Last week David Hammer introduced our newest La Quinta Rotarian Sue DeMorris prior to her induction ceremony and this week Sue returned the favor by introducing David as this day’s speaker.
For those of you who missed David’s presentation on the Rotary Foundation at our 11/9/19 meeting, David has decades of Rotary experience in service above self.  David is an attorney specializing in taxes and financing.  He is a graduate of the oldest law school west of the Mississippi, UC Hastings College of Law.  David practiced law in Trinity County, California for 23 years and served 6 years on the County Council before “retiring” to his sail boat.  David is also an ASA certified Sailing Instructor, USCG MMC who taught at the Tradewinds Sailing School and Club.
Shortly after moving to the desert David began working with the Riverside County Child Protective Services as an attorney representing the County at hearings regarding child welfare cases.  David did an excellent job explaining the intricacies involved in removing a child from their home/parents and the two edged sword when it comes to neglected or abused children.  On one hand removing a child by going through all the proper channels and entering the premises with or without a warrant or permission from the owner versus not removing a child (“failure to remove”) that is in a dangerous situation because of lack of permission or a warrant.  David shared with us that neglected and abused children are mostly found in homes where there is domestic violence and or excessive drug and alcohol use by the parents.  David’s job is primarily to attend jurisdictional hearings with the goal of resolving issues and allowing children to return to their homes with their parents.  If for any reason that is not possible then placement with a family member is the next most desirable option and then ultimately the foster care system.
Just as before, David made an excellent and enlightening presentation that allowed those of us who live and work outside of “the system” to see how things work at Child Protective Services and the difficulty involved in resolving one of our community’s biggest challenges regarding the welfare of all of “our” children.  Thank you David for your presentation this day and as always, for your Service above Self!