• Report: #1073554

Complaint Review: Department of Child Services

  • Submitted: Tue, August 06, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, August 09, 2013

  • Reported By: Theresa — Torrance California
Department of Child Services
23721 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance, California USA

Department of Child Services Kristi Yamaguchi, Lawrence Mock, Marketha Harris, caused loss of wages, mental anquish, harrassment and slander Torrance California

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June 7, 2013

I will elaborate on what happen to my family in the course of about 3 years months.  My name is Theresa Cordato and my husbands name is Tony Cordato and we have a 17 year old daughter named Megan Cordato.  She was born on Sept 12, 1995, and from day one she has always been a free thinker.  In the early years we have had to hold her back twice in school once in pre-k and the second  time in 2nd grade.  Eventually she was enrolled in the TUSD STEPS program(special-ed).  She has been diagnosed with ADHD and chronological age disorder. 

She was a pretty normal child, but then in November of 2007 she was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes and ever since then we have been tormented and harassed by the school system and CPS.  (By the way we know each and every person that has called on us) Our first encounter with CPS was back in 7/2009 when Megan was attending summer school and the aide working in the nurse’s office called for Megan to be picked up because she was not feeling well.  My husband Tony received the call and he told the nurse’s aide that he was working in Beverly Hills and my wife was working in Los Angeles, so it would be at least a couple of hours before he could get there due to traffic. 

Megan was attending West High School for summer school that year which is located in West Torrance.  The nurse’s aide had to wait for us to show up and she was so upset because she had to wait that she called CPS and told them Megan was left alone for hours and and she was prescribed insulin that she had been using as school.  (Megan always takes her travel insulin kit with her everywhere she goes).  This allegation was unfounded.  The second encounter was on 10/2009 when the nurse at the school called again and told them that Megan comes to school with low blood sugar (i.e. 90-100, which is normal) and failed to provide the school with appropriate provisions for Megan. 

In other words if we did not bring snacks and drinks the very next day because of money issues then they went postal on us and called CPS.  The general neglect was substantiated.  This was the incident that we did not sign their Voluntary Family Maintenance Plan.  We told the social worker that we do not neglect our child and we are not signing your paperwork.  The social worker told us she would get a court order and make us sign the paperwork.  We never heard anything back after that.  We didn’t even know that the allegations were substantiated until we received the detention report after Megan was taken.  But I  am getting ahead of myself. 

The third encounter was on 7/2010, when the school called again and said that since the November 2009 conference Megan has come to school on multiple occasions with having her insulin injections (that was a total lie, I have records showing she took her insulin).  The reporting party also said that we signed an agreement with the school and CPS to monitor Megan’s sugar level daily. (That was a lie, there was never any conference or agreement.  The reporting party said that Megan comes to school without her supplies (there is always supplies already at school for Megan) and has come to school with on more than 10 occasions with low or high blood sugar levels, that may be true but they were normal and her range according to her doctor. 

The fourth and final encounter was the one that lead to her being taken away.  On 11/20/11, Megan started her menstrual period and on her first day she always bleeds very heavy.  Dad was working that day and mom was home sick with the flu.  Megan did not eat or take her insulin that day. Because she was naucous from having her period and sick with the flu, Megan was told to sip water but she could not keep that down.  Megan was told to eat some crackers but she could not keep that down.  So Megan thought if I can’t eat anything, than I don’t have to take my insulin.  After Mom being coherent enough to get out of bed she noticed that Megan had not eaten or taken her insulin. 

At that time it was about 11:00 p.m. and mom started to compensate her elevated blood sugar which only reached around 400.  The mother called the on-call service and the person that answered said that she was not the doctor but she was a registered nurse and she would have the doctor call us.  The parents never received a call back.  The parents called back around 12:00 a.m. and was told by the on-call doctor that answered was to give the child 5 units of Apidra every 2 hours.  The parents were told to keep an eye on the child, the parents were never instructed to take the child to the emergency at that time.  

