Common Sense

A place to discuss thoughts and ideas concerning what is wrong in this country, the United States.

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Location: United States

Monday, July 25, 2005

We brought it all on the 19th. We had our children's medical records, showing the comments "well appearing, well nourished in no distress" on each visit. We had the psychological eval and IEP the school wrote concerning my son diagnosing him with Asperger's Syndrome and documenting his fear of bathing and his lack of toilet training. We told of my daughter's physical therapist saying that using cereal on the floor to get my daughter to start crawling was a good idea.

All for nothing. Sure, the people on the panel review seemed impressed with our evidence. And yet, for all of that, we still received a letter dated 21 July stating that the original determination was upheld.

The testimony of our original caseworker was colored, at best. She used words like "insisted" to describe my wife's desire that my son attend the rest of the day that Friday when she could not remember what my son had for breakfast. Did not remember that I "insisted" that we take him and get him something to eat. That she "insisted" we check to see what my daughter had picked up off the floor and put in her mouth the day of her first contact. She did not need to insist, and of course it was the cereal we were using to encourage her to crawl.

We were told that DFCS had the ability, with our permission, to question others. Why then did they not question my daughter's physical therapist with regards to the use of the cereal? Of course, the DFCS worker insisted that our floor was "littered" with food (no, just the cereal). That our dishes were piled up in the kitchen with dried food. (Warning: The government feels that you should have your kitchen clean before regular visiting hours. I guess you should ensure your dishwasher is unloaded and start loading your dirty dishes as they are used. And if you don't have a dishwasher, I guess you will have to wash them up as you use them.)

I disagreed with the school reporting us without going through some process, a process I would have thought to be dictated by DFCS, since they are "mandated" to report. Come to find out, DFCS has no guidelines. Mandated reporters are allowed to create their own process and criteria?! Does this make sense that you are required to report, by DFCS, but you create your own criteria and process for that mandated reporting? So we were told we would need to take this issue up with the school system.

I brought up questions like: Why didn't his teacher change his clothing with the spare clothing in his book bag? Why didn't she clean his nails before sending him home? Since she wrote the IEP, shouldn't she be aware he isn't toilet-trained? How does she know he was sent to school in his "night shirt"? (He wasn't).

I was told that my children were not threatened with removal. That my case wasn't serious, that the letter stating abuse or neglect is worded too strongly. Gee, could they take a minute to maybe change the wordage? And the person chairing the meeting, Mr. Bennett, said that on a scale of 1 to 10, ours rates about a 2.

And for the first time since this has started, I saw the original case manager's report. She was supposed to give us a copy, but we never received one. It stated: "Crib had several toys and was considered a safety hazard
1. Mr & Mrs Yates will remove the toys from the crib to ensure safety.
2. CM will make hvs [home visits?] to counsel family regarding making home child safe.
3. CM will make hvs and collateral contacts to determine progress"

So, that is it? Where was written documentation concerning our kitchen and floors? I've read articles stating they can't claim abuse/neglect for a dirty home, so she had to find something that they could use. Warning: keep those dangerous toys out of the crib! We told her that we didn't allow her to sleep with those things in there... but they were there during her visit, so we were in trouble.

Got a call from the investigator from DHR looking into our case. Nice of the governor to have an interest in our case, but I am sure now he is going to get the standard report, something like "As long as Mr. & Mrs. Yates follows the DFCS guidelines, work with their counselors, and meets the objectives of their plans, the case will be closed in three months to one year".

To paraphrase: "Be a good boy and good girl, do EVERYTHING DFCS tells you to do, keep your mouth clean (and shut) and we will eventually leave you alone (or until you are reported again).

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