To Whom It May Concern:
i am the mother of Caitlynn (15), Siris (10), and Tru (7), have had my children removed from my care on December 29, 2009 for leaving them unattended at a said known drug house while I went to a court appearance I had been requested to attend from 7:30 a.m. until my arrival back at 10:45 a.m. Upon my arrival back, I noticed the residence where my children were being cared for while I was at court, was being raided by local sheriffs and police departments for drugs. I walked directly into the situation and told law enforcements my situation and informed them I did not
reside there. I was directed to sit with children until investigation was over, I did, and it was found to be that there were no drugs found at the end. I complied fully with them and at around 8:00 p.m., Childrens Protective Services showed up and informed me that my children were to be removed from me temporarily until a meeting, T.D.M., was scheduled. I asked and pleaded that this not happen to me and again told the ERW, Robert Escarlera, my situation. I asked him to come to my residence to verify we did not live at the residence that was raided. He agreed and followed me to our home in Redlands, lived there for 10 years, and did a walk-thru. Escarlera informed me that I had a very nice, tidy home and he would note that he did visit my home in report. I was instructed to let the children leave with their aunt until my T.D.M. I complied fully to avoid any other issues. I cried, and my children were traumatized, during this whole situation. It was horrifying.
No charges were filed against me during this whole process nor was I detained or arrested. There were 7 people total arrested that day for the following charges of 1) being under the influence of a controlled substance and 2) child endangerment. These charges were not filed on and they were all released on December 31, 2009. I also
was tested on 12/29/2009 and later was informed the results were negative. One other child was removed from the home besides my three but was later returned 6 months later. That child is my niece and had the same caseworker, Sarah Phillips, who did speak of my confidential case when it was not necessary to the other party involved. I have witnesses that were involved in these conversations ready to testify and come forward to speak on my behalf. Their
names and contact information will be supplied upon request.
During this event, I had to keep reassuring my children that this was only temporary and I would do whatever it takes to get them back home with me where they belong, I have had all three of my children in my custody and care since birth.
They have never been removed or placed anywhere but within my care. I have no drug charges what so ever on file and have never been detained, arrested, nor charged with drug charges in my life. I did not understand that I would have to
say I had a drug problem in order to get my children back home. I was informed at the T.D.M. that if I complied and completed services they thought appropriate for me, that I would be reunified with my children within 6 months.
I was heart broken but did as they instructed me to do so I could have my children home with me and back in the environment they were attached to. I did not realize that this would be the worst mistake of my entire life for it was
never in the best interest of my case worker, Sarah Phillips, to reunify us. It was later stated that my children were better off somewhere else where they could have a chance at success later in life and not be like their mother and
father. This statement I do have recorded and documented on 07/13/2010. I have submitted this recording to my attorney Andrew Haynal.
Today, March 30, 2012, I still remain without two of three children that were removed. I have been granted full custody of the oldest, Caitlynn after a 30 day extended visit in which I completed all tasks that were given to me. On March
02, 2012, the case regarding Caitlynn was dismissed and closed. I believe that this action came on because during her removal from me, mother, Caitlynn AWOLed from her placement home two times and became pregnant. She was
AWOL for over 9 months and case worker stated to me, leave her be. As long as we know she is alive and not dead somewhere, we dont need to bother with her. This made me very upset and I asked to meet with worker immediately during a phone conversation. I was told that I could speak to Sarah Phillips later in the week but never heard anything back. I later received the new case plan and the goal was still listed as reunification so I did not want to do anything
to change this recommendation and was told to just do what is asked in order to get the younger two children home. Again, I agreed but still had major concerns with the advice given by professionals that were assigned to my case. I did not know where to get help from here but I did start to request a new worker due to unprofessional attitudes, statements, and actions being taken. This upset Sarah Phillips and started a major issue between us. I have statements that were made by my caseworker to the foster parent caring for my children that prove to be just so. The foster parent stated she didnt want trouble from Phillips and was scared to say anything to her because she could remove the children from her too.
