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Sammy's Law Would Require Recording CPS Interviews With Parents

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new bill aims to change the way Child Protective Services operates in California.

The bill is called Sammy's Law, named after a Sacramento baby taken from his home by CPS when his mom asked for a second medical opinion.

Ruby Dillon has been fighting to get her child back for more than a year.

"My daughter is completely distraught, it's just terrible," she said. "She's nowhere near the child she used to be."

Scarred and healing from being sexually abused by her father, the 9-year-old stays with various families while Ruby tries to undo the CPS report that has now been found to be wrong.

"I have a copy of a police report, and a copy of the social services report, and the police report by trained investigators is a 180-degree difference from what's written by a social worker," she said.

The error is not uncommon.

A new report by the state auditor reveals assessments by CPS workers in three counties were routinely "flawed" as well as "incomplete and inconsistent."

"CPS has become the greatest threat to the very kids it was designed to protect," said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks).

After the latest report, Donnelly wants to get rid of CPS in all of California's 58 counties.

"I'm not going to stop this fight," he said. "It's why I believe this agency needs to be eliminated."

Not having the power to do such a thing now, Donnelly is focusing on passing Sammy's Law. It would require all meetings between parents and CPS workers to be recorded.

"In many cases, the only evidence presented in court for removal of a child is the word of a social worker," he said.

The fight continues for Ruby. She says in the end, she wants her daughter back and to prevent other children from going through the same nightmare.

"For her to be suffering through this is just heinous. Just completely heinous," she said.

Sacramento County Child Protective Services declined to comment on the bill, which still needs to be reviewed by a committee.

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