On December 21st, 2007 my children were found dependent on Luzerne County Children and Youth services. I was court ordered to report to the Beyond Violence womens shelter at 4 p.m. that afternoon in order to keep my children. I complied with the requirements stated in the court order. I was in the shelter recieving the counseling that was ordered for me. I reported by 9 p.m everynight with my children as stated in the rules. I also tried to enroll myself and fiancee in anger management, parenting classes, and also tried to get a mental heath evaluation as I was ordered to do. But because there is a court order no mental health facility will work with us because they will not evaluate someone under a court order.
So I contacted my caseworker at the C&Y center and informed her that I was complying with counseling and was enrolled in parenting classes beginning January 17th 2008 but that I was unable to get the mental health screening because noone was willing to do it. She informed me that she would find someone that would complete the screenings and would contact me back.
She never contacted me regarding finding a mental health facility willing to complete services. The next time she contacted me she informed me that we had to go back to court on January 11th. I was served with my subpeona at 6:30 PM on the 10th which gave me no time to find any kind of legal representation. This is also what happened on the 21st of December being as I only recieved 30 hrs of time to try and detain a lawyer. So because of their poor schedualing I was unable to have a lawyer to help me.
Their only reason for taking my children is that I was a victim of spousal abuse, which I dont agree with, but I still left the situation and complied so I could keep my children. The caseworker, Denise Martin, doesnt have a reason for taking the kids when she is asked why. She just says thats what needed to be done.
My children are now in a foster care situation when there is no need for them to be there. They have never been physically, mentally, sexually, or emotionally abused. They have been seen by a teacher 2 times a week for the past 7 months and my daughter has seen her for over a year total. Everyone that has come in contact with me and my children, including the women in charge of the Beyond Violence shelter and the childrens teacher, cant understand how I lost my children being as I have never done anything to put them in danger or hurt them in any way. They are healthy happy well adjusted smart babies and I feel that them being in foster care is detrimental to their mental and physical well being.
My sister has been approved by the Children and Youth services in Columbia county in the past to foster children. Her and her home were also approved by Luzerne county to watch my children. I feel that they would be much better off with someone who loves them and knows all their needs and routines. They would also be more comfortable and feel safer with her because she has been there everyday since they were born. They know my sister and feel safe with her. I would be willing to comply and not see my children if they were placed with my sister because at least them I know they are being taken care of properly.
The caseworker at C&Y will not talk to me or give me any solutions to even try to get my children back. She repetedly hangs up the phone on me when I ask to speak with her supervisor. She tells me that she doesnt have to give me the reason my kids were removed. I feel that I have a right to fight for my children and that that right is being stripped away from me.
I need help knowing legally what to do next. If there is anyone out there who knows how I can legally fight to get my babies back or a way to try and get my sister to foster them, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know. Thank you
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