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WHAT WAS ADVOCATE’S MOTIVE?

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I am offended by Donna Brown, "advocate" of children, and by the Deseret News for participating in and printing the story of the mother who lost custody of her daughter while she was hospitalized in a mental health facility. Could the child, even if reunited with her mother, be raised in the community her parents live in without a lifelong stigma attached to her? Printing the child's name only makes her situation more precarious.

It's hard to imagine why the Deseret News would run this story. The state can't ever comment on a story when a child's welfare is the issue. Had the mother signed a release of confidentiality to allow the Division of Family Services to comment, DFS would still not divulge details of the case. The minor child's rights to privacy and to not be exploited must be safeguarded, it's the law. The names of juveniles who commit crimes and the names of juvenile victims are not printed in the paper, and juvenile court hearings are not open to the public for that reason.Harder to imagine is how Brown, "advocate," believes that she is acting in the interest of this child. If DFS had initiated this story, Brown would be upset at the division's willingness to breach confidentiality. Instead, she decries confidentiality because she can't "check because it's all confidential."

There are attorneys, judges, guardian ad litems, caseworkers, supervisors, attorneys general, treatment teams, police agencies, mental health workers and family members involved with most cases DFS handles. These are people to whom Brown and the parents should appeal. Why make public the name and situation of the child?

It appears that Brown is on an anti-DFS campaign. Her suggestions that the division is "broken" and that "they can do anything they want to do" are not documented by this article. What is documented is Brown's apparent willingness to participate in exploiting a minor child. It appears the "advocate" is advocating for her own public forum.

James Jensen

North Ogden