To hours went by it was 2:00 a.m. on 11/21/11 and mom gave the child 5 more units and her blood came down to 350.  Two more hours went by and mom gave her 5 more units at that time her blood came down to 330.  At this time it was 3:00 a.m. in the morning on 11/21/11.  Mom called the on-call doctor again and told them what the parents have been doing and the doctor said take her to the emergency if her blood sugar happens to get any higher.  Since her blood was only at 300 when mom checked it at 3:00 a.m. the whole family feel asleep with the child asleep beside mom in the same bed.  When everyone up it was around 8:00 a.m.

The mother noticed that the child’s breathing was not right, at that point the parents took her into the emergency.  Now if you check attachment #1 you will see her blood sugar was only at 389 when we checked her in.   When the hospital social worker interviewed Megan and Megan said that she does everything in regards to the administration of her medication and that her parents do nothing is a lie.  As referenced above although she has been trained on how to do sick day management, she does not follow through with it.  And about the conversation that was heard by staff and doctors was not accurate. 

Megan asked if the DCFS would be involved again and her parents said if you don’t do your sick day management and we end up in the hospital again then DCFS will get involved and try to take you.  It’s not your fault that you have diabetes but it is your fault when you do not take insulin or eat when you are sick.  Megan’s blood sugar never reached 600, documentation shows it.   On 11/23/11 a SDM safety plan was signed with Angel Facey at Miller’s Children hospital.  Both parents complied with safety plan.  The expiration date of that plan is 30 days.   On 12/2/11 a TDM was held and discussed the history of past allegations.  The parents had to explain the problems they have been having with school officials every since contracted the disease in 2007. 

The parents have had to deal with people that have no knowledge of diabetes.  If you look at past records all the allegations were unfounded or Inconclusive.  The referral that was substantiated the parents never signed the initial case plan and we never heard back from DCFS after that. On 12/19/11 Angel Facey arrived at the Cordato house and wanted them to sign paperwork that said that they severly neglect their child.  The parents refused because they do not neglect their child.  Then Angel Facey threatened to come back with a court order to make the paperwork mandatory.  The father stated we have been through this before and have spoken to supervisors at the DCFS and the department cannot do anything unless a case plan is signed.   

On 12/20/11 an investigator from the Torrance Police Dept came to the house to speak with the parents.  She said her name was R. Herrera and gave us a business card and the parents proceeded to explain the situation.   The detective agreed that the parents were doing all that they could and thanked them and left.  On 1/5/12 Angel Facey arrived at the Cordato’s and said the paperwork was changed from severe to general neglect.   In the past we have asked for help in getting Megan counseling but the department could not follow through because we had not signed an initial case plan.  Angel assured us that if we signed we would get help and they would not take Megan out of the home. 

Tony and Theresa Cordato reluctantly signed the VOLUTARY case family assessment plan from DCFS, this plan stated that the child would remain in the home, receive weekly counseling for the whole family and a social worker would come out twice a month.  Angel Facey was very adamant about getting help for Megan, if we sign.  She also stated that signing the paperwork was just procedure and in no way were we being accused of neglect.  All the parents wanted was help for Megan, not the ridicule and abuse they received from the social worker. On 1/26/12, it is stated that the school nurse called the parents for Megan to be picked up due to high blood sugars. 

It was said that the blood sugar was 400.  This reading was while she was in the school’s care, Megan was not in the care of her parents at the time.  The school is not taking steps to monitor Megan like they promised.  The parents were not told to take Megan to Urgent care, because we did not have any doctors orders at that time.  When the fathers picked up Megan she was only at 289.  That was the same instance on 1/27/12.  Also at that time we were in the process of changing Megan’s diabetes doctor because Dr. Nagpala never was on the ball with Megan.  He was always hard to get a hold of and never offered any nutritionist class for Megan.  Since Megan’s primary doctor had dropped her with notifying the parents, the parents had to obtain a new primary care physician, which is Dr.  Hogan. 

