LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Pulaski County Juvenile Court Judge Patricia James has sharp words for a top DHS official who accuses her of ignoring state law.
“I will not apologize,” she said. “They need to do their job.”
Cecile Blucker, the outgoing director of DHS’ Department of Children and Family Services says James is partly to blame for the struggles of families trying to adopt their loved ones.
“I think that she is one of the judges that probably abuses the law the most,” Blucker said.
After our report on frustrated grandparents speaking out during legislative hearings several others sent emails with similar complaints.
But James says shes seen case after case of children being taken out of a bad situation only to receive similar care with a relative.
And she says too many DHS case workers are incompetent
“My court reports are written with fourth and fifth grade grammar,” James said.
But Blucker says James goes too far with her blanket order threatening contempt of court charges for case workers who place kids with family members before a court hearing.
“That shouldn’t be when the law says preference should be given to relatives,” she said.
Blucker recently resigned after seven years as DCFS Director. Her last day is Thursday.