GAO Preliminary Report, May 31, 1979

United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548

FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY
Expected at 10:00 AM PST
May 31, 1979
*Hearing to be held in Los Angeles, California

Statement of
Franklin A. Curtis, Associate Director
Human Resources Division
Before the
Subcommittee on Child and Human Development,
Committee on Labor and Human Resources
on
Placement of Foster Care Children
With Members of the Peoples Temple

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to appear here today to discuss the placement of foster care children with Peoples Temple members and their emigration to Jonestown, Guyana.

Last February, you requested us to review the placement of foster children with Peoples Temple members and to determine:

  • the extent and circumstances of such placements,
  • the amount of Federal funds utilized for the placement and/or support of these children,
  • the circumstances under which foster children were removed from the United States to Guyana,
  • whether any foster children died in Jonestown, and
  • whether any Federal funds were diverted from their statutory purpose.

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Today, I will be primarily discussing factual data that we have obtained in the initial phases of our review of the placement of foster children with members of the Peoples Temple.

We are continuing our review of the State, Federal, and county responsibilities for the administration of the foster care program in California including guardianship activities and plan to provide the Subcommittee with report on the results later this year.

PEOPLES TEMPLE

Since the tragedy at Jonestown, much has been written about the beginning, growth, and demise of the Peoples Temple and its leader, Reverend Jim Jones, Sr. Briefly, Reverend Jones started his own church in Indiana in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, this church, now referred to as the Peoples Temple, was listed as affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In the mid-1960s, an envisioned nuclear holocaust prompted Reverend Jones to settle with more than 100 followers in Northern California. A temple was built in Redwood Valley, a small community in Mendocino County, near Ukiah, California. Within a few years, Reverend Jones opened churches in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Subsequently, the Temple’s headquarters was shifted to San Francisco. Reverend Jones became active in politics and was publicly identified with many national, State, and local political figures. He also initiated action toward establishing an agricultural development community in Guyana in late 1973 and Temple member emigrations to Guyana began in early 1977.

Temple members including attorneys who assisted Reverend Jones and other Temple members on legal questions ranging from obtaining guardian-

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ships of children to operating nonprofit corporations that were primarily engaged in acquiring property for the Temple.

Also in late 1976 Reverend Jones was appointed Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission by the mayor of San Francisco. Shortly after this appointment, a national magazine article critical of life in the Peoples Temple was published. By this time, Temple members had begun to emigrate to Guyana, and Reverend Jones had resigned from the Housing Authority while he was in Guyana.

On November 18, 1978, the tragedy of Jonestown, Guyana, occurred. Of the 913 people who died there, about one-third were under 19 years of age.

SCOPE OF REVIEW

We conducted our work at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., the California Department of Social Services, and 13 counties in California. Most of our work was in three Northern California counties (Alameda, Mendocino, and San Francisco) and one Southern California County (Los Angeles) because these were the primary counties where Peoples Temple activities were concentrated. Work was also performed in the bordering counties of Contra Costa, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Santa Clara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, and Sonoma. About 74 percent of California’s 25,000 foster care children reside in the 13 counties where we made our review.

From two U.S. Department of State lists of verified and unverified Peoples Temple members who died in Guyana and a listing compiled by a Peoples Temple attorney of all the persons who emigrated to Jonestown from the San Francisco area, we identified 337 children who were in Guyana at the time of the tragedy and who were born on or after January 1, 1960. We used this listing of children in making our review and analysis.

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All of the names of the Peoples Temple members who emigrated to Guyana were checked against the State’s Medi-Cal historical files. In addition, we subpoenaed and examined county welfare records of the children that were identified in the review of the Medi-Cal files. With the assistance of State and county officials, we identify the children that had a welfare history and reviewed the available case files for these children.

FEDERAL FUNDING OF FOSTER CARE PROGRAMS

Title IV-A of the Social Security Act (42 USC 608) makes Federal matching funds available to the States under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program for foster home care of dependent children. In fiscal year 1979 Federal funding for title IV-A foster care is estimated at $241 million.

