Prickly World for Alabama DHR Staff

This is one of those Alabama supreme court cases that makes you cry for nearly everyone involved. Gowens v. Tys. S., Case No. 1041341, 1041413 (Ala. May 3, 2006). It’s all about whether a DHR investigative social worker can be sued by the people he or she is charged with protecting. The short answer is yes.

Jefferson County DHR became involved with this family when the mother delivered a child at UAB Hospital, and both mother and baby tested positive for cocaine. when a social worker at the hospital reported the presence of cocaine to DHR, DHR began an investigation. Supervisor Rose assigned the investigation to investigative social worker Gowens.

Even though a preliminary report mentioned there were two other children living in the household, Gowens developed a “safety plan” with the mother at the hospital that made no mention of the other children. In violation of the DHR manual, Gowens failed to verify the number of children in the household with an outside source, taking only the mother’s word for it that the newborn child was the only one in the household. Had he done so, presumably, he would have learned that the mother had two other children at home and would have (also as required by the DHR Manual) actually talked with those children. Had he done so, he might have learned more about how dangerous the home environment was both to the newborn baby and the older children.

Gowens set up a “safety plan” with the mother, using her mother (the grandmother of the children) as a person who had information about the children. Gowens learned a month or so later that the mother had made statements to him about her substance abuse that turned out to be untrue. He tried to visit the mother at her home but was unable to find her.

Tragedy followed about three months after that, when fire broke out in the residence. In that fire, one of the older children received third degree burns on her body, and fingers of one her hands had to be amputated. When he reopened the investigation, Gowens learned about the other children, learned that grandmother had a history of child neglect charges through DHR, and learned that the children had been unable to escape the fire because the grandmother had locked them in the house alone when she left for work.

There was no evidence or allegation that Gowens ever acted in bad faith. Instead, the evidence is of his failure to follow the DHR Manual.

The supreme court had several questions before it, all presented on interlocutory review (asking for appellate guidance while a case is ongoing):

  1. Whether Gowens was immune from any suit in connection with his work for DHR under Ala. Code § 26-14-9, which purports to extend immunity to designated persons who investigate child abuse or neglect.
  2. Whether Gowens was immune from suit by these plaintiffs (the children) because he owed them no duty.
  3. Whether Gowens was immune from suit by these plaintiffs because his actions were not the proximate cause of their injuries.

The supreme court dealt with the first argument easily, perhaps too easily. Here’s what Ala. Code § 26-14-9 says:

Any person, firm, corporation or official, including members of a multidisciplinary child protection team, quality assurance team, child death review team, or other authorized case review team or panel, by whatever designation, participating in the making of a good faith report in an investigation or case review authorized under this chapter or other law or department practice or in the removal of a child pursuant to this chapter, or participating in a judicial proceeding resulting therefrom, shall, in so doing, be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

The supreme court said that although the statute does indeed grant absolute immunity, the immunity does not arise unless the suit contains within it a charge that Gowens did one of the three acts. That’s not what the statute says. It says that any person participating in one of the three acts will be entitled to the immunity. I can accept that the legislature may not have intended the broad result Gowens advocated, but the plain language of the statute says that, and it should be up to the legislature to amend the statute, not up to the court to impose its own limitations.

Next the supreme court dealt with whether Gowens was immune from suit by these plaintiffs because he owed them no duty – also called “state-agent immunity.” The supreme court said that Gowens was clearly acting within the scope of his authority but that he forfeited the state-agent immunity when he failed to follow the procedures prescribed in the DHR Manual (he failed to verify the number of children in the household from an outside source). Had he followed the DHR Manual and learned that there were other children at the mother’s home, the supreme court speculated, he would have interviewed those children (also as prescribed in the DHR Manual) and might have learned the extent of the mother’s deception.

The DHR Manual simply does not confer upon the investigator of a CAN report the judgment or discretion to limit this crucial inquiry to asking questions of the alleged perpetrator. The mandates of the DHR Manual in this regard are precisely the sort of “detailed rules or regulations” that State agents cannot ignore, except at their peril. For these reasons, Gowens is not entitled to State-agent immunity.

Finally the supreme court turned to the issue whether Gowens was entitled to immunity because his action were not the proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries. Observing that the question of proximate cause is one of fact, the supreme court said that there was no controlling question of law for the court to review. “We decline, therefore, to review this fact-specific issue.”

Lee’s thoughts: So what is a DHR investigator to do? Let’s consider those who are planning now to become investigators like him. They know they will be paid relatively poorly and will be swamped with work. They know they will be spending their working hours with parents like the mother of these children, on the margins of society and resenting DHR and all its employees for intruding in their private lives. And now they know that anything other than the most scrupulous adherence to every list of tasks in the DHR Manual places them at risk of ruinous personal liability.

No matter that they were trying to do a good job; no matter that they had the best interests of the children at heart. “Gotcha! You missed task #26, so now you’re on the hook.” Forget for a moment whether it’s fair. It sounds like a doomed policy, because I don’t know of anyone of basic competence who would choose to live with that risk.

I certainly don’t face it, and I make better money than most DHR investigators. Lawyers are extraordinarily forgiving of themselves for minor transgressions. Why do we choose to be more strict, more demanding, and more condemnatory of those we need more and reward less?

306 comments to Prickly World for Alabama DHR Staff

  • Mother on a Mission

    I have a contact number for all parents who have had your children taken away and put into a foster home by DHR. If you have had problems with Coffee County’s DHR, we are very interested in your story. If your kids have been “snatched” without just cause, from any alabama County, please call this number also with your information. The number to contact us is: 205-414-8172. Please help us make a difference for our children. This incompetence HAS to stop! Nobody has the right to play God with innocent children and families. Please call. Thanks.

  • Trying to save a child

    Hi,this message is for Rebecca, or anyone who can help. I am trying to adopt a child who has been in foster for three years. We are running into a brick wall wall in Calhoun and St. Clair counties. Should we go ahead and hire an attorney? The incompetence within DHR is just staggering and we don’t know what to do. Please help!! All suggestions are appreciated!

  • JOHN

    WE HAVE A CASE IN ST CLAIR TOO THEY HAVE RAN OVER US AND RAN OVER US OUR LAWYER WE DID HAVE BEFORE HE RESIGNED PROVED TO JUDGE THAT DHR HAD TOLD OVER 240 PAGES OF PURE DXXX LIES ON US BUT AT NEXT HEARING JUDGE PUT DHR BACK IN OUR CASE.. MY WIFES EX.INLAWS HAVE TEMP COUSTODY… AND THEIR LAWYER IS THE CITY JUDGE, GIBSON,, WE FEEL LIKE ITS ONE JUDGE DOING ANOTHER JUDGE A FAVOR DID REBECKA EVER CONTACT YOU??? IF SO WED LIKE TO TALK TO YOUHERE ALSO… WE HAD A BLACK WOMAN AS OUR WORKER BUT WE KEPT CALLING PAC TILL I GUESS THEY FIRED HER,, NOW WE HAVE ONE BY NAME *** AND ITS LIKE SHE 10X WORSER THAN ***, A REAL B.,…. FROM HELL….. WE ALL NEED TO MARCH, IN MONTGOMERY, AND PROTEST IN PELL CITY,, LETS GET SOME COVERAGE SOME PUBLICTY,, THEN WE MIGHT GET SOME WHERE WITH THESE DEMONS IN PELL CITY.,.,,.. WIFE AND I HAVE TOOK 4 HAIR FOLLICLE TEST AND PASSED ALL 4 TOOK OVER 75 URINE, SCREENS ALL NEGATIVE THIS IN A 3 YR PERIOD.. HER EX HAS 3 DEMOSTIC VILOENCE CHARGES HAS 3 WARRENTS ON HIM RIGHT IS SHELBY CO, ONES FOR ASSULAT 3RD DEGREE. RAP SHEET 3 MILES LONG,,,, MY WIFE NOR I HAVE A POLICE RECORD. BUT THIS RETARD DHR WOMAN HAS GIVEN HIM 4 DAYS A WEEK.. HE GETS TO GO TO HIS MOMAS AND SEE THEM ANYTIME HE WANTS TOO,, MY WIFE ONLY GETS 4 HRS ON MONDAYS SUPERVISED, AND 4 HRS ON TUESDAYS UNSUPEREVISED… THAT THERE IS SO RETARDED.. BUT THIS WOMAN IS ALL ONE SIDED SHE EVEN TOLD MY WIFE THAT LINDA, WIFES EXMOTHERINLAW WAS HER FRIEND AND WOULD NEVER LIE TO HER!!! WE TOLD HER THAT LINDA WAS THE BIGGEST LIAR THEY WAS NEXT TO SATAN HIMSELF… WE GO TO COURT 5/18 07 THIS MONDAY EVERYBODY THAT YOU KNOW ASK THEM TO PRAY FOR US..

    PLEASE WRITE US BACK J&J IN SHELBY COUNTY

    ——————————————————————————–
    See what’s free at AOL.com.

  • Cherfaye

    I currently live in chambers county al.I was arrested last year in randolph county al.for poss. of drugs.You would not believe the things that go on in that county.law enforcement acussed me of sending my child to check on my drugs.they reported this to the local newspaper.then to top it off i was falsely charged for poss. of meth. this was also printed in the newspaper.I was charged a 135,000 dollar bond.3 counts of chemical child endangerment.but to top it off my oldest son which is 13 years came home from school ,opened the front door to find me handcuffed for over 2 hrs.my other 3 children were still in the home watching everything that was going on.even while they were searching the rooms of my house, my children were also in the rooms with the police officers.then i was charged with the drugs that they brought in my house .even though they new children were in the house.then while they were collecting their evidence my 4 yr old daughter was standing at the kictchen table beside one of the officers ,which was sitting down whith his weapon laying in reach on the table also.out of all 4 of those officers that were in my house ,niether one of them had the decense to take my children out of the house.Guns were pointed,there was fussing and cursing going on and i could not do nothing but sit on the end of my sofa arm and cry.then finally here comes dhr .I wasnt given a fair chance to explain my side. i was taken out of the home .my children were left withn my husband i had supervised visitation on the weekend.then dhr talked my oldest son grandmother into filing custody for my son ,which he was 4 other half blood brothers and sisters at home.dhr presented a custody form to the juge of randolph county.he signed it and there was a court date set.i could not take my child out of the state of alabama.now the social worker that the police called to my house was making racial comments towards my husband ,also was pushing on him then told him he needs to cut his hair,he needs to learn to speak english.then she was asking him wheres the money and wheres the drugs.then she told him if i see with with your wife im going to have you put in jail and i going to take your children from you.then i tried to explain myself to her she said you sent your daughter to get yor drugs and that i had drugs in my home.which was a lie that the police told her.now this worker that came out to my house also done my cans investigation.the worker that was ready to break my family up.in her eyes the police did not do nothing wrong,which i was never given a chance to explain myself.but guess what her investigation was complete the day before my case was transfered to another county.she sent me a letter telling me that i was guilty of child abuse and neglect.my name is now on the alabama registry for child abuse and neglect for 5 years.but i have not been to court for any of my charges.now yoou all think where you all live is bad.try randolph county al.that system is here to take you down and they are doing at good job at. that system is currupt as it get.