The case plan has always been planned as to reunification with children since the start until the 18-month hearing. It wasnt until then that it was being changed to permanent placement with adoption for Siris and Tru . I asked for an explanation from worker and supervisor but was turned away and directed to speak with my attorney regarding this matter. All what was disclosed to me was that CFS has a time limit to reunify and had ran out of time during the time allowed and that permanent placement was the only option left at this point even though I had completed my case plan with certificates and good standing with all counselors and staff. I can supply all documentation regarding this upon request. I do not understand how one child can be returned to my custody, and the other two are facing adoption. At a visit, siris and tru asked me if they were in trouble because sissy gets to come home and we dont! how am I to answer a question like this? It is causing extreme emotional problems in my younger children and since this has been put into counseling for their best interest as stated by Phillips. This has been the FIRST time ANY services have been offered to my children since their initial removal on 12/29/2009, 25 months ago. I need to know why they now are being
offered services when I requested over 14 months ago that I would like to be in counseling with my children to enforce communication, trust, and structure issues due to visitation set at 1x week for 1 hour since 12/29/2009 with no
progress or increased visitation with my efforts. They have always been supervised with no explanation and this has caused great disconnection for my children and me. I am filing a grievance again to help me get answers to this.
I will forward a copy when instructed to do so.
I have another major issue not mentioned thus far. All three children were initially placed together but 9 months later, my oldest daughter was removed out of the home of Valerie the foster parent due to not being a good influence on her siblings because of an argument that arose due to aunt hitting my sister Tru and yanking her around by her collar. Caitlynn became very angry and told Pyatt not to ever touch my little sister again or there would be problems! The police were called by myself, denise Lawson, and by the foster parent, Valerie,at which time it had escalated and the CFS worker was notified. She instructed Caitlynn to have her stuff packed because she will not tolerate problems like this. Caitlynn was driven to the office located on Gifford Street in San Bernardino and later placed in a group home setting. When interviewed by another CFS worker due to allegations made by Caitlynn, it was found to be true that aunt indeed
was physically abusing Tru Wade. I was beyond upset and asked what was being done in this matter but was informed that since Val is blood related to Tru, it is understandable for this to happen but recommended that aunt not let this
occur again in the future to avoid any issues it may cause in the case. Again, I called the supervisor, Latricia Mathis, and demanded an answer as to filing a complaint and requesting a new worker. It was noted but never requested and I
began to research information regarding this matter on my own with the assistance of my attorney, legal aid, and local newspaper discussions.
I am ready to present my case public and am also submitting the enclosed information to various television, government, city, newspaper, and public attention. It has gone to far to keep secret and the lives and future of my family depend on an answer and decision that has never been answered. This is our life in the hands of an unprofessional, DISCRIMINATING, unlawful worker that has had NUMEROUS complaints filed against her with no explanation given to the ones requesting information. My daughter has been separated completely from her siblings, which is against court order, for over 14 months now. It has caused extreme emotional problems in all children involved. No services or arrangements have been made up to date except agreement at 2x a week visit for 1 hour by Caitlynn that is shared with me, mother, and supervised also. Many attempts have been made to ask if Siris and Tru could attend various events due to Caitlynns pregnancy but have not been allowed. It is causing grief and separation issues which supervising worker witnesses during visits. I asked that her, adoption worker document these, and she states they will be but I never get any conformation on these issues.
I have made to date, four complaints to various departments of Childrens Family Services that go in order from the following; 1) complaint directly to case worker Sarah Phillips, she directed me to talk to her supervisor but would not disclose her name or number and rudely hung up on me. I called the front desk and asked for assistance. They directed me to speak with supervisor Latricia Mathis and transferred me. 2) Spoke with Mathis and asked to meet with her directly. Was told that she was extremely busy and will get back to me. Waited about three weeks then went to office and asked them to get her. It was urgent. No reply so I requested the on-duty supervisor who came out and met with me to take the complaint. Her name was Vera and she reassured me I would get a response regarding this matter within a week or two. When another situation occurred at office, Mathis finally took my complaints down and let me know something just isnt right with this case and I will review it thoroughly. 3) Contacted Joyce Jones shortly after to get more support and guidance. I left several messages on her voicemail along with others directed to Tim Tompkins, regional manager. When Joyce Jones called me, I explained my issues, concerns, and complaints with her over the phone. She assured me she would review case and get back to me ASAP. I received a call back 9 days later in which I felt like I was being attacked for just now coming forth with these allegations two days prior to my court date. I explained the whole process and situation to her but she told me there was nothing she could do in such short notice. My heart sank further into an empty state and I began losing hope once more bringing all the symptoms of manic depression onset one more time. Doctor records on file if and when needed to verify my condition and the dates these symptoms began.