The Federal Government also contributes to the support of foster children through title IV-B (42 USC 620) and title XX (42 USC 1397) of the Social Security Act. These programs provide Federal matching funds to support child welfare services and social services to adults and children. In fiscal year 1979, Federal funding for the title IV-B child welfare services program is estimated at $56.5 million. Federal funding for the fiscal year 1979 title XX social services program is estimated at $2.9 billion. The total State and Federal title IV-A, IV-B, and XX funds allocated for foster care was almost $1.2 billion for fiscal year 1977, the latest year for which this information is available.

CALIFORNIA’S FOSTER CARE PROGRAM

The State of California Department of Social Services has overall responsibility for administering the State’s foster care program for

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children. However, the individual counties operate their own foster care systems. The State provides the counties with administrative guidance, program oversight, and fiscal support in the operation of the counties’ foster care placement programs.

In fiscal year 1978, California spent $46.3 million of Federal funds authorized under title IV-A and XX and $121.5 million of State and county funds for its foster care program. The State did not spend any of its title IV-B funds for foster care.

PLACING CHILDREN INTO FOSTER CARE

Children into foster care in one of two ways – by a court directing placement because of the child’s behavior and/or home situation or by the parents voluntarily allowing a placing agency, such as a welfare department, to place the child outside the home. Federal law makes a judicial determination a condition for AFDC-foster care eligibility. As result, children whose placements are not court ordered are not eligible for AFDC.

To be eligible for Federal funding, each foster care child must have a case plan and a redetermination of Federal eligibility must be accomplished every 6 months. There are no Federal regulations requiring visits by welfare caseworkers to foster children.

CIRCUMSTANCES CONCERNING THE EMIGRATION OF FOSTER CHILDREN TO JONESTOWN, GUYANA

Of the more than 900 Temple members who emigrated to or were born in Guyana, we identified 337 children who were under 19 years of age (born on or after January 1, 1960) at the time of the tragedy in November 1978.

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Of the 337 children identified, we were able to determine that 248 of the children had a prior welfare history – 223 of the children were previously recipients of cash grant and non-cash aid programs, and 25 of the children were previously recipients of only non-cash programs such as food stamps and Medi-Cal. Of the 223 children in cash grant programs, 204 children were previously in the Aid to Families with Defendant Children program, 3 children were previously in the federally supported foster care program, and 16 children were previously in the foster care program funded solely by the State and counties.

DEMOGRAPHICS AND OTHER INFORMATION ON 19 FOSTER CARE CHILDREN

At this point I would like to discuss some of the demographic data and other information that we obtained in our review concerning the status of the 19 children who were in the foster care program.

Of the 19 foster care children who emigrated to Guyana, 16 children have been reported as perished in Guyana, 2 children have been reported as surviving, and the status of one child has not been resolved. Of the 19 foster care children who emigrated to Guyana, 12 had been placed with Peoples Temple members.

We have attached to our prepared statement a case profile for each of the 19 children who were in a foster care status at some time prior to their emigration to Guyana.

Sex, ethnic background, and age of children

Twelve of the children were females and seven were males. Sixteen of the children were black and three were Caucasian. Two of the children were from 5 to 7 years old, four were from 8 to 10 years old, six were from 11 to 13 years old, six were from 14 to 16 years old, and one was over 18 years old.

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Children’s family status and persons accompanying children to Guyana

At the time of departure for Guyana, four other children had been reunited with and were accompanied by one or both of their parents or a relative, six of the children had been living with a relative but were not accompanied by a relative, two were accompanied by their adoptive mother, two were accompanied by their legal guardians, two children had a legal guardian but did not depart with the guardian, and one child had been adopted but did not depart with the adoptive parents. We were unable to determine the family status or departure circumstances for two of the children.

Also, information was not available which showed who accompanied the nine children who were under the custody of but were not accompanied by their relatives, guardians, or adoptive parents. However, certain information was available that related to departure circumstances of these children. For example, a mother who had custody of her five children (all former foster care children) had signed passport applications for sending four of them to Guyana at different times – two children left for Guyana in July of 1977, and one child left in October 1977. The mother departed for Guyana with the fifth child in August of 1978.

