Complaint Review: Child Protective Services - Augusta Maine
- Child Protective Services maine.gov/dhhs/bcfs/index.htm Augusta, Maine U.S.A.
- Category: Child Protective Services
Child Protective Services CPS/DHS: A Government Monster Out Of Control Augusta Maine
*General Comment: PPS
*General Comment: To Jody
*General Comment: PS
*Consumer Suggestion: WHEN YOU'RE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH CPS
*REBUTTAL Individual responds: I've been there, I agree
* : happened to me to
"A Monster Out of Control"
My Own Case
In October of 1999, the Department of Human Services took my son after my husband struck him while I was gone one day and left him with a black eye. Before I had a chance to act, The DHS came with an officer at night right
before dinner and took him away. Meanwhile, my now ex-husband returned to his country (France) in January.
I have been fighting like hell ever since to get my son back, but to no avail. The DHS has no legal reason to keep him, yet they do. The judge (Rae Anne French) also refuses to hear my side of the case (court records will
prove this). I am only permitted to see him 8 hours per month, sometimes less. I am only allowed the strictest supervised visitation with him. They would not allow me
to see him on his birthday or Christmas. (There were "not enough case workers" to supervise at these times)
My 2nd court appointed lawyer has been mostly ineffective in this case. She advises me to "suck it up" and "go along with it" in order to get my son back. So far, I have jumped through all of the DHS's hoops, but there has
been no change. The court appointed lawyer for my son has been arguing for unsupervised visitation and his return home but the judge refuses to acknowledge it. I will continue to fight these monsters and I would like to hear from anyone else who might be having similar problems. The real tragedy of this kind of thing is that it takes the focus off the victims who really need help.
There are thousands of children out there who are neglected and abused and need help. Another sad fact is that my case is certainly not the worst. There are families who have been torn apart by unfounded accusations of abuse. I know this nightmare will not last forever, but I will continue to fight with others and spread the word and hopefully make a real change in this
country and spare other families from this cruel kind of injustice. If you are interested in joining this fight, there are several ways to do it. Writing letters to Congress and to our State Representatives is a very
effective tool. It is especially easy today because you can send email to almost everyone, including the President of the United States.
I would like to add, finally, that I believe not all social workers are "witch hunters" and there are many who have helped to save children from a life of abuse or neglect. These workers should be commended and congratulated. I would also like to thank everyone who has sent an email of support. It really helps me get through these tough days and nights. Thank you, with all
of my heart.
I am adding the latest later I wrote to my lawyer to this page to further emphasize the difficulties in dealing with this situation:
After doing a little soul searching and losing a bit more sleep, I have decided that I can no longer ignore your attitude towards me. Although I can appreciate that you were kind of "forced" to take my case, it was not me who chose you. French demanded it. Ask Mr. Hainke. He was there. The hellhound in the black robe cut me off in mid sentence and demanded that I get an attorney before returning to court. Two names were given and the
first lawyer who was called had a "conflict of interest" as he had briefly represent Corey's father. I also called lawyers on the list that Mr. Hainke gave me. None of them were available. You were the last one called. My 10 year old niece even noticed your lack of concern and asked me why I chose you for an attorney. Children are bright, aren't they?
I admit that I have been a bit naive as well. I was foolish to assume that when you heard this case, you would want to help and you would actually care
and see the seriousness of the situation as well as those of other families.
In retrospect, that was really stupid of me.
Please consider these true scenarios for just a minute. You have heard them before, but please put yourself in my place or the place of a hundred other parents in the same situation just for a minute.
How would you REALLY, I mean really feel if your son was taken and kept away from you for nearly a year with NO REAL reason given? No law. No questions answered. Just a bunch of vague psychobabble from "Policies R Us". How would you like it if you were treated as a pathetic excuse of a parent by people who didn't even know you or try to bother to know you? How would you feel if,
during the very brief visitations with your child, every word you said and everything you did was closely watched? And how would you feel if you were not even allowed to DEFEND yourself in court?
How fast do you think you could deal with it or "suck it up"? How would you feel if someone actually gave you
that advice? Would you be able to do it? Do you even care?
Imagine this: Your son is a legal hostage of the system. The system, by way of keeping your child from you and withholding information, implies that you are guilty of something (its never really made clear of what it is) and you had better do as they say, when they say and how they say or else it might be a cold day in hell before your child comes home again. So, they do as they please, invent their own laws ('cause they can) as well as things to put on paper against you and they actually get away with it because nobody wants to get involved. Not even the people who could make the biggest difference.
I am sure that the DHS workers such as Liz Day and Cathy Cyr sleep very soundly at night, secure in the knowledge that they are well protected by a multi million dollar legal budget, public ignorance on what they REALLY do
half of the time, and the fact that they don't have to lift a finger to actually prove anything in the courtroom. And the icing on the cake for them is that they have a judge who helps this diseased bureaucracy fester and virtually ignores due process. What a grand fortress that they have.
So you got a problem with it, Mom? Here's a quarter call someone who cares! Maybe you are thinking it could never happen to you or any close friends or family. A lot of people thought that. I thought that. It is only natural to distance yourself psychologically from things that are unpleasant to think about. I know that most people do not even think about such things unless it happens to them or to people very close to them. My family and friends are
horrified by what has been going on and they write letters and emails but they are also 2000 miles away or more and so there is a limit on what they can do but they are all with me in spirit all the time. I realize that your job is not an easy one and I don't know how many people could do what you do, but if you do not want this case or it is too much to handle, I wish you would just tell me and let me do whatever it is I need to
do to get another lawyer.
You have never even asked me any questions. You
have told me what they say I need to do, but very little else. You do not return my phone calls. And on the planet I grew up on, when a lawyer represents a client, especially a defendant, they occasionally say positive
things about the client to somebody it would matter to or someone in a position to help their case. Are we still on that planet? As far as I know, nothing has been said in my behalf to the DHS or the court. Nothing. Its just
like what Liz Day said to Mr. Hainke: "I don't have anything against Laura, but I don't have anything for her either". All I gotta say about that is BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY! So, do you think you could take just a few minutes to either give me some kind of an answer? By phone, email or even dixie cup? I can take the truth. It is the apathy I cannot stand.
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