  • Fedup with DHR

    After going thru DHR’s pitiful excuse for services I am ready to snap on them all.
    They supposedly thought our grandchild’s mother had Ficticious disorder, she and the baby were put in our custody after railroading us into a hearing after a brief meeting held at UAB where they reported that the child’s mother lied to someone about a previous pregnancy that didn’t happen during her prenatal care at the clinic in Ensley. Suffice it to say that after 3 months and no contact with them they finally called. I met with them and everything I said to the case worker in our meeting was turned around and used against us at our next court date. This is such a farce it’s unreal. They are supposedly in the business (?) of helping families and less fortunate children who have been abused or are in bad living conditions. I could go along with all that but the rest is just crap. They are untrained, inexperienced and the most disruptive agency in our state in my opinion.
    They proved nothing in our case because the baby’s mother was proved to be in excellent mental health and the lowest point on the evaluation was that she is average academically. How is that dangerous to her child? How? So now in our last court appearance, after the judge basically threw everybody out of the courtroom that didn’t have their names on the court papers, she proceeded to listen to us speak, then the vicious GLA, who has never spoken to us or the babies parents had her say, the judge then said that she wasn’t familiar enough with the case to make a decision one way or the other, set up a pretrial date in October and a trial date in Novemember. This puts us at their mercy for another 6 months. WHY?? They say they have to prove dependency of the baby. Sure she is dependent on people for care since she is only 4 months old, but their version of dependency is to prove that the baby is not being taken care of. NOW, keep in mind the initial issue at hand that started all this mess was that since the mother lied she could be dangerous to the baby, i.e., munchhausen by proxy as ficticious disorder. Since their psychologists failed to prove this theory the case should have been closed and everyone released from DHR tirany. NOT SO FRIENDS> they just make up something else to hold on to custody or ability to interefere in our continuing lives.
    I am to the point of going to family court every day and having flyers signed for getting the people in Family Court investigated and thrown out. They are the biggest joke I have ever encountered.
    I wish that I knew what I could do to make this happen. We have a continuing case with them and I don’t want to affect that but I am willing to do whatever I can to get the DHR outed for what they are and something done about that agency so that people don’t have to go thru what we have gone thru or what other people are going thru.
    Go to the family court for just an hour on any given day and watch people cry about their kids being snatched by this inefficient group and having their homes and lives invaded by people who don’t have a clue or care what they are doing to families.
    DHR needs to be stopped.
    I will help and/or be active in anything that can make this happen.
    Please post to this blog and I will check back dailey.
    Let’s band together and stop this Department of Home wReckers. They have caused enough pain. It’s time for it to come to an end.

  • Gaye

    I strongly agree with, the fact that Dhr is destroying lives, mine has been in 1 week, they sure take childrens lives and turn them upside down along with the parents of the children,these people are not trained to investagate or anything of a sort, all they do is go off a call that comes in to the office, its been 1 1/2 weeks since i’ve had my kids at home with me, they lie and say what ever they want to make you look bad,Im not through with commenting I will cont,at a later date just so everyone knows how they are.

  • Cathy Lee

    I have many times through the years heard the comment “You do not want DHR involved in your life. Your life will be a living hell.” This is true. I have been introduced to individuals who have been given power to destroy if need be. Your lives decisions once DHR comes into the picture is based simply on the worker or workers “opinion”. This is a fact. This was quoted to us by our case worker #4. I am looking into how to file a complaint against our local DHR. If available will seek to join others for a civil suit. DHR should be held accountable for harrassment,lies, inconsistancy and lack of fulfilling their part also. A statement made from the Child Protection Supervisor at our DHR was “it’s like this-you either do what we say or we will just go today and lay it on the table to the judge and we don’t think we will have any problems taking her.” This statement would be justified if it was indicated. But this was made because they were challanged and rightfully so. This is as we have found not acceptable. In many instances DHR is needed. When a case is openned and continued due to personal dislike there should be some recourse. Yes we have responded for an administrative record review. We have actually been in court once and will return in 2 weeks. At this point still have custody yet supervised of the child. DHR is fighting this. Again, I am very interested in a civil suit. I do not have to hide in a safe place from DHR. I have made no attempts to hide my opinion of the way their office is run. I am held accountable in my job and so should they.

  • LIVING IN DHR'S WORLD OF HELL

    Once again, I have read more posts from innocent parents like me who live in this “World of Hell” DHR puts innocent children and parents through. How the innocent parents and children survive must be by the grace of God almighty. I have done everything I know, spent thousands, spoke with anyone who I even thought might could help. Even with my influential contacts, I still can’t get my children released from the people they placed them with. Knowing there are records of domestic abuse that has taken place at their home for years, DHR blantantly refuses to obtain this substantial and legal information. How in God’s name do you stop this communistic unjust organization? They do not do complete investigations and only the innocent parents who have lived in “DHR’s WORLD OF HELL” know this. This is the United States of America where you are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty but this is not the way DHR’s agency operates. It is the total opposite. People who have heard my stories and read these posts are shocked and dismayed as the parents who posts on this website regarding the conduct of this agency, untrained and uneduated social workers and the unjust removal of children from innocent parents which happens in Alabama every day.

    Children are worse off under the care of DHR and they do return home with extreme emotional damage that will take years for them to recover from. Who pays for the help they will need? It won’t be DHR that’s for sure…There are corrupt psychologists, corrupt court appointed attorneys and it goes on and on…How do we as parents get someone to stop this? There has to be a federal governmental agency to report DHR to. Does anybody know?

    To whoever posted the phone number to contact to help innocent parents like us and help take down DHR, is this a phone number for an individual or a children’s advocacy agency? Parents like us who posts on here need complete assurance that we will not be reported to DHR or we will NEVER get our children home…God help us all…I pray for all the innocent parents like me who post on here and you are strangers. But, because I know and live what you’re going through the heartbreak, the depression, the grief, I pray for you all.

    Keep your faith and keep praying.

  • ANOTHER MOM ON A MISSION

    TO THE MOM WHO SIGNED AS “MOM ON A MISSON” – MEET ANOTHER “MOM ON A MISSION”…You can file a civil lawsuit against DHR once you have your children home. I am WAITING and PRAYING for this day. I wish we could all meet. The lady from “SAFE” never posted again about contacting her. I was praying she would.

    How can we ban together without DHR’s Revenge? Does anybody have any ideas? PLEASE PLEASE post if you do.

  • Anonymous

    I find these posts quite amusing. I don’t think that DHR social workers like taking children away from their families, in fact, I know this for fact. Social workers have to make decisions that affect lives and it is all to keep children safe. They have to go home at night and live with the hard decisions they make on a daily basis. Please understand that DHR does not take children away…JUDGES make those decisions based on EVIDENCE of child abuse and neglect. I know that it is easy to blame the person who physically removes the child, but it is the court that orders that removal-not the worker OR DHR. If you people would spend half the time you spend posting these ridiculous blogs participating in the services DHR asks that you participate in, you might just get your kids back.
    annoyed with stupid people

  • GIVENUPPARENTONDHR

    To the person who wrote about that DHR does not unjustly remove children? You are so wrong…If you will read a post written by a former case worker, this individual states that all the judges knows are what they are TOLD by DHR workers. This is a huge problem with their system. If you have not encountered what several parents who have posted on here have, then you are NOT to speak if you have “not walked in our shoes”. When all is said and done with my case, watch and see the news coverage that will be aired on local tv, talk shoes and a reporter with the Bham News who is currently investigating.

    As one parent stated that even with substantial evidence of a child that can be legally proven with a police report, DHR still DOES NOT GET THE INFORMATION even with the child telling them to a STATE EMPLOYED POSITION. When you have some people who have worked with the state for years and they tell you they are baffled and dismayed that the children have not been pulled, trust me – and think about what it said.

    Another problem with this system is that they NEVER get both sides of the story. Once again, this came from an official who works with DHR. Another huge problem. So once again, if you have not “endured DHR’s” corrupt, unjustice and dispicable system, please do not post on here. For you to do so without personally experiencing the HELL they put innocent parents and children through, only serves to cause the innocent parents who post on here more mental anguish.

  • get your facts straight

    to the post written above,
    once again i challenge you to look at what you wrote. you claim that judges make their decisions based solely on what DHR tells them to do. Are you implying that DHR has judges under their thumb? If so, why are you still blaming DHR? That responsibility would lie on the judge. It seems that you are making accusations that their is some sort of impropriety between DHR and the court. You need to look deep inside the courtroom if you really feel this way. It has been my experience that judges make fair decisions in most cases…whether they side with DHR or not. Who are these “official DHR insiders” you speak of? If you are not willing to name names, then I refuse to believe anything you say. It is easy to say that a “reliable source” gives you the information, but frankly I don’t buy it. one more thing, don’t say “never” or “always” since nothing in life is a definite. Not ALL DHR workers are bad, and not ALL parents involved with DHR are innocent.

  • DHR success story

    I have read most of these comments made over the last several days and while I can sympathize with many of them I have to tell another side of these stories. I too had my child taken from me and was mad and said and did many things about DHR and my caseworker that I now regret. I fought them at every service they tried to provide. My caseworker kept telling me that she wanted me to have my kid back but I would have to take part in the services and that the services were provided to help me. I tried participating and to begin with thought they were stupid and that I knew more than they did. But you know, finally I had to ask myself “did I really want my kid back or not?” and if I did I knew I had to do like I was told. I can now tell you that I was on a road headed no where good. But I would have never said or even thought that a year ago. I was mad and blamed my social worker for taking my kid away “for no reason.” Well, I have to tell you that once I started trying to make changes in myself and my problem I began to see the person my social worker was seeing. The cleaner I got, the more I wanted my kid back. And the more I wanted my kid back, the harder I worked trying to get myself straight and the more the services seemed to make sense. To make a very hard story (year) short, if it was not for my social worker and the patience she had with me I would have never got my kid back. She turned my life around and I will forever be grateful to her. So, while I know that every case does not turn out like mine, I think you should at least give credit that sometimes DHR does something good.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you ever wonder about the comments made by these “former” dhr social workers and why they no longer work there? Perhaps they are angry because they are no longer ALLOWED to work there because they were such lousy, lazy workers and that is why they know so much about those kind of workers. I would bet my dinner that they were fired and are angry at dhr and trying to get back at them.