We reviewed the passport applications for 18 of the 19 foster care children to obtain information on their reported reason for leaving the United States. The passport applications showed that 12 of the foster children were leaving for a “vacation” for a period of from 20 days to 6 months. Of the remaining six children, three were reported leaving

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for Peoples Temple agricultural mission work, one for Peoples Temple human services work, and two did not indicate a reason for leaving.

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana

Only 1 of the 19 children was still in foster care at the time of departure to Guyana. Three of the children had terminated from foster care less than 4 months prior to departure, four from 4 months to 1 year, three from 1 to 1-1/2 years, one from 1-1/2 to 2 years, six from 4 to 5 years, and one over 6 years.

With regard to the one child who was continued in paid foster care, payments of $150 a month from May through November 1977, or a total of $1050 were made to her foster parent, who remained in California after she went to Guyana. In December 1977, the carrier terminated foster care payments because the county had lost contact with the foster parent. In March 1979, the State determined that the payments were not allowable since the child was not eligible for foster care while out of the country and referred the case to the county welfare department for action to recover the unallowable payments.

For the three children from foster care was terminated within 4 months before their departure to Guyana, we obtained the following information.

  1. A child’s foster parent/guardian took the child to Guyana in July 1977. County foster care payment checks were issued in July and August 1977 and sent to the foster parent’s former address in California, but were returned to the county by the Postal Service. The county terminated the child from foster

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care because the foster parent/guardian failed to maintain obtained court approval to take the child to Guyana.

  1. A mother under a court order issued in July 1977 was permitted to emigrate to the Peoples Temple agricultural project in Guyana for 3 years. The Federal judge also permitted the mother to take her 5 year old child with her to Guyana. The child had been living with its foster care parents from October 1976 the July 1977, when foster care payments were terminated.
  2. A child who was a ward of the court had been living with his foster parents from June 1974 to March 1976, when foster care payments were terminated. In March 1976, the court removed him from foster care and placed him in a juvenile detention facility. A non-related guardian and Peoples Temple member obtained court approval in April 1976 to take the child to Guyana. In June 1976, the child departed to Guyana unaccompanied by his guardian.

Two of the four children for whom foster care was terminated from 4 months to 1 year prior to going to Guyana were in foster care from July 1964 to June 1977. In July 1977, the two children were placed in pre-adoption with their foster mother. State subsidized adoption payments were made to the adoptive parents after foster care stopped. The two children were taken to Guyana by their adoptive mother in April 1978, the same month that their adoption was finalized.

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For most of the remaining children, foster care payments were terminated because the children had returned to a relative, usually their mother.

GUARDIANSHIPS

Of the 337 children who emigrated to Guyana, 31 were or had been under guardianship Peoples Temple members. Included in the 31 children were 9 children who had been in foster care.

In the early 1970s, children were being placed in unlicensed homes of Peoples Temple members in Mendocino County by placement agencies in other California counties. Mendocino County officials raised objections to the counties because this practice was contrary to State and county regulations which required that foster children be placed in licensed facilities.

During the same period, Peoples Temple attorneys and members began filing petitions for guardianship of children for Peoples Temple members. Under the guardianship arrangement, children were placed in Temple members’ homes which were exempted from the licensing requirement and the children were not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Social Services.

In our review, we found that nine of the foster children were or had been under guardianship arrangements with members of the Peoples Temple. The guardians of seven of the nine children received foster care payments for the care of these children. However, only one of the guardians that received foster care payments had a foster home license. State regulations require an evaluation of unlicensed

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guardian homes to assess whether the social and psychological needs of the child are being met. In our ongoing review we plan to obtain additional information on these evaluations.

Court approval to remove children under guardianship from the State

By letter dated April 12, 1979, we asked a judge of the Probate Department of the California Superior Court to provide us with legal references and to clarify the issue of whether a guardian may change the minor’s domicile outside the State without prior court approval. Although we had not received a written response from the judge, he advised us informally on May 11, 1979, that he is not aware of any California statutory requirement that a guardian must obtain court approval for a change of the minor’s domicile outside the State, except in situations where a child is a ward of the court placed through the court’s probation department. We have undertaken legal research in an attempt to determine the legal requirements regarding this issue.