I have followed the legal procedures in order from The Complaint Process brochure and I have fully and completely followed the steps leading me up to this FORMAL COMPLAINT. I am filing today, March 30, 2012 and have been
documenting, recording, and producing verifiable witness statements regarding these accusations. I request that they be documented, reviewed, and addressed during the allotted time frame allowed by law. The services that were promised
to be of service to my children and I have been a lie. They have been unprofessional, inappropriate, unlawful, and not made in the best interest for my children and me. This has been an experience I would not ever want any other
human being to ever have to go thru. It is a nightmare.
My children have been given false hope and now show intense signs of withdraw, isolation, distrust, low self-esteem, and disconnection with me, their mother. I have had only 1 hour a week supervised visitation since the start even after
the judge (Judge Carvel) ordered my children be returned to my custody upon completion of The Gibson House for Women, a 60 day inpatient program. Upon completion, I asked when they were to be home and Phillips got angry stating
she would not do this for me and it was up to her to follow thru with these plans. I again went down and filed a grievance/ complaint with staff. I told her I had my own 4-bedroom home in big bear and that she can come see it. She did visit my new home and it was approved. Still my children have not even seen our new home in Big Bear. They do
ask frequently when they will be able to visit there but I have no answer to give them.
Mrs. Phillips has not supervised any of our visits to see how we interact until recently. For the past 25 months, she did not witness any conversation, interaction, or witness the harm this has caused our family. I do not understand how come I havent been able to get increased visitation and when I do ask, I get told that eventually it will happen if I dont make an issue out of it. Still nothing has happened. Also, as stated in all my case reports, I am to meet monthly with
social worker to discuss progress and see where I am at in my plan. To date, I have met a total of three times to do so. I was not offered more appointments to do so. I initiated all other contacts with worker to address conflicts and major
issues in the case that I felt I needed to discuss, but still they were not resolved or completely answered.
In July, 2011, I was told by my attorney that Sarah Phillips wanted me to go in-patient or my parental rights were going to be terminated for the fact that time ran out for this case. I agreed to do so and when I talked to the judge
that day, Judge Gavel in Dept. 5 of Juvenile Dependency Drug Court, he asked me if I understood that this was not because I tested positive, but so CFS could prolong my time and my children could be returned to me while in treatment. I did admit myself into Gibson House for Women and successfully completed the program. My children were not allowed to be at the facility with me but even after completion, they were not returned to my care due to the worker stating, you
have to prove you can remain stable now that you are out of a structured place then we will discuss it after 60 more days. I did everything asked of me and even missed Halloween with them due to a denial when I requested them. I then requested a holiday packet for Thanksgiving and Christmas but was told that there was not enough time to get it approved. The year prior, I had my children unsupervised with no problems or complaints when I returned them after three days with me. I did not understand why I was being kept away from my children now because I have been testing negative only and have completed my case plan. I asked to speak with her supervisor and Mathis came out to talk to me.
After hearing my plea and hearing the facts, Mathis told Phillips there was no sufficient reason I could not be with my children and she was to grant me time with them. Phillips agreed to do so but was very upset at me and acted rude,
short, and unprofessional when directed to do so. I did not get Thanksgiving with my children due to false information provided by Phillips in regards to a live scan to be completed by my father to have the children at his home for the
holiday. It was a complete wreck and never was dealt with properly. My father and I both called to report the problem and it was never resolved. Christmas morning, I had my children from 10 am to 1 pm due to the supervisors approval
that worker did not follow thru with completely. I was thankful to have them at all and thanked her.
There are many more issues not mentioned within this complaint but I have enclosed a detailed, documented copy of the events that have seriously affected my case and the return of my children. I am requesting that my case be reviewed,
investigated, and put on hold until further notice to stop the adoption of Siris Palmer and Tru Wade due to unlawful and unprofessional recommendations by social worker. Also, I do not feel accurate, factual information has been
verified in this case by the CFS department that handles my case. I am requesting that I receive the correct services I am entitled to receive and that my attorney be notified immediately regarding this matter or I will proceed to the next step in the complaint process against Sarah Phillips, Latrica Mathis, and the CFS office in control of my case.
I have been discriminated against, treated unprofessionally, threatened, and even neglected of my rights as a parent for the past 2 years. I need answers regarding my case in question. I am a strong, responsible, determined, and
loving mother who deserves her children be returned to her custody so that this can be put behind my family and so that my children can have the proper love, attention, and care they too deserve. Please help me in any possible way you
can to resolve this case in a timely matter. I appreciate your time and understanding.
A very thankful, confused mother