  • Why is it always DHR?

    As a masters level social worker and CURRENT employee of DHR, I find it laughable that these “parents” voice their concerns and objections about DHR in the first place. Obviously, someone you know or have personal dealings with found it necessary to contact DHR in the first place to make a complaint against YOU. Last time I looked at a policy manual, DHR did not pick numbers out of the phone book and go knocking door to door. Then, in light of the initial allegation, DHR took the time to complete an investigation and aparently found that you were guilty of some wrong doing in regards to your children. When do “parents” take responsiblity for their actions? When do “parents” take a stand and acknowledge that an innocent child was the victim of their behavior and take advantage of every FREE service DHR has to offer in order to make you a better parent in order to provide a better life for your children. DHR is often to blame for things that go wrong but every day in this state, countless children are victims of abuse and/or neglect at the hands of their parents. I love my job and do it to the best of my ability. I am not new at this job nor am I inexperienced. I am highly trained and educated and take my job very seriously. The last thing I want to do on any given day is take children away from their parents. Have any of you ever thought that it is just as hard on us? Have you ever stopped to think that, after doing every thing possible to keep a family together, it is hard when we MUST make a decision to remove an innocent child from a situation that is not safe for the CHILD. My loyalties ALWAYS lie with the children. I will stand up to attorneys, judges, GALs, doctors, counselors and other social workers to advocate for the children I work with. It makes me sick at my stomach when a “mother” addicted to crystal meth (or insert your drug of choice here) tells me that I am not doing my job. If you were doing your job as a “mother”, you would not even know me in the first place. I will be the first to admit that working for DHR is difficult. We are over worked and under paid. We deal with crap from the lowest people in society (child abusers) on a daily basis. But thank God that there are social workers and any other DHR employees that finally put the children first. I’m sure if you look at the FACTS of every case mentioned here, you will always find a child that was physically, emotionally or sexually abused or neglected. Maybe citizens of Alabama who are not involved with DHR should file a “class action lawsuit” against parents who abuse or neglect thier children. At least DHR employees are committed to protecting children which is more than can be said for the parents who make such ridiculous negative remarks about DHR in the first place. In a world where very few things can be guarenteed…. this can. Don’t abuse your children and you will not be involved with DHR.

  • anonymous

    No. 65 – “Why is it always dhr”: boy, are you ever angry. You talk about dealing with “crap” from the “lowest people of society.” You need to change your career. You talk about putting the children first and standing up to judges, GALs, etc. You must know that children are better off with their own families as long as they are safe. You are not a supreme being. It’s not up to you to decide; don’t ever tell a judge what to do – you may wind up in contempt. Your attitude is exactly what is wrong with dhr. Maybe you have been working too long. The whole reason that some people are posting here is that there are injustices in the system. People need a forum, not that this is the best forum, but maybe it’s the only one available to them. dhr does important work because children are helpless and need protection. Some social workers just don’t read policy, know policy or apply policy correctly. How many “indicateds” have you had overturned on administrative record review? You could do better, I’m sure. Look at yourself and think how you would feel if your 2 yr old had a bump on the head from scrambling under the coffee table and a social worker showed up investigating you for abuse. Happens all the time. Social workers need to be very careful with the power they have. Great power breeds great abuse.

  • Anonymous

    All social workers experience burnout at some point in their careers. Highly trained social workers are equipped to deal with those feelings appropriately so that it never effects clients. Kudos for the social workers who are finally speaking out and taking the time to have their opintions heard here as well. I agree with the above mentioned statement. Everyone needs a forum, including DHR workers.

  • Thank you DHR

    I agree, everyone needs a forum, including DHR social workers. Kudos to the social workers who are finally speaking out. DHR is a highly stressful environment for everyone involved, including the workers. Social workers deal with burnout early in their careers. Those who maintain employment at DHR are fully aware of this concept and face it on a daily basis. I appreciate social workers, even DHR social workers, who truly have the children’s best interests at heart.

  • Anonymous

    #66…why is it so hard for people to appreciate those that are committed to their career? #65 did not sound “angry” as you put it nor did he/she go to college and major in “social work” to make a lot of money. Social work, teaching, preaching, etc…these are all careers about service. It is not a high paying, prestigious job. It is about giving and trying to make a difference in someone’s life. You are right about “great power breeds great abuse.” Parents have the most power ever over their children and it is sickening when you see what “parents” do to their children. A “bump on the head?” If a social worker shows up when your child has a bump on the head from “scrambling under the coffee table” it is because someone, family member, neighbor, etc has REPORTED you to DHR. How else would they know to investigate?!! How many cases that have been indicated are turned over on administrative review??? That tells me that dhr is doing their job rather than IGNORING it. Come on now #66….sounds like you are either a disgruntled dhr employee (in which case you need to find another job) or you are one of those “parents” that would rather take out their frustrations on a poor innocent child than get help for yourself.

  • quitcherbellyachin

    #69 If indicated child abuse decisions are being overturned by administrative record reviews, that means that the social workers are not applying policy correctly. In other words, others are having to do damage control behind the incompetence. Read #13 above and study policy to do a better job. And read the Child Welfare Division Mission statement on the dhr web site. It’s not about your being a savior of children. It’s about safe, stable families.
    Also, dhr social workers receive free health insurance, including doctors, drugs, and dental, from the tax payers of Alabama. You also receive a retirement match from the tax payers of Alabama. All this in addition to your salaries.

  • karmabites

    Some of you dhr social workers are commenting on this blog site just before and just after 8:00 a.m. You must be reading this and commenting on State of Alabama’s time and equipment. You should not use the Department’s resources for your personal concerns. You would do better reviewing child welfare policy or returning phone messages.

  • KUDOS..TO...#69

    KUDOS TO PARENT WHO WROTE POST #69 POST..WAY TO GO!!!!! YOU’RE RIGHT ON TARGET. THESE SOCIAL WORKERS SAY THEY INVESTIGATE? YEAH RIGHT…WHEN YOU HEAR STATEMENTS AT ALL LEVELS INCLUDING PEOPLE WHO DIRECTLY WORK WITH DHR AND THEY STATE THEY NEVER INVESTIGATE OR GET BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY (WHICH CAN BE PROVEN FROM NUMEROUS PARENTS WHO HAVE HAD THE ULTIMATE MISFORTUNE AND LIVED IN HELL DUE TO THE “DEPARTMENT OF DESTRUCTION”), AS WELL AS THEIR IS MAJOR CORRUPTION IN THIS SYSTEM AT ALL LEVELS, THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES. TO THE DHR WORKERS WHO ARE SPENDING THEIR WORK-TIME AS ONE POST MENTIONED (WHY ARE YOU ON HERE AT CERTAIN TIMES OF THE DAY DURING WORKDAYS), PLEASE GET TO WORK AND DO YOUR JOBS SO THESE CASES THAT DON’T NEED TO BE DRUG OUT FOREVER END” FOR THE WELLFARE OF CHILDREN….QUESTION: WHY DOES IT TAKE A SOCIAL WORKER MONTHS TO JUST DO ONE LITTLE BITTY SIMPLE THING? A DEDICATED EMPLOYEE WOULD TAKE WORK HOME WITH THEM, GO IN ON THE WEEKENDS, WORK AFTER 4:30 PM OR GO IN EARLY IF NEED BE IF YOU ARE INDEED SO OVERWHELMED WITH BACKLOGS.. I HAVE, BEEN THERE DONE THAT TOO SO YOUR EXCUSE IS? PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO POSTS WRITTEN FROM FORMER SOCIAL WORKERS WHO AS YOU CAN TELL BY WHA THEY HAVE POSTED ARE VERY INTELLIGENT, ARTICULATE, NOT ILLITERATE CAN READ ETC, WHO HAVE PERSONALLY POSTED THEIR EXPERIENCE AS THE REASONS FOR WHY CASES ARE MIDHANDLED. READ WHAT PARENTS/FOSTER PARENTS POSTS ON THIS SITE..INDEED IT IS INTERESTING AS TO “ALL OF A SUDDEN ATTENTION TO THIS WEBISTE BY SOCIAL WORKERS…GEE, COULD IT BE THAT YOU THINK YOU ARE AT HIGH RISK OF LOOSING YOUR JOBS? COULD BE THE CASE..INDEED MAYBE THERE MIGHT BE 1 OUT 0F 50 DEVOTED, DECENT, HONEST AND HARDWORKING SOCIAL WORKERS BUT GEE, WHERE IS THIS PERSON? JUDGES NOT THE REFS COME DOWN HARD ON SOCIAL WORKERS EVERY DAY IN COURTS FOR NOT DOING THEIR JOBS…DUHHHHHHH

    ONCE AGAIN, ^5 TO THE PARENTS ON HERE WHO TELL IT JUST LIKE IT IS…AND NO, THE WHOLE STORY IS NEVER HEARD AND ONCE AGAIN, THIS COMES FROM REPUTABLE NOT CORRUPT SOURCES WITHIN THE STATE OF ALABAMA.

    SOCIAL WORKERS GET TO WORK OK? THIS SITE ISN’T FOR YOU ANYWAY.

  • Mother on a Mission

    For all of the social workers that feel the need to defend themselves, why aren’t you bold enough to tell us the County that you work for? Are you scared of the parents? You should be for violating so many rights that are truly unjust. Do you have something to hide? The workers that do wrong, know who they are. And know you will be exposed very soon. Certain Family Courts in Alabama are known throughout the Country and the State for their Judical biasness against women and children. This another rampant problem separate from DHR’s crimes. So they are more than happy to work with uneducated social workers from DHR, who lack the most important qualities, COMMEN SENSE, education in child sexual abuse, incest, and criminal justice. A master’s in social work just doesn’t cut it for these cases that DHR works with. Little does the DHR employees know that attorneys, law enforcement, the public, and the Judges, all comment negatively behind their backs about certain worker’s and DHR as a whole, of their incompetence and continuation of making the same mistakes and extremely bad calls. I know this because I hear it all the time. That is a true fact. So who is laughing now?