California Assembly Bill (AB) 261 introduced by Assemblyman Alister McAlister on January 11, 1979, contains a provision that would require that all changes of a minor’s domicile outside the State of California be approved by the court. The bill was before the Committee on Judiciary as of May 15, 1979.

We noted that in two of the nine foster care/guardianship cases, the guardians have obtained court approval to take their wards to Guyana.

FOSTER CARE PAYMENTS

Payments to the foster care parents of the 19 children who spent some time in foster care totaled about $75,000 for the total time

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period that the children were in foster care, including $50,000 paid to foster parents associated with the Peoples Temple. About $5800 of the $75,000 was provided from title IV-A funds for the three federally funded foster care children. Included in the $5800 is $750 of Federal funds for a child who was placed in foster care with a non-Temple member who was determined by the State in 1979 to be ineligible for Federal funding. Additionally, an indeterminable amount of Federal title XX funds may have been used to provide social services to some of the 19 children while they were in foster care.

Included in the total of $75,000 is State foster care payments of $1050 that were not allowable because they were made for a child who was out of the country, as I previously discussed.

INVESTIGATIVE EFFORTS OF OTHER FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AGENCIES

We coordinated our review with the offices of the HEW Inspector General, the State of California Department of Social Services and Welfare Fraud Investigation and Prevention Bureau, and the welfare agencies in the counties.

The initial Inspector General’s review objective was to follow up on any improper Federal foster care payments made to Peoples Temple members, relying primarily on the work performed in GAO’s analysis of individual case files. Their subsequent review is to be directed toward the Federal, States, and county monitoring of the foster care program in California. As part of its monitoring review, the Inspector General plans to determine which actions have been taken on the recommendations contained in our report entitled (Children in Foster

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Care Institutions – Steps Government Can Take to Improve Their Care” (HRD-77-40, dated February 22, 1977). Also, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and AFDC payments made to Peoples Temple members are being investigated by the Social Security Administration.

The State’s investigative efforts primarily have been directed toward determining whether improper AFDC in foster care payments have been made. As of March 1979, the State had identified 17 AFDC cases where payments were made to families after one or more of the family members had moved to Guyana. The State estimates that the overpayments in these 17 cases will amount to about $20,000. The State is working with the U.S. Department of State to establish firm departure dates to Guyana of the Peoples Temple members who were on AFDC in order to determine whether additional overpayments have been made. Under the AFDC matching arrangements, about half of any overpayments would have been made with Federal funds. At this time, the State has not found any instances where foster care payment checks were mailed directly to Guyana.

Some of the county welfare departments performed independent reviews of their computer files. These reviews did not identify any additional children with foster care histories beyond the 19 foster care children previously discussed. These county agencies are still in the process of completing their investigations of possible AFDC overpayments.

* * * * *

Mr. Chairman, that concludes our statement. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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Appendix I
Page 1

CASE A [Monica Bagby]

Age as of November 1978: 18 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): April to May 1977, February to March 1978

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $819

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 months to 1 year

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: She was of legal age prior to going to Guyana.

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: No

Was the child under guardianship?: No.

This child departed from Guyana in July 1978. She was reportedly wounded at the airport when Congressman Ryan and others were killed. She is reported to be alive in California.

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Appendix I
Page 2

CASE B [Kelin Kirtas Smith]

Age as of November 1978: 13

Sex: Male

Ethnic background: Caucasian

Foster care period(s): October 1975 to February 1976

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $745

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 1 to 1-1/2 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to grandfather in March 1976

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, September 1975

This child left foster care in March 1976 and returned to a relative (grandfather). The child left for Guyana in June 1977 without the grandfather. Information is not available at this time on who accompanied the child to Guyana. This child is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased.

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Appendix I
Page 3

CASE C [Norya Blair]

Age as of November 1978: 6 years

Sex: Male

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): October 1976 to July 1977

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State (Although ineligible because of voluntary placements, this child was claimed by the county for Federal foster care.)

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $1521

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: Less than 4 months

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to mother in July 1977

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Mother

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: No

Was the child under guardianship?: No

This child left foster care in July 1977 and returned to his mother. The mother had been placed on 3 years probation by a Federal District Court with the Peoples Temple agricultural project in Guyana. The authorization to travel was signed by a Federal District Court Judge. This child is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased.

