George and Betty McFetridge Lose Suit Against County Social Workers Who Labeled Them Child Abusers for Cutting Daughter's Hair

Categories: Court
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A jury ruled against an Irvine couple who sued the County of Orange after being placed on the state's child abuse registry for punishing their adopted daughter by cutting her hair.

George and Betty McFetridge had sought $28,000 to cover the cost of sending the teenager to a residential program and $1 for each of the 11 months their names appeared on the Child Abuse Central Index.

The wife meted out--and her husband agreed with--the clipping punishment imposed on the girl for running away from home and not disclosing her whereabouts in 2008. A county social worker later deemed it "inconclusive" whether the haircut amounted to child abuse. State law at the time required parents and guardians be named on the child abuse list even if findings are inconclusive.

The Orange County Social Services Agency stood by the employees named in the McFetridge's suit, noting they were only doing their jobs by following state law, which has since been changed to require "substantiated" findings before labeling someone a child abuser.

For their part, the McFetridges express disappointment with the jury's Wednesday ruling, according to a Los Angeles Times follow-up. However, the couple is pleased to have exposed the county's treatment of adoptive parents, claiming that was the motivation for their complaint, not the money.

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8 comments
social worker information
social worker information

The information you shared in the post related to the social worker is very useful. I am glad I visited here and come to know about it. I will share it with my friends.

Guest
Guest

Good for the jury. The public needs to know that any and all government employees have absolute power over them. Forget about due process too. Seriously, who needs that?

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Nanny state.  Cutting your child's hair amounts to child abuse?  County social workers are power drunk.  What was their inane logic?  The girl's feelings were hurt?  

just saying says
just saying says

It should be noted George McFetridge is a prosecutor for the OCDA's Office.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I agree with you. So many children are severely physically and emotionally abused in foster care but the courts want to make an example out of the McFetridges for cutting a child's hair to discipline her? Cutting off hair is a much more humane way to discipline than a beating and I'm sure the girl's locks grew back...

Dawn Cicero
Dawn Cicero

Did they shave her head? If so, that has extreem political and social ramifications for many cultures. If the daughter is a moslem this is very insulting, hindis would rather die. There are more factors to this analysis that certainly this reporting can imaging...

909Jeff
909Jeff

get out of town with that! 

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