My 14 year old daughter had been acting up and experimenting with drugs. As soon as I found the drugs (I wrestled them out of her hand for fear of her life). I called her father who had been absent in her life for all but once a year and had never called her. He was suppose to have insurance by order of the court and I tried getting her into counseling but found out there was no insurance.
I asked for help and he did pick her up for a couple of days. While waiting for the insurance things got worse. She had stayed with a friend once night and didn't call because they were at a campground. Two weeks had past since I called her father but I did once again. I knew she hadn't ran away but he called CPS and reported her as a runaway. I'm going to try to keep this short. CPS appeared at my door and I was a fool and let her and the police in and trusted them.
As I said earlier, I knew my daughter needed help and I was trying to get it as fast as I could. At most the social worker was there for 30 minutes and it was a very stressful and upsetting time. The police were constantly in my daughter's face pushing her. She was rude and honest. She admitted smoking pot and they asked her who had sold it to her. She said she wouldn't say. Another child was beaten severly two days prior to that for telling. They said they'd arrest her and she put her hands behind her back and said go ahead.
I made the mistake of telling Barb that she had been having problems - had gotten physical but I was getting help as soon as the card came. They arrested her, without reading her rights, Barb walked into Alesha's room without my concsent. I told Barb too many things and everything I said was turned around so badly.
Twp daus later, she was back with paperwork. I was not able to talk to my child. I asked what was going on and she told me that she wanted her in a residential treatment center for a year. This would have broken my daughter's spirit and I was going to get better counseling more often at home. As soon as I hired an attorney, I was completely ignored by CPS.
The hearing was held 72 hours later when 48 hours is the maximum the kids can be held. My daughter's father admitted she was a child in need of care which my lawyer told me was the same as admitting guilt. My lawyer aslo told me that if I didn't let her go and if anything would happen, I would lose her forever. I let her go thinking I could have her home in a week as soon as counseling was set up - wrong! We went to visit after court at the CPS building and my child - who just found out she was not going home was told by Barb if she cried, I would have to leave. What child would not cry???? I had to leave while her father, stepmother and grandparents were allowed to stay.
The attorney I hired was local and did not call me back. I called or emailed Barb daily trying to find out what was happening and trying to see how my daughter was. The center did not allow phone calls for awhile, and I was able to visit for two hours a week. Later I found out my visits had to be supervised though her father's wasn't. This is a man who did not know his daughter. I wanted and still want them to be close though she has grown to resent him. I want her to believe he loves her.
I (and Alesha) were going through hell. My first instinct as a mother was to protect my children with everything I have. There were fights daily, she was threatened and was told horrible things about me by Barb. I felt I was in the movie Alice and the Looking Glass. I'll go into this later.
Here is a little of my history. I have raised two children and Alesha is my youngest. My other children are healthy, well adjusted adults and I had NEVER had problems with CPS in the past. I spent the first month just trying to reach someone to find out what was going on. I could get no answer. I asked Barb daily if there was anything I could do. I studied Indiana Juvenile law most of the nights.
Oh - back to me. I put myself through school while raising three kids, with straight A's. This isn't bragging, just showing I was going to make sure that I could provide well for my family. I worked my way up in my career to become a top financial manager for an automotive company. About several years ago, I began having nerve and connective tissue problems which are extremely painful. I had to go on disability (private) so I'm still providing well for them. I had every procedure I could to kill the pain, accupunture, trigger point injections, facet joint injections, and physical therapy and so on but it didn't help. I went to the best pain management specialist in the country and he gave me pain medication. I have gone to him for four years and have never abused my medication. I have a letter proving this. After taking any medication for awhiler the side effects go away so I never get "high" or out of it but the caseworker latched on to this.
She told my daughter basically that I was a drug addict and would die soon. She told her I would have to go to rehabilitaion before she could live with me. How can she send a pain patient that had never taken illegal drugs to rehab. I have prescriptions for them. There were so many things that she was told negative about me but I can't list them all. One night my daughter couldn't reach me and when she did was in hysterics - she thought I had died.
What I didn't know was that she was gathering all of her information from my ex and family when they hadn't been in our lives. How would they know what kind of a mother I have been for the past eight years. My daughter smoked her first joint at her father's house. I left him because of illegal drug use and mental abuse of my son. She had every reason for our divorce in a report but left that fact out. He had been arrested for it.
We had our case plan hearing and I was willing to move to Jackson county where her father lives so she could have both of us. Barb was there with her boss. I had paid for Alesha's insurance and was going to begin counseling just as soon as we could get her out. I found out that Barb had tried to get Alesha's father set up as a foster parent since he admitted she was a Chin's child. Jackson county fought this because they would have to pay him to raise his daughter. If he couldn't be a father, how could he be a step father???
With Alehsa on the phone and not present she did not realize that she could get out within a week. They had a meeting with her prior to our meeting and told her that they could have terminated our parental rights and she could have become a foster child. They had told her that they were going to let her out August 1st which was a month away instead of indefinitely. She was happy and when they said it over the phone my attorney said, "Alesha are you sure you are happy with that." Alesha didn't know she could get out earlier and was happy because she thought she'd be in there so much longer.
A few weeks later I did get ahold of Barb. I had moved to Seymour as planned and left my other two children and a soon to be grandchild so Alesha could have a new start. Barb told me that her boss was no longer there so things would be changing. Before Alesha was let out, she was allowed two overnight visitations and a weekend one. I received only one overnight visitation. She was told that she would be going to her father's instead of my house. Barb told me that she was going to his house when she was let out and I said we are doing the joint custody. She told me that since Alesha was a child that would always pust the limits, she wasn't like my other two....that I should let her live at her father's house. This is the man that had hurt her and had caused many of her problems. I told Barb, "just because she pushes limits should I love her less." or give up on my daughter??? That is not possible.
Three weeks later we had the fact finding hearing. My lawyer told me to agree she was a child in need of care. I asked my lawyer if that was an admission of guilt and wouldn't my name be put in a registry. She told me that if I didn't trust her to get a new lawyer - by this time I couldn't afford one. She told me no though I found out it was a lie. I didn't receive the report until Saturday and the hearing was Monday at 9AM which left me no time to go over it with my lawyer. I read it and about broke down. It was nine pages of lies. They are required to investigate hearsay and she had not seen me or talked to me about any of it. She left everything out that made my ex look bad and made up things about me. I didn't think I would get my child back because I thought that there was no way I would have the time in court to fight all of it. It was obvious that she did not look out for the best interest of my daughter or try to reunite our family.
I was on the stand for over an hour and proved as many things as time allowed. She lied on the stand a couple of times. She stated that we had agreed in the case plan that my ex would get custody. I happened to have the case plan with me and it showed that she had lied.
The judge took our lawyers back into his chamber and he went against the recommendations of CPS and gave me full custody of my daughter. She is still involved with CPS and the local caseworker visits me though Barb would not transfer it down here. I'm still nervous, my daughter was hurt so much worse by all of this. I moved down here so she could see her father and he has visted once and called once. It has been three months.
I have had horrendous legal expenses as well as the move. I will be filing a complaint form with CPS. The local CPS worker has taken the time to get to know me and wants to be a witness for me at the next hearing. I'm required to take drug tests though I've never taken illegal drugs, while my ex has been arrested for them and he doesn't have to. I don't feel that this woman should have the power to do this to another family.
I'm taking this as far as I can. CPS needs to have safeguards against out of control caseworkers. They are used to people being too afraid to challenge them.
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