Grantee profiles a Hawaii father wrongly accused of child abuse as part of ongoing series

Carlos Valdez in Hilo, Hawaii at the Judiciary building.

As part of Honolulu Civil Beat’s investigation of the state’s system for removing children from their parents, reporter John Hill, with Fund support, told the story of a father who lost custody of his child because of allegations that he had abused him – and then three years later, the state government told him it had changed its mind. It gave no explanation for the reversal. The state relies on decisions made by social workers, who are allowed to rely on minimal evidence. Parents, Hill found, are left with a quandary – admit to something they did not do, or face losing all contact with their children.