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Appendix I
Page 4

CASE D [Lisa Ann Whitmire]

Age as of November 1978: 12 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Caucasian

Foster care period(s): November 1973 to August 1975

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $1349

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 1-1/2 to 2 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: In custody of guardian/aunt and guardian/friend

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, September 1973

This child had two guardians – one was an aunt and the other was not related. Foster care payments were made for the child while she was living with her non-related guardian. On separate days in July and August 1977, she and her two guardians went to Guyana. She is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased.

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Appendix I
Page 5

CASE E [Donna Louise Lacy]

Age as of November 1978: 16 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): July 1964 to June 1977

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $8497

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 months to 1 year

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Adopted

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Adoptive mother

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: No, adopted in April 1978

In addition to foster care payments, an undisclosed amount of State subsidized adoption funds were paid for this child to the adoptive family. The child and her adoptive mother went to Guyana in April 1978. This child is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased.

(Related case: See case O for data on another child simultaneously adopted by the same adoptive mother)

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Appendix I
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CASE F

Age as of November 1978: 12 years

Sex: Male

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): October 1969 to March 1973

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: Both

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $3989

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 to 5 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Adopted

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: No

In July 1977, this child went to Guyana without his adoptive parents. Information is not available at this time on who accompanied this child to Guyana. He is on the Department of State’s list of verified deceased.

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Appendix I
Page 7

CASE G

Age as of November 1978: 14 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): October 1975 to March 1976

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $896

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 1 to 1-1/2 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to mother in March 1976

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Mother

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, July 1975

This child was returned from foster care to her mother in March 1976. She and her mother went to Guyana in August 1977. This child is on the Department of State’s list of verified deceased. (Related case: See case H for data on this child’s sister.)

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Appendix I
Page 8

CASE H

Age as of November 1978: 15 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): October 1975 to March 1976

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $1046

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 1 to 1-1/2 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to mother in March 1976

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Mother

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, July 1975

This child was returned from foster care to her mother in March 1976. She and her mother went to Guyana in August 1977. This child is on the Department of State’s list of verified deceased. (Related case: See case G for data on this child’s sister.)

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Appendix I
Page 9

CASE I

Age as of November 1978: 6 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): November 1971 to March 1973

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $2834

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 to 5 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to mother

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown, mother followed 13 months later

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: No

Was the child under guardianship?: No

This child returned from foster care to her mother in March 1973. In 1976 the family moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The child went to Guyana in July 1977. Information is not available at this time on who accompanied this child to Guyana. Her mother signed the passport application and subsequently went to Guyana in August 1978. This child is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased. (Related cases: See cases J and K for data on this child’s half-sisters, and cases L and R for child’s half-brothers.)

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Appendix I
Page 10

CASE J

Age as of November 1978: 9 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): November 1971 to March 1973

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $2084

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 to 5 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to mother

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown, mother followed 13 months later

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: No

Was the child under guardianship?: No

This child returned from foster care to the home of her mother in March 1973. In 1976 the family moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The child went to Guyana in August 1977. Information is not available at this time on who accompanied this child to Guyana. Her mother signed the passport application and subsequently went to Guyana in August 1978. This child is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased. (Related cases: See cases I for data on this child’s half-sister, case K for child’s sister, and cases L and R for child’s half-brothers.)

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Appendix I
Page 11

CASE K

Age as of November 1978: 11 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): May 1970 to September 1973

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $6715

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 to 5 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to mother

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Mother

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: No

Was the child under guardianship?: No

This child was returned from foster care to the home of her mother in September 1973. The family moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1976. This child departed for Guyana in August 1978 with her mother. This child is not on either the Department of State’s lists of deceased, but is assumed to have perished in Guyana. On May 9, 1979, a U.S. Department of State official confirmed with us that this child should be on the list of unverified deceased. (Related cases: See cases I for data on this child’s half-sister, case J for child’s sister, and cases L and R for child’s half-brothers.)