    Believe it or not, there are many cases that are truly unjust. You can’t just take children away from their homes for no reason. You do not play God with people’s lives. You do not give children back to parents who are on crystal meth, two weeks later,and keep the children that you have wrongfully taken. This will turn around and bite you in the a_ _!

    For #59, call that number on my second comment above. Leave your email address with that number, and a phone number, and I will contact you. We need to get as many of us together and compare notes and Counties, as soon as possible, so this can be investigated and all counties that are responsible for this crime, and can be stopped sooner than later.

  • Blount County

    I have NO problem telling you that I am in Blount county! Oh and I am NOT commenting on this blog on “company time.” I worked until 10:30 last night investigating and YES removing a child that the mother (and I use that term verrrry loosely) had left her beautiful 2 year old daughter ALONE in a filthy, filthy house while she “hung out” at a crack house for a couple of days. And because I worked 5 hours “overtime” I am required to not work today until 1:00 because you see…I don’t get overtime pay!! Don’t be so quick to judge us if we use the computer during “normal” hours (whatever that is) until you understand what our job is REALLY like. I LOVE my job because I KNOW that I am helping to save children from unfit parents.

  • jennifer

    I THINK DHR IS JEFFERSON COUNTY IS HORRIABLE..THEY NEVER RETURN A PHONE CALL…TELL YOU ONE THING ,AND TURN AROUND IN COURT AND DO ANOTHER.. I DO NOT GET IT..THESE ISP’S SEEM TO BE A WASTE OF TIME… READING ALL THE ABOVE BLOG’S WAY TO GO PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I AM A MOHTER OF 4 KIDS , WHO IS DIVOCED AND YET, DHR TOOK ALL OF MINE. PLACED MY 3 BOYS WITH THEIR DAD,THAT IS MENTALLY A BASKET CASE, AND MY OLDEST ,MY DAUGHTER IS IN A FOSTER HOME… THEY PLACED HER IN A SHORT TERM ACCESSMENT HOME IN SELMA AL. FOR TESTS, EVALUATIONS>>> THEY TOLD MY DAUGHTER IT WAS FOR 30-60 DAYS,,AND LIED TO MY DAUGHTER AND IT WAS ACTUALLY 6 MONTHS…. ALL THEY HAVE DONE IS LIE TO DIFFRENT PARTY’S…. IN THIS CASE THEY LIED TO ME…
    REUNIFICATION?>? WHATEVER…EVERYTIME WE GO TO COURT. IT GETS CONTINUED, BY DHR OR GAL…THIS IS CRAZY…MY KIDS ARE JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE’S KIDS..THEY WERE HAPPY AND VERY ACTIVE IN SCHOOL ACTIVITES.. I WAS INVOLVED BETWEEN WORK AND SCHOOL WITH ALL OF MY KIDS..EXCEPT MY BABY OF COURSE. HE IS ONLY 2..BUT I SPEND ALOT OF TIME WITH HIM WHILE KIDS ARE AT SCHOOL…

    WHAT IS THE GAURDIAN AD LITEM’S POSITION HERE?????? CAN HE/OR SHE STOP SOMEONE’S VISIT’S WITH OUT A COURT ORDER??? THAT WAS GIVEN THEM VISITATION???? JUDGE GAVE UNSUPERVISED VISITS’ AND SHE WANTS TO TAKE THEM AWAY?? CAN SHE DO THIS???

    PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER BACK TO ME..PLEASE!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Dear “Mother on a Mission”:

    If you put half as much time into working with DHR to get your children back as you do badmouthing DHR, you could probably change your “name” to “Mother who Completed her Mission”. Please, for the sake of your children, get your priorities in order.

  • Anonymous

    “I worked until 10:30 last night investigating and YES removing a child that the mother (and I use that term verrrry loosely) had left her beautiful 2 year old daughter ALONE in a filthy, filthy house while she “hung out” at a crack house for a couple of days.”

    Hello,
    Are these young mothers and fathers assessed for the underlying issues of the addictive disease? If so what services are offered by our state to help them recover, become better parents and reunify them with their children? Are they assessed by a physician or psychiatrist or is the dx. made by someone who is not licensed as one of these professionals?
    Thanks

  • goodjob

    #74 blount county social worker: social workers receive time and a half in compensatory time for hours worked over forty in a week. this means you get to take time and half off; or if you accumulate 240 hours of compensatory time, the state pays you for your overtime. so you do get paid for overtime.
    you did a good job with that child. now help mom.

  • CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ACROSS TEH NATION ARE NOT HELPING ABUSED CHILDREN BUT PERPETUATING SEXUAL ABUSE AND THEY NEED TO BE TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE THEY ARE INEFFECTIVE AND THERE NEEDS TO BE A NEW SYSTEM PUT IN PLACE WITH POLICE NOT SOCIAL WORKER LEFT OVERS AND INVESTIGATORS THAT CAN’T MAKE IT IN INDIVIDUAL PRACTICE. THIS IS THE PREDOMINANT CPS WORKER. THEY ARE NOT EVEN OF AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE. THEY ARE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL OF THE CLASS OF SOCIAL WORKERS AND POLICE WHOSE IQ’S ARE TYPICALLY NOT MORE THAN 100 AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM. WE NEED THE GOVERNMENT TO RESTRUCTURE TO HAVE A NEW ORGANIZATION WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE PROBLEM SOLVERS NOT PEOPLE WHO SUPRESS ABUSE OR EMPOWER ABUSERS. PEOPLE WHO CAN THINK OUTSIDE TEH BOX AND ARE NOT FOLLOWERS BUT LEADERS AND HAVE CLEAR CUT VALUES AND THOSE THAT ARE INVESTIGATING A CASE NEED TO BE BY THE SAME RACE AND GENDER TO AVOID BIASES. THEY NEED EXTENSIVE PSYCH EVALUTATIONS TO ENSURE ADEQUATE INTELLIGENCE, VALUES, ABILITY TO ACT WHEN NEEDED TO PROTECT A CHILD. NOT SOMEONE WHO IS MORE INTERESTED IN GETTING TIME TO GET IN THEIR BREAKS AND TALK ON THE PHONE TO FAMILY MEMBERS AND USE GOVERNMENT TIME TO SERVE THEIR OWN NEEDS NOT THE CHILDREN WHO ARE THE VERY REASON THEY EXIST. WE NEED TO ASK THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE MANDATORY ACTIOSN TAKEN AND FIND A WAY TO STOP THEIR LIES LIKE ALL INTERVIEWS BE VIDEO TAPED AND AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. TO GET RID OF FRIEND OF THE COURT COMPLETELY AS WEL AS CPS AND CREATE NEW ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE TESTED IN DEPTH AND TRAINED TAKE ACTION NOT IGNORE AND SPEND TIME COVERING UP. MAKE SUMMARIES OF TEH VIDEO OF TEH INTERVIEWS NOT THEIR OWN SKEWED DOCUMENTATIN WHERE THEY ADD SUBJECTIVE INFORMATION.

    CHILDREN NEED TO BE UNDER 24 HOUR VIDEO SURVEILLENCE AS LONG AS THE CHILD IS WITH THE PARENT TO ENSURE A PARENT WHO IS REPORTED FOR SEXUAL ABUSE CAN NOT REVICTIMIZE A CHILD

    PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR LOCAL MEDIA AND ANYONE ELSE IN THE MEDIA YOU KNOW ALSO TO YOUR LOCAL CLERK OF COURT AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGES TO DO TRAININGS ON THIS ISSUE.

    A NEW COURT TO BRING ALL 3 TOGETHER NEEDS TO COME INTO EXISTENCE. NO MORE CPS, NO MORE FAMILY COURT, NO MORE CRIMINAL COURT WHEN IT HAS TO DO WITH INCEST IT NEEDS TO GO TO SPECIAL CRIMINAL COURT WITHOUT QUESTION. NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE HAS TO BE EXPECTED AND ALL EFFORTS TAKEN TO HAVE NO LESS THAN EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN CONTACT WITH THAT CHILD TESTIFY. ALL VISTATION HAS TO STOP IMMEDIATELY OR 24 HOUR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE OF THE CHILD. FAMILY COURT NEEDS TO HAND IT OVER TO A SPECIAL COURT WITH NO FAMILY COURT INVOLVEMENT WHATSOEVER.

    THIS SHOULD ASSIST IN GETTING THE BALL ROLLING IN CHANGING THINGS BELOW

    LETS START GETTING EVERYONES STORIES POSTED AND ASKING INTELLIGENT QUESTIONS TO BRING OUT THE DETAILS OF THESE DISTRESSED MOTHERS AS THIS COMPLAINT REPRESENTS SO MANY OUT THERE AND WE NEED TO EXPOSE CPS LETS GIVE NAMES AND BE OBJECTIVE JUST THE FACTS. WE NEED TO EXPOSE FAMILY COURT JUDGES, WE NEED TO EXPOSE DEPENDENCY COURT PROCESSES AND STOP OUR HUMAN RIGHTS FROM BEING VIOLATED WHICH INCLUDES FREE SPEECH AND THOSE THAT ARE REQUIRING US TO STOP USING OUR FREE SPEECH BE EXPOSED. TELL US HOW CPS INTIMIDATED YOU..THIER NAMES THEIR EXACT WORDS AND TELL ANYOF THEM TO INTERVIEW ME YOU MUST HAVE A VIDEO EVERY MOMENT TELL US..HOW YOUR FAMILY COURT JUDGE INTIMIDATED YOU HIS NAME HIS EXACT WORDS GET THE TRANSCRIPTS YOUR COURT DOCUMENTS TAKING ALL CHILDREN’S NAMES OUT TO PROTECT THIER PRIVACY. THESE ABUSERS NEED TO BE EXPOSED NOT HIDING THEM USING THE EXCUSE OF PROTECTING TEH VICTIMS PRIVACY WHEN THE VICTIM HERSELF IS SACRIFICED FOR HER PRIVACY SAKE B/C THIS IS A CROCK AND A WAY TO SAY YOU ARE PROTECTING THE CHILD WHEN IN FACT YOU ARE USING THIS AS AN EXCUSE FOR NOT EXPOSING THE PERPETRATOR OR THOSE IGNORING THE FACTS

    JUDGES NEED TO BE STOPPED FROM USING THE PRIVACY EXCUSE AND THE ANGRY MOTHER EXCUSE JUST B/C A CHILD’S MOTHER IS EMOTIONAL B/C HER CHILD WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED CAN NOT BE USED AGAINST HER IN ANYWAY AND PSYCH TESTING OF THE MOTHER CAN NOT BE USED AGAINST HER B/C THIS DOES NOT MEAN A CHILD IS NOT SEXUALLY ABUSED JUST B/C THE MOTHER MAY OR MAY NOT BE MENTALLY ILL.