The family has healthnet and with dealing with healthnet you have to obtain referrals for every visit.  We had her first appt with doctor Palomeno but were turned away because we did not have a referral for the diabetes doctor.  The parents obtained the referral for Dr. Palomeno and Megan’s actual first appt was on 1/30/12.  At that time Dr. Palomeno gave the instructions for insulin intake and carb counting. On 1/27/12- No one told us to take Megan to urgent care because the parents did what they were instructed to do in their diabetes training for high blood sugars.  On both days when Megan was picked up from school we took her home and tested her blood and she was below 300 with no trace of ketones. 

We told Megan to do her breathing and drink water and within a half an hour her blood was at 275.  We continued to do breathing and drink water and by dinner time she was at 178.  There was no need for Megan to go to Urgent care.   On 1/30/12 Father and daughter attended the appt. and her blood sugar was at 589.  Megan was having an anxiety attack as she often does when she worries.  She was worried about seeing the new doctor.  The parent then requested some water and Megan did breathing and drank water.  She also received 20 units of novolog and her blood came down to 355. The nutristionist  requested a food log and to return to her in two days for compliance. 

On 2/2/12 Mother, Father and daughter attended the appt. Megan’s blood sugar tested normal and parents proceeded to talk with Dr. Palomeno about Megan’s inability to accept her diabetes.  The Dr. suggested some classes that her office offers and we agreed to attend.  Then the nutritionist came in and started explaining what carbs do to the body and how we can through special foods can help Megan achieve good numbers.  We told the nutritionist that we were on limited budget and could not afford all the healthy foods you need to buy for that. Krista the nutritionist said she understood and told us to do the best we can under the circumstances. On 2/28/12- Kristi Yoshikawa called the mother and set up an in home meeting for the next day. 

The CSW-Kristi Yoshikawa arrived at around 6:30 p.m. She introduced herself and then her attitude changed and she was very rude and demanded that we admit Megan to any emergency room so she could get an A1C test.   Both parents tried to explain to her you cannot just walk in an emergency room and request an A1C blood test, in order for that to be done and get an accurate reading the patient has to fast.  Since we had just eaten dinner we could not get an accurate reading.  She was being very adamant about it and told us if do not comply that she would get a court order to take our child.  The parents complied and took Megan to Torrance Memorial emergency.  

The parents also told Kristi that Megan has a current A1C test on file.  She had one done when she was in Miller’s Children Hospital in November.  We asked Kristi if she knew anything about Type 1 Diabetes and the A1C test that she was demanding.  Her response was, I do not know anything about diabetes, but through the course of our time together, I hope to learn as much as I can.  The parents found this both unprofessional and offensive that they would send untrained personnel to a clients house without the proper diabetes knowledge and training to assist properly in this case.  She still insisted upon getting an A1C blood test. 

When the parents asked Kristi to accompany then to the emergency, Kristi  said to call her when they were done.  The parents took Megan to the ER at Torrance Memorial and were turned away and were told to go to a LABCORP office to get that particular test done.  We called Kristi on the phone and told her that the ER turned us away and referred us to a LABCORP facility.  She then accusingly said, “Did you get proof from the hospital of what you are telling me”, we told her “we have the paperwork that the emergency said to take to Labcorp.  On 3/1/12-Father and daughter attended the appt. and although the doctor agreed that Megan’s diabetes was uncontrolled however, that in the past few weeks the blood sugar readings have improved due to improved compliance.  A return visit was requested in 4 weeks.  On 3/2/12– Parents and child met with our in-home counselor, Wilma Walker.  She told us she would be seeing us once a week. 

On 3/8/12 – Mother and child attended a meeting at the Post street office and developed a MCPC SERVICE PLAN AGREEMENT.   It stated we would have to do parenting classes, counseling for mother and child and family support group at children’s hospital.  At that time mother had requested a new social worker since the parents did not appreciate the way Kristi has handled herself and this case so far.   Lawrence Moch said he had confidence in Kristi and that she was one of their best employees.  He also told mother that he knows that Kristi is more than capable to handle this case.  To this day we were not given any information on any counseling. Lawrence Moch assured mother that it was not the intention of the department to take the child. 