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Appendix I
Page 12

CASE L

Age as of November 1978: 16 years

Sex: Male

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): May 1970 to September 1973

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $5129

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 to 5 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Returned to mother

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown, mother followed 12 months later

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: No

Was the child under guardianship?: No

This child was returned from foster care to the home of her mother in May 1973. The family moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1976. He departed for Guyana in July 1977. Information is not available at this time on who accompanied this child to Guyana. His mother signed the passport application and subsequently went to Guyana in August 1978. This child in on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased. (Related cases: See cases I, J, and K for data on this child’s half-sisters, and R for child’s half-brother.)

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Appendix I
Page 13

CASE M

Age as of November 1978: 8 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): November 1970 to March 1971

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $424

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: Over 6 years

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Under guardian

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, September 1978

This child was returned from foster care to her mother in March 1971. Upon return to her mother, the child was sent to live with Peoples Temple members in Mendocino County. The child remained with these people until her departure for Guyana in September 1978; however, no foster care payments were made. She was on the Peoples Temple attorney’s list of emigrants to Guyana. Information is not available at this time on who accompanied her to Guyana.  She is not on either of the Department of State’s lists of deceased.

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Appendix I
Page 14

CASE N

Age as of November 1978: 5 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): September 1974 to June 1977 (Foster care payment checks were sent by the county to the foster parent’s former address in California in July and August 1977 but were returned to the county by the Postal Service. The county then terminated this child from foster care because the foster parent failed to maintain contact with the county.)

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $4400

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: Less than 4 months

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Under guardianship

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Guardian

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, June 1974

This child was placed when about a year old with a foster parent/guardian who was a temple member. In July 1977, she and her guardian went to Guyana. The guardian had obtained court approval to take her to Guyana. She is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased.

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Appendix I
Page 15

CASE O [Tony Linton Lacy]

Age as of November 1978: 14 years

Sex: Male

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): July 1964 to June 1977

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $8497

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: 4 months to 1 year

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Adopted

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Adoptive mother

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: No, adopted in April 1978

In addition to foster care payments, an undisclosed amount of State subsidized adoption funds were paid for this child to the adoptive family. The child and his adoptive mother went to Guyana in April 1978. The child is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased. (Related case: See case E for data on another child simultaneously adopted by the same adoptive mother.)

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Appendix I
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CASE P [likely Vincent Lopez]

Age as of November 1978: 15 years

Sex: Male

Ethnic background: Caucasian

Foster care period(s): June 1974 to March 1976

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: Both

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $6175

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: Less than 4 months

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Under guardianship

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: Unknown

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, April 1976

This child left foster care in March 1976 to be placed with a legal guardian who did not receive foster care funds. The child went to Guyana in June 1976 without his guardian. His legal guardian later went to Guyana but came back to the United States leaving the child there. Information is not available at this time on who accompanied this child to Guyana. The child is on the Department of State’s list of verified deceased.

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Appendix I
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CASE Q

Age as of November 1978: 9 years

Sex: Female

Ethnic background: Black

Foster care period(s): June 1971 to December 1974, February 1976 to November 1977 – this child was in a foster care home in April 1979

Eligible for Federal or State foster care: State

Estimated total foster care payments while in foster care: $7315 (Does not include foster care payments after her return from Guyana)

Length of time out of foster care at time of departure for Guyana: Foster care continued after she went to Guyana

Child’s family status at time of departure for Guyana: Under foster care/guardianship

Person(s) accompanying child to Guyana: With legal guardian

Were the child’s foster parents or guardians Temple members?: Yes

Was the child under guardianship?: Yes, January 1971 in June 1974

This child has been in some type of foster care most of her life. Her first foster parent/guardian was non-related and died in 1974. The child lived with the daughter of the deceased guardian until she was placed with two non-related guardians in June 1974. After placement with her new guardians, she continued to live with the daughter of her first guardian, who received foster care payments as a foster parent. In April 1974, her

[Page 31]

Appendix I
Page 18

guardians (who received no foster care payment) took her to Guyana, but foster care payments continued to be made to her foster parent (the daughter of her first guardian). Payments were terminated in November 1977 because the county lost contact with the foster parent. Although this child is on the Department of State’s list of unverified deceased, State officials report that she survived Guyana and currently resides in Northern California.

Originally posted on February 27th, 2018.

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