Anastasia and Isabel Antes were taken from their home by CYS of Lancaster on 10/26/10. I am not a teen-aged mother, a crack addict, an alcoholic or an abusive parent. My crime is that my housework suffered due to illness and my home was deemed "unsafe" for my children and "unsanitary". This conclusion was based on the falsehoods and inaccurate statements submitted by a caseworker, and the absurd report from the agency's own psychologist, Dr. Gransee, who even the presiding judge did not seem to take seriously.
I have fibromyalgia and receive disability compensation. At the time of the CYS "investigation", I was under a substantial amount of stress due to the actions of my ex-husband in the matters of custody, support, and his inappropriate behavior while the girls were in his care. My fibromyalgia symptoms were exacerbated due to the extreme stress, so at that time my only concern was caring for my daughters. Admittedly, my house was a mess, but, unfortunately for me, that's when CYA came knocking.
In addition to the excruciating pain of having my children taken away, I have had to endure a great amount of personal invasion with caseworkersfrom CYSand CAP visiting constantly. I was charged with the duty of finding doctors, on my own, who accepted medicare and to whom I could travel despite my lack of transportation. I have been under the care of a psychiatrist for the purpose of evaluating my medication. I have been seeing a psychologist who was to determine if I was "fit" to participate in Personalized Parent Training.
My primary physician was furious upon reading Dr. Gransee's parental fitness report and responded with his estimation of my capabilities. He stated that Dr. Gransee was not qualified to make such determinations on medical or psychiatric matters and that he was certainly unprofessional. The psychologist I went to at the insistence of CYS also sent a letter refuting claims made in Dr. Gransee's report, said that he saw no need for me to participate in a parenting class, as well as stating that Dr. Gransee's evaluations were inaccurate and unprofessional. "Dr." Gransee also wanted a second opinion on a twenty year old diagnosis.
One of the most difficult expectations of CYS is that I maintain a stable home environment for the children's return. The check I received and the checks made out to my children made up our total household income of $2,200. My daughters' checks were immediately diverted to CYS, and yet I am supposed to maintain a suitable residence on $1,100. How is that even possible? I am now residing with my elderly parents.
Instead of concentrating on all of the evidence in my favor, CYS is only looking at what they consider evidence to the contrary, inaccurate as most of it is. I cannot imagine any greater pain than what I have suffered since my girls were taken from me. I get visitation at CYS for TWO HOURS PER MONTH. One hour every other week. I have repeatedly inquired as to why I don't get more visitation and have yet to receive an answer.
I am 51 years old, and have successfully raised two sons who are now twenty-five and twenty-six. I don't need to be trained to be a parent, I am a parent. Anyone who has had any interaction with my children will tell you that I am a great parent.
The thought that I might not get my girls back is abhorrent to me. Especially when based on the exaggeration and fabrication contained in the reports submitted by a caseworker and the agency's psychologist. There are times when all people should be treated equally, but there are also times when a person should be judged on his or her own merit. This is definitely one of those times.