On 3/19/12, Without giving 24 hour notice to the parents, MSW Lail conducted a face to face with the child during her p.e. class to interrogate her with irrelevant questions like “Does your mom wear a uniform to work; if not what kind of clothes does she wear”.  What does that have to do with diabetes? She did not discuss anything about a TDM with child    The child came home very upset stating she did not like MSW Lail pulling her out of class.  This event caused the child to worry, which caused an anxiety attack.  The child’s anxiety attacks raises her blood sugar.  After that the father asked the CSW to notify him 24 hours in advance, before questioning according to the DCFS handbook. 

On 3/21/12-The parents and child attended a follow up meeting at the DCFS office in Torrance. Kristi Yoshikawa was not in attendance do to an illness.  She attended the meeting over the phone.  Again we discussed another safety plan.  Lawrence Moch assured the parents that it is not the intention of the department to remove the child from the home. Services were offered, however no information was given to either parents like they were promised.  Lawrence stated that we start food logs to submit to the CSW and the school. 

The parents had already created food logs and supplied them with a copy but everyone other than the parents said they were not good enough. On 3/22/12- Lawrence Moch called the father to discuss his concerns about Kristi.  Again the father requested a new social worker. Lawrence refused his request and then started harassing the father and threatened to take the child out of the home.  So the parents went over Lawrence Moch’s head and sent a letter of request for a new social worker to Philip Browning, the director, and to this day we have not gotten a reply. On 3/23/12- Lawrence Moch called the father and inquired about child’s prescriptions.   Markeitha Harris called CVS pharmacy and inquired about the child’s prescriptions.  Evidently, there was still old prescriptions left from the child’s previous diabetes doctor and the parents were told by the child’s new doctor to disregard these prescriptions. 

The parents received child’s new prescriptions on 3/23/12 from the doctor, the father turned them into the pharmacy that same day, then the pharmacy informed the father that the Apidra (NOT THE LANTUS) that Dr. Palemeno had prescribed would be out of stock for a couple of months and to prescribe a suitable replacement.  Markeitha did not believe this fact.  Markeitha harassed the father for something that was out of his control.  Dr. Palemeno approved the replacement to be HUMOLOG.  Markeitha Harris supposedly being a registered nurse is supposed to understand this, only to find out that she harassed the employees at the pharmacy by making about 15 calls in a span of 20 minutes requesting that the pharmacy fill the original prescription. 

This is the first occasion that the DCFS office tried to change doctor’s orders.  Also, Markeitha and Lawrence also harassed the father by calling 6-10 times in a 40 min period demanding the he comply and the father had already picked up the prescriptions.  It was so severe that the pharmacy workers took note and questioned the father why they were being harassed.  On 3/26/12-The parents were called by the school to pick up the child due to high blood sugars.  The parents picked up the child and took her to urgent care.  As you can see from the paperwork the child was never at 400.  The child was 400 only during school hours not when the child was with her parents. Again the school failed to do their part in watching the child like they said they would.

On 3/27/12 –The school never called the parents to have her picked up, Megan came home on the bus as usual.  When Megan arrived at home her blood was only at 230.  There was no need to take child to Urgent Care. On 3/29/12- CSW Kristi and MSW Lail showed up to the child’s diabetes doctor visit without notification or permission to be there.   If you read on Kristi’s report PHN Harris was invited not Kristi and Lauren.  Throughout the whole appt., Kristi was being uncooperative with the nutritionist and the doctor.  The doctor had agreed with everything that the parents had told Kristi in the past and Kristi said that her department wants it to be a different way, not what the doctors want.  Kristi told the father in front the child and the nutritionist that she would believe the words of a child that has a learning disability and is prone to lie under pressure, rather than to believe anything the parent says or has tried to say.   

