free of (it seems) BOTH a work life and parenting responsibilities, which were carried out somewhere between ex-girlfriend and my sister and brotherinlaw with no notice to me (of course) he’d jumped ship at the time, Dad (so to speak) came around after me 2009-2010, it’s called STALKING, and demanding to be addressed as husband, calling me wife (make that after TEN years of separation and my never inviting him back in to cohabit, or moving back in, either. There was zero confusion on that matter coming from my side). That 2009-2010 was, as it turned out, the last year of an elderly mother’s life, and what a waste that the last TEN years of her life as a grandmother were spent witnessing tribal warfare, as a widow.

    From 2010 forward, I learned what the next round of “events” was like to hold, and did what I could with it. Daughters who have aged out have, separately, and bit by bit (but are not able to completely) regained contact with me, but from their vastly different situations. I hope to live long enough so that some day we may talk. There are some who apparently wish that I may NOT do so, may NOT talk, and if I don’t live long enough, stand to inherit what’s left over, after both my daughters. At this point, thanks to any number of billing professionals, I’m concerned about how fast all assets may be depleted, i.e., in this scenario, it’s challenging for women to literally grow old EITHER poor OR not-poor. Yes, some of these are women’s issues I still say, although in this particular situation (and I am counting) about 5 professionals (so far), both sisters (one being an attorney) and even the judge, are female. “Such a deal.” Why do women treat other women like cr@p too often? Because, in a man’s world, particularly since PRWORA welfare reform, they can.

    I’ve done the best I could year by year, like I do believe most mothers do (and plenty of fathers, with this exception — battering = bad behavior by Dad,s, and some men still do it, and make plenty of excuses for it if and when ANY part of the system even requires a token gesture towards the reality).

    Signed, a former “Badass Mama” blogger, and if you remember a 2011 BMCC conference where the words “access Visitation” was mentioned in a 5-minute presentation (the group being about an hour or so behind schedule after letting certain presenters run their mouths overtime), there was a sudden need for a “lunch break” — that was me. Since then, I usually keep it to the corporate and grants reporting, as blog shows, and it’s still live. Have a nice day. I also have SOME presence on facebook (and information on it) at, and a personal , though not that active, page, VictoriaPfannEnglund, which is me.

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