Sacramento, CA

Sacramento CPS takes 8 children from mother after going to homeless shelter

Robert J Hansen

Hearing to take mother’s parental rights of 2-year-old son next week

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Sabrina Williams (left) her sister and her son Isaiah in Washington.(Photo courtesy of Sabrina Williams)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

Sacramento County Child Protective Services (CPS) has taken eight of Sabrina Williams’ children and only one of which, Isaiah Thomas, still has parental rights. 

That may change on February 1 when Williams, 31, has court and says CPS has petitioned to terminate Williams’ parental rights over Isaiah.

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Isaiah Thomas (left) with his cousin Tianna (right).(Photo courtesy of Sabrina Williams)

Termination of parental rights is a court order that permanently ends the legal parent-child relationship according to Sacramento Courts

This type of order terminates rights such as inheritance, custody, and visitation, as well as responsibilities regarding child support and liability for the child’s misconduct.

Parental rights can be terminated involuntarily by the court to typically allow an agency, independent, or stepparent adoption to take place.

Williams’s caseworker, Ajhanae Rhonstok, said she is not allowed to speak to the media and had no comment.

On August 21, 2018, Williams was living at a shelter with her children at The Gathering Inn, where she was subjected to drug tests.

The Gathering Inn (TGI) is a multifaceted, multi-location agency serving homeless men, women, and children in Placer County through programs at four separate locations.

Williams says she was given 7 drug tests in the two weeks she lived at the shelter and after the seventh, CPS was there on a surprise visit. 

She was told by CPS that she tested positive for amphetamine, THC, and opioids in her system and that’s when they took six of her children.

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Calvin Shadd Jr. (right) and Calvin Shadd (left).(Photo courtesy of Sabrina Williams)

By November 2019, Williams' parental rights had been terminated with her six children. Her two daughters Sariyah and Saniyah and four of her sons, Calvin Jr, Calille, Carter and Carmelo. CPS also took her son Chance Williams when he was born December 12, 2020.

Because CPS claimed Williams had a substance abuse problem and wouldn’t seek treatment which impairs her judgment to provide adequate care for her children, the courts adopted her children.

Williams says that is not true. She says she was taking Tylenol prescribed by her doctor which can show up as amphetamines and has no idea how opioids showed in the results.

“Every time I took a drug test I was always in the room when they were getting the results. That time they asked me to leave the room and to wait for the results,” Williams said. “When they came out they told me I failed the drug test.”

She said the family was living in a home for two years in Del Paso Heights and were made to leave because the house became infested with mice.

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Calille Shadd (left) and his cousin in the background.(Photo courtesy of Sabrina Williams)

“The landlord wasn’t trying to do anything about the fact the house had become infested with mice,” Williams said. “We didn’t have enough time to find anywhere else we could afford to go so we ended up living on the street.”

Williams said her family was forced to leave because of the unsanitary conditions of the home. After being homeless for a time and after losing her children, Williams moved to Washington.

“The shelter, nobody tried to help us with any services or housing like they said they were going to and just took my babies,” Williams said.

In October 2019 Williams moved to Washington to live with her sister and still does. In June of 2021, Sacramento County CPS came to Washington and took Isaiah.

“CPS came up here and they saw me and where we were living and were cleared to stay with me,” Williams said. “Sacramento County CPS still made it their business to come to kidnap my baby.”

All of Williams’ children have been adopted except for Isaiah whose court date is on February 1.

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Sabrina Williams with her family.(Photo courtesy of Sabrina Williams)

“Imagine being a mother and feeling there is nothing you can do for the ones you love the most,” Williams said. “I would die for my kids."

When the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) became law in 1997, nearly a third of all foster children had been in the system for at least three years. The timeline was designed to push those cases in the direction of adoptions or guardianships so that children didn’t languish with uncertain futures according to The Imprint.

Adoptions from foster care have more than doubled from 30,000 in 1998 to 66,000 in 2019. Over the past decade, federal statistics show that the number of children awaiting adoption has also increased, by more than 20%.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA
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