Even after the doctor and nutritionist confirmed what the father was trying to tell Kristi, Kristi still called the father a liar in front of the child and the nutritionist. The parents were also asked by the child’s nutritionist to create more detailed logs on the child’s meals, insulin dosage and food intake.  This was requested for a two-week trial period and for her eyes only. Then at the next appointment parents, nutritionist and child would go over the collected data and determine better ways to manage the child’s diabetes.  The father noticed that the child’s attitude had changed after this altercation happened.  The child was very distraught and was have an anxiety attack and was telling herself, “ I wish this diabetes would just go away” and “I dislike Kristi very much. 

I do not like the way she talks to my dad and I don’t like the way she tries to make me lie.’  In Kristi’s report about the loose log sheets, those were the parents creation on their own to help the child to correctly carb count and how much insulin to take a meal times.  No one ever requested these particular logs.  Dr. Palomeno had already given the parents parameters for the insulin dosage and also what to do in case of blood sugars that are 300 and over.   The father left the appt and transported the child to school and gave the LVN Nova the paperwork they have been requesting.  They father then requested that from now on, the parents are to be notified and present for any future discussions with Megan.  Melissa was not present when child was returned to school. 

On the way to school the father asked the child, “Why did you lie about me and mom not monitoring you.” The child stated that MSW Lail told her to. HE DID NOT GIVE THE OLD ORDERS FROM THE PREVIOUS DOCTOR TO MELISSA FOSTER.  In Kristi’s report all they talk about is administering an A1C test, however in the beginning of my report it is explained why that particular has not done and it was not the doctor’s recommendation.  Again, the DCFS is trying to be the child’s doctor, when they clearly are not medical physicians.  On 4/5/12- The parents received two different letters from Kristi stating they were not complying with her requests. She states that when she spoke to the mother, she was told that the logs have not been completed and that the mom would have to get back with her next week. 

What the mother actually said was “that the log for that day had not been completed and as soon as she got home it would be completed, she could then have a copy”. The next day the mother tried e-mailing and faxing the logs to Kristi, both attempts failed on their end.  She also asked that the mother to attend the next doctor’s appt. to receive training on the child’s diabetes and she said that due to all the DCFS appointments and the diabetes doctor appts. Being in the middle of the day, would be impossible because the mother works by LAX, Dr. Palomeno’s office is in South Torrance.  The father would be more than sufficient to attend these training classes.  Also, everyone so convientely forgets that the parents have to take mandatory classes from the hospital before the child is released from their care. 

The parents have workbooks and all the training material at home for diabetes training. Kristi knows that either parent has always been at all of the child’s appointments. On 4/12/12-Kristi Yoshikawa and Markeitha Harris showed up at client’s house for a follow-up visit.  The mother supplied a copy of all logs to both ladies and they both approved.  Upon questioning Kristi about the things she wrote in her letters, the father stated to Kristi to write the truth she actually heard, not a twisted around fabricated lie.  Kristi became very irritated, very demanding saying that the parents need to get on the same page as her their child’s well being. 

The mother tried to tell Kristi that with all the time she had taken in the past for DCFS appointments and the child’s medical care she could not take any more time off, that the mother was getting ridiculed by her boss for taking so much time off. Markeitha jumped in, raising her voice to an unprofessional level, stating “it is family sick leave, you can take as much time as you want.”  However, if you research family sick leave for employees that are salaried, the decision to let the employee off is on the employer alone.   It became an uneasy feeling of loud arguing about family sick leave and them not understanding about the mother’s responsibility to her job.  Kristi stated in her report that she had asked the mother for permission to talk with the child. 

That is a lie, because if she had asked the mother that, the mother would have told her the same thing as the father had.  At which point the father had to intervene and ask them to leave.  Again Kristi became irritated and demanding, that she wanted to speak to the child in private.  The father refused her request, and said we all need to get back to work.  The child did confess that she had lied on previous occasions about her parents not getting up with her and she stated that either my mom or my dad is up with me and monitors what I eat and how much insulin I take.