    CPS ABOLISHED IN EVERY STATE THEY ARE PROVEN TO BE INEFFECTIVE IN MORE THAN 75% OF THE CASES

  • Are you sure?

    Mother on a mission:

    Where are you getting your facts? Is there documentation you are citing as it pertains to the following:
    1. “THEY ARE PROVEN TO BE INEFFECTIVE IN MORE THAN 75% OF THE CASES”
    2. “CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ACROSS TEH NATION ARE NOT HELPING ABUSED CHILDREN BUT PERPETUATING SEXUAL ABUSE AND THEY NEED TO BE TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE THEY ARE INEFFECTIVE ”
    3. “THIS IS THE PREDOMINANT CPS WORKER. THEY ARE NOT EVEN OF AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE. THEY ARE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL OF THE CLASS OF SOCIAL WORKERS AND POLICE WHOSE IQ’S ARE TYPICALLY NOT MORE THAN 100 AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM.”

    Please post your research here. I would love to see it.
    Thanks

  • Concerned

    I have never been involved in the DHR system (Thank God)and I am expecting my First child. I do have a friend who is being harassed by a “social worker” from DHR. She got a divorce over a year ago and her husband at the time had a drug problem. Since then they have both had to go to parenting classes and submit for drug testing every week just to get supervised visitation with thier 2 boys. She is now engaged and expecting another baby. Her water broke the other day (9 weeks early) so she is having to stay at the hospital until the baby is born – Complete bed rest. This “Social worker” from her case with her sons came to her hospital room and flat out told her that it was her fault that she went into labor early and that she would be taking this baby too!! Since she is over 30 and having complications with this pregnancy the DHR lady automatically jumped to the conclusion that she is on drugs (even though she has passed every drug test). The nurses had to make this lady leave and told her not to ever show up on that floor again. They moved my friend to a different room and even took her name off of the boards. They will not give any information or even admit that she is there to keep this crazy woman from harassing her anymore. People make mistakes, they usually learn from them and get themselves together. I can’t believe that the people who work for DHR can’t see that she is a good mother. She is being punished (and so are her children) because she USED to be married to a drug addict. Who by the way has cleaned up his act and started behaving like a normal human being. But they will hand a 2 year old back to a crack head mother who had DHR called on her several times, who later traded her baby for some crack!!! They found that little girl over a year later – Dead in the closet of an abandoned house. I thought it was just Jefferson County that had this corrupt policy, after reading the posts here I see that it is statewide. I guess that is what happens when you give someone that much power over another. Untrained people on a power trip – What a system!!!!

  • Money and Health

    I noticed in a report that came out today, Alabama fell from 43rd place to 48th in the US as to how well the children are doing in the state. They say its money because the state cut funding to charge parents with a crime because they didn’t put their child in a seatbelt,
    hmmm…I don’t know about you but I believe theres more to it than punishment and fines. Until our government wakes up and starts to deal with issues that are facing Alabama’s families were just going to keep playing the blame game.
    Our state gets alot of money from the federal government to help our children and parents (take alook at http://www.hhs.gov and http://www.acf.hhs.gov/) type in Alabama on their search engine.
    Addictions should not be punished. Social Workers, no matter what their level of education, should never be able to make a medical diagnosis nor should they be responsible for a case plan when a health problem comes into play.

  • Anonymous

    This is very informative reading, and the very people who wrote this are attached to it. I will bet that many of you are seeing your situation posted and explained in this article. I know my situation is, and this is illegal to the rest of the world. This is what they are doing. Only under the “legal umbrella of DHR”, where thay can lie and get by with it. This may not be going on in all DHR locations, but it is in my area. I have proof. This is criminal.

    House Committee on Ways and Means

    Statement of Cynthia Huckelberry, Redlands, California, and Sushanna Khamis, Yucaipa, California

    OVERVIEW OF NEGATIVE IMPACT RELATED TO THE CURRENT CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE PROGRAM/REVISED:

    Child Protective Services was designed to protect children and aid families that are in need of assistance in order to maintain the family unit. Unfortunately, today we are finding that C.P.S is targeting specific families with limited set budgets, where child removal is commonly practiced for personal financial gain. The lack of compassion exhibited by C.P.S caseworkers towards the impoverished children that they serve, further devalues their lives in the eyes of these caseworkers. Thus indicating, that a lack of understanding and caring related to the circumstances of these financially challenged families, creates further dissention, prejudicing these C.P.S workers from the very people they serve.

    Within this document, the information provided will serve as an insight into the true source of the problems that plagues C.P.S today. Also, it will provide possible solutions that may be utilized to best serve a new restructured Child Protective Service Agency.

    HOW C.P.S LEGALLY REMOVES CHILDREN FORM PARENTAL CUSTODY

    C.P.S systematically removes children from their families, whom do not meet the criteria for removal, through vague and ambiguous interpretation of their own codes and policy and procedures. They are able to operate in this manner by selecting specific target groups.

    The target groups that C.P.S has tagged are the poor, disabled, elderly, and the undereducated. Parents/guardians unfamiliar with the law, with limited or no financial means to secure impartial unbiased legal representation, blindly trust the courts. Therefore Child Protective Service is able to manipulate the court system to secure foster care or adoption status of these children for profit.

    Example: Each child placed in foster care has an annual value of $30,000.

    More monies are available, up to $150,000 dollars per child, for those that meet the special needs criteria. After 24 months- during the concurrent foster care /adoption process, placement becomes final, where upon an $8,000 dollar bonus is dispersed to the county from the State. This bonus money is then divided amongst individuals that enabled the adoption process to be completed. This is not necessarily a positive solution for these children, but a personal financial gain to workers. Thus, this leads us to believe that some of the decisions made by C.P.S officials serve only as a means to enhance their personal budgets.

    Upon removal, C.P.S creates a plan for reunification that is designed to promote the family’s failure. These case plans do not allow the families the time needed to comply nor do they have the financial resources needed to meet the court assigned criteria. Unbeknownst to the families, the courts, lawyers, and C.P.S workers falsely interject foster care criteria when family criteria should be utilized. Workers may also place long-term program demands on the parents that purposely overrun the 24-month time period.

    This then allows the state to complete the adoption process to outside individuals.

    In other cases, failure to protect –WIC 300b was cited to obtain removal of the children, when the custodial parents acted protectively, in accordance to the law, after a crime was committed against one of their children. Currently all children from these cases remain in “protective custody” under the authority of C.P.S.

    FAMILY COURT CUSTODY REMOVAL – PARENT ALIENATION SYNDROME

    Let it be known, that Family Court officials regularly remove custody of children from one parent to another (usually mother to father), citing parent alienation syndrome. C.P.S agrees to serve as the tool to enable custody transfer, a corrupt process observed by the FBI. Where, in truth, caseworkers are never allowed to testify in family court under the cloak of C.P.S authority, due to possible misuse or conflict of interest related to the right to privacy laws. FBI Agent/Lawyer Brenda Atkinson- San Francisco can verify this information by calling her at (415) 553-7400.

    Child Protective Service also submits false documentation so as to provide a supportive basis necessary to substantiate their decisions. Thus the truth is purposely obstructed altered or omitted to justify case plans.

    In many cases, C.P.S has failed to investigate additional outside reports from various professionals and agencies such as children’s physicians, police agencies, school system, etc.

    WHY DOES CPS SYSTEMATICALLY REMOVE CHILDREN FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND PLACE THEM IN FOSTER CARE?

    Since Clinton enacted the adoption and Safe Families act in 1997, this has lead to widespread corruption within the child Protective Services Agency and outlying neighboring agencies. By systematically removing children from predominantly poor families, C.P.S is able to secure foster care/ adoption status for these children with little or no parental encumbrance.

    Thus C.P.S victimizes those families that have no means available, to properly investigate C.P.S corrupt activities directed at their family.

    Since Federal and state matching funds generate the budget for C.P.S, the single means utilized to elevate the budget is to increase foster care and adoption caseloads.

    Bonus incentives for adoptions are currently $8,000 per child. $4,000 is given to the foster parents and another $4,000 is placed in a general fund, to reward workers for completing their job duties. Workers in this county, state that they do not personally financially benefit from this fund. Thus it leads us to believe, that other neighboring agencies are benefiting form this fund, in return for deceptive practices that support C.P.S decisions.

    BABY TRAFFICKING

    False Allegations of drug abuse have been logged against mothers and their newborn infants as a means to place these infants into protective custody. The hospital staff has allowed C.P.S to remove infants (a hospital violation) prior to verification of blood and urine drug screen tests. C.P.S is mandated to secure verification of drug allegations via blood and urine results, prior to removing the newborn infant from the hospital. All cases known to us resulted negative for the mother and the newborn, but these infants were never returned, and were adopted outside of kinship.

    In the past year, the FBI has arrested and imprisoned C.P.S workers who were actively involved in baby trafficking for profit. These C.P.S workers knowingly abducted infants from the hospital where they in turn networked them into legal adoption agencies. Augustus Fennerty, FBI director for Crimes against Children (Washington D.C) can verify this information. (202) 324-3000

    CHILD SEX TRADE INDUSTRY

    Southern California FBI District has videotape recorded CPS workers placing foster care children onto planes via LAX, destination Europe for child sex trade industry. This can be verified through Ted Gunderson, (retired) FBI Director Southern California (310) 477-6565.

    SEXUAL VICTIMIZATION IN FOSTER CARE

    For the families in relation to our group in San BernardinoCounty, it has come to our attention while comparing similarities, that approximately half the children in foster care have been molested.

    These children were not sexually abused by their parents, but by the foster fathers or others in the foster home. It was also noted that these foster homes are still operating in the same capacity prior to complaints, without any investigation into these allegations. C.P.S officials were made aware of these accusations by the children, but failed to follow through with a criminal investigation.

