I am the grandmother of three boys in the custody of DHS in cleveland county. They have been in custody since may of 2004, in that time we have only seen them 3 or 4 times. The youngest baby was born on September 9th, we have only seen him once since the day he was born. The last visit we had was before halloween. The last court date was october 27th, there were supposed to be daily visits set up with the newborn, and regular visits set up with the two older boys, ages 4 and 2. We have not heard a word from dhs.
The last time the mother tried to call dhs about the visits she was told that her caseworker was no longer with dhs and they had a new caseworker, she left a voice message and has never heard back. These parents have complied with dhs and are following their treatment plan. They were told in may that they would get the kids back when they found a new place to live, as the house they were in did not have a bedroom for each child, they did that, still no kids, dhs keeps coming up with some other reason to keep the children. On September 9th, the youngest was born, they took him from the hospital the day after, we waited for the court date, DHS said they had to agree that the baby was deprived. How can he be deprived when they never even got to take him home? This has been a nightmare, i have posted messages and even sent the president an e-mail on child welfare reform.
The court dates are a joke as dhs lies and says what they want to say and nobody hears our side. One investigator said the house was suitable for the children, funny, that report never made it to court. I don't know what can be done about these people, but someone needs to do something. These people are destroying our lives and the lives of these 3 little boys, we don't get to see them enough for them to even know who we are anymore. At the last visit the oldest was calling the foster mother mom. the middle child doesn't remember us and the baby has not bonded at all with his parents. We don't know when we will get to see them again, probably not anytime soon.
DHS has not done a thing to help the parents, they have only made things much worse for them. These kids were not abused, they were happy and very much loved, they got taken because they didn't have their own bedroom. Well, i didn't either when i was little, and neither do alot of kids in the united states, but that does not mean they are deprived or neglected. DHS goes after the people who don't have the money to fight back, their children are taken simply because they are not rich and don't live in the best house in town. Instead of taking children, why don't they provide the means to get people back on their feet, some have no money because of circumstances beyond their control. It's time child welfare was put in their place, they are the ones guilty of neglect and depriving children.