Then Kristi asked the father to leave the room so they could question the child again and the father said you cannot question her without me being present.  Kristi informed the father that procedure allows for her to question the minor in private. The father requested proof in writing.  To this day the parents were never supplied with any such procedure.  Kristi and Markeitha very reluctantly and condescendingly agreed and left.  On 04/17/12 – Dr. Palemeno requested an urgent in office meeting to discuss the parent’s issues with DCFS.   

In the meeting Dr. Palemeno informed the parent’s that last Friday 4/13/12 her office received around 20 calls in a row from Markeitha Harris, PHN.   She kept demanding to speak with Dr. Palemeno and identified herself as the child’s social worker.  Rosa the office manager told Markeitha that the doctor does not come in on Fridays.  Markeitha then demanded that the child be admitted to the ER at Torrance Memorial and for the child to stop injecting herself with insulin and have an adult do it. Rosa said she could not comply without doctor’s orders or without the parent’s permission.  Markeitha proceeded to threatened Rosa and told Rosa to tell Dr. Palemeno that if they do not comply with them that DCFS would report the office and the doctor to the Medical Review Board and get her license revoked and then file a child endangerment suit against her.  

Since this conversation, Dr. Palemeno has dropped the child from her care because of the threats made by DCFS and Markeitha Harris putting the child at risk.  This is the best response with the child’s blood glucose numbers since she has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.   Dr. Palemeno did supply the parents with another referral but says that she will continue to see the child only if the child receives different social workers or if the case is dropped.  On 4/18/12- The family and the social worker had a follow-up meeting scheduled at the Torrance DCFS office.  Kristi called the parents at the last minute and told them that the meeting had been cancelled due to scheduling problems.  On 4/19/12-Kristi Yoshikawa and Miguel Tapia arrived at the child’s diabetes doctor appt and took her into custody at 11:00 a.m. 

Both parents were reasonably upset that they received a court order on fabricated lies.  The child told the parents that when she was riding in the car to collect her belongings at the residence she kept asking them “why are you doing this”. After many calls and messages from both parents, the mother finally received a call from Lawrence Moch at 7:30 p.m. informing her of the whereabouts of her child and gave her the phone number to set up visitation. I have all correspondence, records, e-mail, references from the doctors and from our family and the school. I kept a notebook on everything that was done and said between CPS and us. I have everything from the dependency court and proof of all the harassment from the social workers. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/06/2013 12:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Department-of-Child-Services/Torrance-California-90504/Department-of-Child-Services-Kristi-Yamaguchi-Lawrence-Mock-Marketha-Harris-caused-lo-1073554. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

What you say is true... but

AUTHOR: mmsneak - ()

Kristi Yamaguchi is an ice skater.  True.  And becoming a licensed clinical social worker does take an enormous amount of education.

I also agree that the report was a tough read.  Unclear and difficult because of change in authors (possibly) and structure. 

What I gathered was that the report talked about a child with Type 1 Diabeties--continually not being managed by the parents and dangerously out of control over a significant period of time.

I feel terrible for the parents and the child however.  Managing diabetes is not easy with children of any age.  It seems like there should be better alternatives and protocols to follow than were taken in this case.

My heart goes out to them.  CPS/DCSF in general is broken and often reacts with condemnation and punishment rather than solutions.  Terrible for all involved--even the workers.

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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Stacey - ()

 Your report is nothing more that very long, drawn out novel!! I have not a clue about what you are talking about because you start out stating you are the parent then state the "parents" later on.  Who are the parents of this child???

It is up to YOU to provide healthy food for your child - you stated you did not have the money.  Where did your money go??? Who or what entity is paying for this child's healthcare??? Since you have been in the system for that many years I can only speculate that there is a NEED for CPS intervention.  The only way a case stays open that long is if there is suspected abuse over a long period for time.  Want them to stop this madness?? Start taking care of your child.  Stop blaming everyone and everything and take responsibility for your actions.

And Kristi Yamaguchi is an ICE SKATER not a Social Worker - I suggest you see how hard it is to become a Licensed Social Worker.  AND take care of your own instead of blaming - Look in the mirror. 

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