Ana and Alberto Pacheco

CYS proceedings not in language of parents

Court/Assoc.: Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas

Attorneys/Firms: Paula Knudsen

In January 2004, Children & Youth Services removed three children from the Pacheco’s home after a school nurse saw a bruise on the 14-year-old son, although there were no allegations of abuse of the two younger children. Neither the agency nor the court provided the Spanish-speaking Pachecos with an interpreter. Criminal charges stemming from the alleged abuse of the 14-year-old were dismissed in February 2005, and the two younger children returned home in April, 2005.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently announced that it will initiate a review of a state agency to ensure that it is following federal civil rights laws. The announcement came in a December 30, 2005 letter issued by OCR Regional Manager Paul F. Cushing.

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