    In conclusion, Child Protective Service is nothing more than an “oasis’’ for child molesters, to make a profit, while at the same time committing a crime, only to be protected by a malignant system that delivers a never ending supply of victims

    SYSTEMATIC FRAUDULENT MANEUVERS UTILIZED TO ENHANCE C.P.S BUDGET

    C.P.S manufactures multiple nonexistent /fictitious abuse case scenarios to offset true statistical abuse case information.
    C.P.S concurrently processes these children from foster care to adoption, in order to obtain perverse monetary incentives in the form of bonuses.
    C.P.S provides a market to neighboring agencies and the courts (commissioners, psychologists, monitors, court mandated behavioral class instructors, court appointed legal counsel), in order for them to financially benefit from the foster care/adoption system.
    C.P.S victimizes innocent impoverished families, draws them into a corrupt system to utilize their children as pawns for commerce.
    MALICIOUS OPERATIVE TECHNIQUES

    C.P.S is utilized by family court officials, as an adverse tool to extricate children from one parent to the other, with reference to “parent alienation syndrome”.
    Where, in truth, caseworkers are never allowed to testify in family court under the cloak of C.P.S authority, due to possible misuse or conflict of interest related to the right to privacy laws.
    C.P.S utilizes coercive measures to persuade parents to submit to statements of prior alleged abuse, when these actions were nonexistent. In other words, forcing desperate parents to “plea bargain” to a C.P.S fabricated crime, for the return of their children from foster care.
    C.P.S fabricates portions of investigations, where such duties have never been physically performed, to purposely mislead or direct a case.
    C.P.S knowingly abandons children into foster care, conscious of the fact that some foster care parents and or individuals in the home physically and sexually abuse the children in their protective custody.
    C.P.S intentionally fails to prosecute parents accused of child abuse, since in the majority of cases, no initial crime has been committed.
    C.P.S represents themselves in positive personas, by omitting, altering, and falsifying documents, so as to mislead the public and or government of their true actions as listed above. Thereby publicly grandstanding, displaying an inaccurate social martyrdom for the well being of children.
    C.P.S ignores crimes committed in foster care, such as the atrocious acts of unexplained deaths.
    C.P.S fails to question these individuals for their abusive conduct, whereby, if it were not a foster care parent, these individuals would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
    SHOULD CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE BE RESTRUCTURED?

    The police should determine if a child has a true need for protection from his parents, since child abuse is a criminal offence. Thus, C.P.S should be incorporated with Crimes against Children Units that are currently located within police, sheriffs and FBI agencies.

    The merging of the two would reduce the amount of false allegations reported, since complaints made to a police unit is a criminal offence. Also, the police have the training and resources needed to conduct a thorough investigation. This allows them to determine that if a crime has been committed that warrants the need for foster care.

    A parent/guardian under the suspicion of the crime “Child Abuse” would meet the criteria for removal. This would activate the foster care system. Only then would the foster care system be utilized as a response to a possible or suspected crime.

    Thus in turn, this would eliminate the unnecessary utilization of the foster care system that has been grossly misused in the past. Unwarranted victimization of children and their families would be greatly reduced and soaring costs would be contained. This would minimize the number of future cases that fall through the cracks and get lost in the system.

    WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE SOCIAL WORKERS PLAY IN THE NEW CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE?

    All caseworkers must have a bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited college.
    All states must create bachelor level licensing for social workers.
    All workers must have a current license to work within any state or county in the United States with reciprocity.
    All social workers must have a preceptor for at least three months prior to individual casework.
    WHO SHOULD BE A MEMBER OF THE CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE TEAM WITHIN THE CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN UNITS?

    Other members from various agencies should be inclusive to this unit, since they bring their specific expertise to complete a proper investigation. It is our opinion that the following individuals who should comprise this team are as stated: Registered Nurse, School Principal, Detective, and Social Worker.

    SHOULD AN OUTSIDE AGENCY SYSTEMATICALLY REVIEW THE CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE TEAM’S PERFORMANCE?

    All agencies must have an outside quality control board that monitors case investigations on a random basis and when requested by the public. This Board must include members similar to the Child Protective Service team, with the addition of an individual from the public. No member may be employed more than three years, to maintain the integrity of the boards’ unbiased decisions.

    SHOULD WE MAINTAIN A CHILD ABUSE INDEX LIST?

    The child abuse index list shall be maintained only when an individual has been prosecuted and convicted by a court of law for a crime against a child. Today’s said list shall be destroyed, so as to prevent harm to those currently listed who have been accused of a crime against a child, but that have never been prosecuted or convicted. And, children should never be placed on any list that would categorize them in an adverse manner, such as this.

    SHOULD THERE BE NEW RULES AND REGULATIONS RELATED TO FOSTER CARE?

    There should be a limited number of children allowed to be placed in any single home under foster care, including adoption. No single family shall be allowed to adopt or provide foster care to more than two children at any time. The only exception shall be when siblings number more than two and are placed in the same single dwelling. This will eliminate the financial incentive for monetary gain related to housing foster children and adoptions.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Redlands, California 92373
    Yucaipa, California 92399
    July 12, 2004

    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515-0542

    To our Honorable U.S. House of Representatives,

    It is unfortunate that Child Protective Service officials have mislead the government into believing, that increased funding is necessary to solve the multitude of problems that encompass C.P.S. This agency is utilizing the funding issue as the scapegoat for their problems, when in actuality the workers themselves, the lack of their personal accountability, are the source of the problem. Further funding will not solve C.P.S’S current crisis, only the restructuring of this agency will provide a solution.

    Sincerely,

    Cynthia Huckelberry

    Sushanna Khamis

    ——————————————————————————–

  • MOMONAMISSION#2

    TO THE “OTHER MOM ON A MISSION”…I AM LOOKING FOR A PHONE NUMBER YOU MENTIONED IN YOUR POST….THESE SOCIAL WORKERS EVEN AFTER ISP MEETINGS DID NOT ONE THING THUS FAR MONTHS LATER…NOTHING TO HELP MY KIDS..I’D HAVE TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT SOME OF THESE SOCIAL WORKERS TAKE WORK HOME WITH THEM..YEAH RIGHT.

    ALSO, I BET IT WOULD TAKE AN “ACT OF CONGRESS” TO GET THE ISP MANUAL BECAUSE I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT…IS THERE A WEBSITE ONLINE TO READ THIS AND PRINT IT OFF?…THERE WERE VERY SERIOUS ISSUES AND SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE EVEN AFTER THE MEETING DUE TO STATEMENTS, AND DOCUMENTATION THAT MY CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED AND EVEN WITH DHR KNOWING ABOUT THE POLICE REPORTS, GUESS WHAT – THEY’VE HAD MONTHS TO OBTAIN THEM AND STILL NOTHING….ALL I DO IS PRAY FOR GOD’S DIVINE INTERVENTION..DHR HAS TO BE INVESTIGATED FROM THE ONSET OF A CASE TO WHERE THE CASE IS AT THE CURRENT TIME AND THEY MUST ANSWER FOR VIOLATING POLICIES, NOT REMOVING CHILDREN AND PROVE HOW THEY DID EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO KEEP FROM REMOVING MY CHILDREN FOR BLATANT LIES TOLD ON PARENTS.. SO SO HEARTBREAKING THAT DHR AT ALL LEVELS GET BY WITH THEIR CORRUPT AND DISFUNCTIONAL AGENCY DAY AFTER DAY AND DESTROYING INNOCENT PEOPLE…

    PLEASE PLEASE POST THE PHONE NUMBER…I WILL CALL FROM A PAY PHONE TO ENSURE THIS IS ISN’T A CORRUPT SOCIAL WORKER TRYING TO FIND OUT WHO IS POSTING…YOU CANNNOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE AS WE KNOW.

    I WILL BE AWAITING THE PHONE NUMBER TO REPORT CORRUPTION WITHIN THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DHR SYSTEM…..WAIT TIL THE NEWSREPORTER WHO HAS BEEN CONTACTED PERSONALLY, INVESTIGATING TGHESE POSTS, AND TALKING WITH PARENTS, FOSTER PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, ETC. FINISHES THEIR INVESTIGATION AND GOES PUBLIC…YOU WILL BE TAKEN OVER BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND MOST OF US KNOW, YOUR CLOCK IS “TICKING” BECAUSE YOUR AGENCY IS UNDER INTENSE SCRUTINY AND THAT IS FACT…IT HAS BEEN IN THE NEWSPAPERS..YES, SOME OF US ARE EDUCATED, NOT ILLITERATE, ON WELFARE, ETC… WHAT WILL A FULL BLOWN NEWS REPORT DO TO YOUR AGENCY?

    THANKS TO THE “OTHER MOM ON A MISSION”..GOD BLESS YOU.

  • TO JENNIFER HELP IS HERE

    JENNIFER, NO MAM…WITHOUT A JUDGES COURT ORDER, NO ONE WITHIN DHR, AN AD LITEM, SOCIAL WORKER ETC. CAN STOP YOUR VISITATIONS!!!!!!! BEEN THERE DONE THAT AND BOY WHAT A WHIPPING THEY GOT AS IN A CALL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE…REPORT THIS IMMEDIATELY…YOU MUST GO OVER SOCIAL WORKERS HEADS, SUPERVISORS AND GET AN INVESTIGATOR OR AN ATTY WHETHER YOU HAVE A COURT APPOINTED ATTY OR A PRIVATE ATTY…

    REPORT THEM NOW!!!!!!! TRUST ME — A JUDGE HAS TO APPROVE THIS FIRST. I HOPE I HELPED YOU…I WILL HELP ANYONE LIVING IN “DHR’S WORLD OF HELL” ANYWAY I CAN.

    HANG ON…PRAY PRAY AND PRAY

  • They are my kids too!

    I posted on here a a few months ago but there wasn’t much response. Now I have noticed all this between parents & people saying to be a person of DHR. I don’t hold my situation 100% in DHR’s fault. There is a judge that has say so also that has made my situation what it is. My children were granted to be moved to another state, 4 hours away from any thing/person they ever knew. Leaving 4 nights a month for us to spend time together as a family. Neither parent being a unfit parent in any kind of way. A situation occured for the mother & her husband to move for a job offer. This offer not being anymore money with the higher cost of living. Both stating if the children did not go and the child support cut out, the move would be impossible for just the mother, her husband, and their one child together. As the father, I opposed of the moved and ask for custody and requested no child support if granted. The living situation at my house is a wholesome, loving family enviroment. I am remarried with another child and we all spend time together. The children are as well taken care of in one place as they are the other. The custody could have been reversed and the children would have gotten to stay in their hometown just as they wanted. They made it clear to everyone they did not want to move away. However, after several court dates the judge granted in favor of the move, denying my custody proposal, doubling the child support, granting less visitation with no birthdays and several other things were just left out! Who is to blame on this one? I am a perfectly fit parent! I have done nothing wrong in any kind of way. I love my children and would do anything for them. I try to see my children as much as I can. Also up for extra time with my children and wait for the times, what few times, but what I do get. We make the best of the time we get BUT ….. IT IS NOT ENOUGH!!!! I am very interested in something being done about this!! I don’t want to point fingers, I could care less about all that! I just want more time with my children. Their little brother runs around asking where they are and he wants to go get them! How to you react to that! It’s heart breaking! Not only for me, but now I have to see my son wonder where they go. There are the dead beat dads that get handled BUT WHAT ABOUT US GOOD DADS THAT GET BEAT UP BY THE FINAL DECISIONS.

  • They are my kids too!

    There seems to be a misunderstanding between the fact that I divorced my ex wife. In no way does that ask for my children to be taken almost completely away from me!! Where did the misunderstanding happen?

  • Anonymous

    Everyone always wants to focus on the “bad” things DHR does. What about the good things. In April 2007 alone, DHR had 40,128 families on the Family Assistance Program. DHR issued $49,295,607.00 in Food Stamps in April 2007 alone. DHR collected $1,699.808.61 in child support payments from non custodial parents. DHR helped 32,764 children with subsidized day care payments totaling $7,886,463.39. You can view these facts at http://www.dhr.state.al.us.

  • Money and Health

    Family Assistance Program

    Programs of the Family Assistance Division include benefits and services so as to encourage the care of children in their own homes or in the homes of relatives. Services/benefits to eligible families include:

    The above is from the DHR website, the keyword in their Program statement is HOMES OF RELATIVES. I would like to know what they do for PARENTS not grandparents, aunts, uncles, neices, nephews….

    “DHR issued $49,295,607.00 in Food Stamps in April 2007 alone”

    DHR had to start issueing more food stamps, the state was sued in 2006 because they denied food stamps to a woman who was disabled their reason: she couldn’t buy her own food.

    People With Disabilities are Entitled to Receive Separate Food Stamp Benefits

    A mother and her adult daughter who live together are eligible to receive separate food stamp benefits, even though the daughter needs help to shop for and prepare her own food, pursuant to a stipulation signed by the federal Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

    Catherine Carter and her mother had lived together and collected a single set of Food Stamp benefits. Catherine, who has cerebral palsy, applied for her own Food Stamps account, which, if approved, would have produced roughly $50 in additional Food Stamps each month. The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) and FNS denied her application on the ground that she was unable to shop for or prepare her own food. Represented by LSC grantee Legal Services Alabama, Carter appealed the decision in federal court, alleging that the denial violated the Food Stamp Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the equal protection and due process clauses of the federal Constitution. FNS, which administers the Food Stamp Program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stipulated that Carter is, in fact, entitled to a separate Food Stamps account and retroactive benefits. In addition, on June 12, 2006, FNS issued a memo directing Food Stamp administrators not to deny separate Food Stamp benefits to people with disabilities on the basis of their inability to prepare food for themselves.

    [Source: Email from Larry Gardella, Director of Advocacy, Legal Services Alabama, June 27, 2006; Carter v. Walley, Amended Complaint, No. 2:06-cv-272-WKW (M.D. Ala.); also based on original reporting by Brennan Center staff.]

    http://www.independencefirst.org/news_events/newsletters/an%20archive/an-6/AN09-06.asp

    Its very hard for me to trust the facts that the agency gives unless theres a real breakdown of where the money goes. Its easy to use general figures and statements.

  • Gowens

    I am the DHR social worker (7 years later now a Program Supervisor) whose case and subsequent law suit, is the focus of this blog. I will not post regarding the particulars of that case, as I am prohibitted from doing so by law, by social work ethics and by issues related to litigation on this case. I will only say that that the portrayal in the opening is not entirely accurate; there is some conflict with the FACTS of the case.

    I have sat by silently for the past couple of years and read some utterly ridiculous comments posted here, mainly by parents whose children have been removed by DHR. Out of all the posts here, I can only recall ONE mother, who with retrospection, is able to admit that her child needed to be removed from her care until she got her life together (I congratulate you for your courage and introspection and pray for your continued growth and success). ONE is such an amazingly low number! Then again denial runs deep, especially when one is a parent who neglected or abused their own child, and for some it is easier to “blame the system” than accept responsibility for their own actions (no I do not assume that every parent here is in denial but suspect some must be). I would also hasten to point out that ANY social worker who was only able to accrue seven months experience in working for DHR barely has a BASIC understanding of the job, let alone competent to be “assisting” others with their dealings with DHR. Be very wary of this advise.

    Most posters here, have the bizarre idea that children are removed simply because the DHR worker enjoys removing children. NOTHING could be further from the truth. I will attempt to portray this for those of you who have this misguided notion by depicting a typical day in the life of a DHR social worker: Try if you can to imagine you are nearing the end of a long 10 or 11 hour day. You were either in court all day or making home visits and did not get a lunch break and you have many phone messages yet to return: there are any number of people wanting you to find them assistance with their housing; utility bills; groceries; clothing; drug treatment; counseling; or a foster parent needs a child transported to a doctor’s appointment tomorrow etc. Suddenly at 4:00 PM you are handed an “emergency report” to begin an investigation on. The allegations are that a 4 year olds child has suspicious bruises that are reportedly made at the hands of parents, who are addicted to Chrystal Methamphetamine, and who have “drug addicts” in and out of the home all hours of the day and night. You must act IMMEDIATELY, not tomorrow, not next week – NOW. YOU have the responsibility of taking action to make a child safe. YOU attempt to investigate the allegations, but get nothing but a refusal to cooperate from the parents, who obfuscate and say they have no idea how the bruises got on their baby, nor can they provide you with the names of whom the child has been around. VERY SUSPICIOUS, most caring parents would be able to tell you how their four years old got bruises on the face and head. It’s getting later, the four years old cannot or won’t talk to you. The parents refuse to take a drug screen, citing their “right to privacy.” What do YOU do? Leave a child in a home where she may be being beaten, molested, neglected? Obviously, if you are a committed social worker (or an even remotely decent human being) this is not an option. You then consider using a safety plan to keep the child with relatives, not in the state’s custody. This too fails when you learn that all the relatives whose names are given, ALSO have Indicated history of abuse/neglect of children. What do YOU do???? Do YOU make the PAINFUL decision that the ONLY means YOU have of ensuring this child’s safety is to place her in foster care while YOU further investigate, and seek guidance from the court, or do YOU leave her in that apparently dreadful situation and hope she isn’t dead before morning? Ultimately YOU decide on the former course of action, because IT’S THE ONLY ONE THAT PUTS THE CHILD’S SAFETY FIRST. Now YOU have the emotional turmoil of the child to contend with. Yes this child is TRAUMATIZED by YOUR actions. YOU know it, and YOU cry inside (and often times outside) as YOU hold this tiny fragile child who is unable to understand why she is being removed from her parents, and yet YOU are responsible for her safety. After going to the court house for temporary approval from a judge, completing stacks and stacks of paperwork, calling lists of unwilling foster parents, and getting the child dinner, clothing etc YOU finally locate a licensed foster home who is willing to take the child. Now YOU drive to the other end of the county to place the child, and are told by the foster mom that YOU will need to pick her up at 7:00AM because she has to go to work. It is almost 11:00 PM and oh no, YOU have court in the morning at 8:30AM, to present to the Judge why YOU placed the child in protective custody in the first place, and YOU haven’t even seen YOUR own children since they left for school at 7:30 this morning. Oh yeah, and YOU will also have to hold an ISP meeting tomorrow with a group of angry, parents and relatives(who often times threaten YOUR personal safety) while you attempt to convince them of the need for their cooperation, in order to move forward with their case.

    Now if any of you posting on here as “violated” parents can find the intellectual honesty necessary to answer this, please do: “who in their right mind would WANT to go through this?” It makes no sense and shows the fundamental dishonesty/ignorance of your suggestion that DHR social workers just go about willy nilly taking children because they somehow enjoy it. In deed, if DHR social workers were the lazy, unethical, good for nothings most of you want to paint us to be, children would NEVER be removed because it would just be so much easier to pretend that we didn’t see the inherent danger these children face within their own homes.

    Also, NO SOCIAL WORKER has the power to make the decision to remove or return a child to his/her home without the APPROVAL of a Family Court Judge. I have read garbage on here from people who suggest that children are returned to parents “by DHR” only to wind up dead in “strange places.” I KNOW that in some cases, the child was returned by a Judge OVER the objections of the DHR social worker, who was concerned the child would not be safe back in the custody of the parent. The converse is also true. On MANY MANY occasions, the DHR worker is convinced that the parent HAS done a good job in meeting the requirements placed upon him/her by the court and respectfully requests that the court return custody of the child to the parent, only to be overuled by the Judge. But guess what, Judges are only human too. They too carry the weight of “what ifs” on their shoulders regarding defenseless children.

    Finally, it is up to US the community, NOT JUST DHR, NOT JUST JUDGES OR GALs to assure the safety and well being of the children in our families, communities and state. While DHR is far from perfect, it might surprise most of you who post here to know that Alabama’s DHR is considered nationally as a MODEL program. Many states from other parts of the country travel here to learn about the changes that have been enacted as a result of the R.C. Consent Decree. We have FAR fewer of the sorts of horrific cases that are in the news from Florida, New York, Georgia etc. We don’t have any “lost” children in foster care, nor do we have children being house UNSUPERVISED in motels like other states do. I understand that many of you have had a negative experience within your dealings with DHR. I will even stipulate that there are social workers within our agency that do not deserve to be there. Guess what THE SAME IS TRUE IN EVERY PROFESSION. There are corrupt doctors, drug addicted nurses, criminal politicians, abusive police officers. NO profession is made up solely of angels, nor is DHR overrun by a bunch of selfish, ignorant demons. That many of you chose to portray us as such says much more about your apparent immaturity and unwillingness to see the other side of the coin. Most of us at DHR are hard working, concerned, idealistic and selfless people who accepted an overwhelming career which does not pay the sort of salaries that offer the “large life.” We did/do so because we care about our society, more specifically we care about children. Do we make mistakes? You bet we do. Do those mistakes have painful consequences for us and the families we serve? Many times yes. But the VAST MAJORITY of us do the best we can with what we have to work with, and deeply care about the “mission” we are on. I have ALWAYS cared, ALWAYS tried to keep children with their families whenever it was safe to do so, and ALWAYS put children’s safety first. Sadly, most of us come to the realization that we work in a thankless job, in a community in which large segments are ungrateful for what we do. If we are to EVER get a pat on the back we will usually have to give it to ourselves. That’s OK with me. So too is it OK with me that it will gall many of you to know that I feel just fine with who I am and what I do when I FINALLY get to lay my head down at night. Likewise, I seem to be quite capable of looking myself in the mirror when I arise, knowing that I may have been the one person who FINALLY stopped one child from being beaten, molested, murdered etc. My challenge is this: what have YOU done? Peace to you all – Gowens

  • Money and Health

    Gowens
    Your case points out one of the problems with DHR and the state. Social Workers are expected to make an educated guess that an immenent threat exist, that may work in an experiment but it doesn’t work with real people and their lives. It never works with the constitution of the United States. If children are in real and present danger from an individual why then is that person who is the threat not immediately taken into custody and assessed by a psychiatrist, then sent before a judge to decide if the person is a danger to himself or others?(that would hold the judge accountable) If their is probable cause that the child is abused why is the child not taken and immediately sent to a physician to assess the supposed abuse?
    Social Workers should not be the ones having to make such a life altering decision as to whether a child is removed or stays. There is a way to do this with less errors. Social Workers are not experts in the law, their not experts in the fields of medician or psychiatry, why do we not incorporate all of these professionals into the process? Money, it cost alot more to hire doctors than Social Workers. The priorities of the Alabama legislatures are not there, they would rather fund their pet projects than to really find out how to reroute money (that the federal government supplies with our tax dollars) to afford these professionals.
    Money and Health

  • AT LEAST YOU CARED MR. GOWANS

    PERSONAL POST TO MR. GOWENS,

    I as well as many other parents who post on this website are VICTIMS as are our CHILDREN of DHR’s due to the fact that SOME social workers DO NOT PEFORM THEIR JOBS!! They do not always investigate BOTH sides of the accusations against foster parents, biological parents, dads etc…How can they take testimony from the party who made the accusations (as in being “one sided”) and not the other as the parents who raised their children? Also, please answer the parents who post on this website WHY regardless of what children who are old enough to tell what is going on where they reside where they have STATED this to affiliates of DHR DO NOT REMOVE THE CHILDREN?

    Due to a “lazy social worker” who did not investigate as in getting information, personal references, etc. OR INVESTIGATE documented legal evidence (which would have substantiated proof) what was stated to this person prior to the time my children were unjustly removed from our home? Please please tell us WHY this happens? Why again does DHR find you guilty before innocent? This is another problem with this system. Now, DHR finds out who the truth lies with and yet, NO ACTION…One former social worker stated what she found to be numerous problems within DHR during her tenor as in the referees ONLY goes by the info given to them by case workers..Once again, “one sided information” due to the fact this case worker NEVER investigated prior to the hearing…Numerous cases are NOT properly investigated and I as others recognize this ourselves due our experiences with this agency.

    Mr. Gowans, I was very happy to read how the cases you were involved with indeed caused you emotional pain because many parents such as myself who have read other posts who you can tell were unjustly labeled “unfit” and suffered emotional trauma from the lack of SOME DHR social workers NOT doing their jobs? How do they sleep at night is what I want to know..No doubgt they have no consciences. No way they could.That I will NEVER understand as well as other innocent parents…To them, it seems the parents and children involved are only “mere case numbers” but NO we are HUMAN BEINGS with feelings, emotions, etc etc

    Also, as others who have cases on-going with DHR, once again I see where another social worker POSTED DURING WORK HOURS!!!!! I do believe I will print this material off and personally send it someone in a position to investigate and no, not a case worker. It will be the Director of Alabama’s Agency…This also is more substantial proof of what another parent noticed recently as to what time of day some social workers post on here. They are NOT WORKING during WORK HOURS, they are POSTING ON THIS WEBSITE!!!!!!!

    DHR needs to have immediate intervention by the Federal Government for all parties concerned. Perhaps they should use the agency in Utah as a model for Alabama’s DHR system since Utah has been commended as to how they operate their agency (per the Bham News)

  • FOR THE ONES WHO ARE INNOCENT

    TO THE LADIES WHO POSTED FROM CALIF:

    DID THE LETTER YOU SENT TO THE REPRESENTATIVES GET ANY EXPOSURE? YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT WHAT GOES ON WITHIN DHR. I COULD ASSURE YOU THE SOCIAL WORKERS I’VE ENCOUNTERED CANNOT EVEN READ AND THAT IS FACT. NO WAY COULD SOME I’VE ENCOUNTERED HAVE EVEN A BACHELOR’S DEGREE AND SOME I WONDER IF THEY HAVE ANY COLLEGE AT ALL. THEY ARE TRAINED FOR MAYBE 6 WEEKS AND THIS HAS BEEN POSTED BY A FORMER SOCIAL WORKER AND THEN, THEY JUST DO WHATEVER AND LEAVE THE “BROKEN HEARTS” LEFT TO UNDO THEIR DAMAGE TO THE LIVES THEY DESTROY. I WOULD BE WILLING TO BET IF I COULD FIND THE LEVEL OF EDUCATION OF ONE SOCIAL WORKER, I WOULD BE WILLING TO BE I HAVE MORE EDUCATION AS WELL AS DO MANY OF THE INNOCENT PARENTS WHO POST ON HERE..DHR IS DEPLORABLE BUT YET, NO ONE OVERSEES THEIR CORRUPTION AND HOW THEY GET BY WITH THE INJUSTICE THEY DO, THE LIVES DESTROYED, THE CHILDREN WHO SUFFER. THERE MUST BE A FEDERAL AGENCY WHO OVERSEES THESE PEOPLE? DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO IT IS?

    ONCE AGAIN IF YOUR LETTER RECEIVED ANY ATTENTION IMPROVED THE AGENCY IN YOUR STATE PLEASE POST BACK. SEVERAL OF THE INNOCENT WHO POST ON HERE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF GOING PUBLIC. WHAT ELSE CAN THEY DO TO US NOW? NO MATTER WHAT IS SAID, PROVEN, ETC., THEY DO NOTHING. THEY DESTROY MORE FAMILIES THAN THEY HELP AND YET THEIR MISSION IS TO “REUNIFY”. NOT IN ALABAMA.

    THANKS AGAIN FOR THE VITAL INFORMATION.

  • Anonymous

    The way I see it, at least Gowens had the guts to put his name on his….Money and Health….whatever

  • They are my kids too!

    These social workers sure are convinced they do their jobs. Everyone there is so nice, so nice that they were complete rude to me when I went and paid $1500 in advanced child support. I have issues with both DHR & the judges that make the final decision. For instance, I got laid off from a job of 14 years and I had to modify my child support because it was based on ALOT more than I made. When speaking to the worker I pointed out that I had a son now (not related to the DHR & child support STUFF). Clearly I have to take care of my son! All he has is me and his mom, but Ms DHR lady tells me “Well you should have thought of that before you had him.” hmmmmm now tell me if your out to help then why are you basically saying my son was a mistake. Like I planned on getting laid off. Things happen! I also don’t ever see the DHR workers promoting the father. Explain that one to me!! WHERE IS THE HELP FOR THE DADS?? I sat and listen to my daughter cry on the phone tonight because she wants to come live in Alabama. To hear your child say that every night she crys herself to sleep because of this, well then someone IS NOT doing there job because obviously THIS IS NOT THE BEST FIT SITUATION!!! Isn’t the main job of these workers to focus on. All I know right now is my children are in another state crying to come home. So where the social worker to help me in this situation!!!!! I love my kids!! Seing them 4 nights a month just isn’t enough. This not only being my feeling but the childrens too! So once again: WHERE IS THE HELP FOR THE GOOD DADS?????????

  • They are my kids too!

    #49-Not ALL DHR workers are bad, and not ALL parents involved with DHR are innocent.
    The the comment you posted needs a little work maybe starting by get your facts straight.
    I don’t have any type of social worker degree but it doesn’t take a scientist to know if a child(ren) should be removed from a home. However, in my case…. I have no clue what the factor was in that decision. I am about to miss my youngest daughters birthday, the first one ever. Also I missed my oldest daughters birthday too. Something I never thought I would have to do. For some reason the judge didn’t specify all the holidays. I have got to get something done ASAP!!! I can not sit and listen to my daughter cry because she wants to come back to Alabama. She even tries to call us (myself , wife, & son)but her mom won’t let her. There are no bad circumstances or anything bad against either parent, myself & their mother. BUT……. where did the fact go that these children are ours, not hers. Which means 4 days is far from being enough!! THEY ARE MY KIDS TOO!!

    **Anyone with info on a class action lawsuit please post anything that would help**

    -To the social worker telling people to quit spending time on this post and take that time to get their kids… How about you try to be the mom on a mission because its not easy & us parents who love and care for our kids are trying in every way to get something done anyway possible. This post would be one of those ways because people share similar situations. So how about you social workers do your work and go after the dead beat parents and help the good parents. HELP THE KIDS THAT ARE IN UNFIT HOMES & LEAVE US CARING PARENTS ALONE!!

  • Money and Health

    “The way I see it, at least Gowens had the guts to put his name on his….Money and Health….whatever

    Comment by Anonymous — 8/1/2007″

    I’m just a mother trying to help her daughter be able to at least have visitation rights to her son.
    My husband and I have gone into bankruptcy court helping our daughter get the help she needs from real doctors and psychiatrist, not social worker counselors paid by the state. And then there’s the legal fees fighting DHR, WOW. If it weren’t for my mother (who by the way is in her 60′s) loaning us money, I don’t know what we would do.

  • Fedup with DHR

    RE:#60 Annonymous 7/7/07
    OH MY GOD! What is wrong with you? It’s amazing how quick you are to point the finger at the judges. The whole DHR/Family court system in Jefferson County and most likely all of Alabama is a huge joke and so corrupt I can’t begin to say.
    They don’t do their jobs responsibly if at all. We have been dealing with these idiots since February 2007 and have spoken to the case worker(s)maybe 3 times. They don’t provide services they say that they will. I spoke with our granddaughters case worker on 7/30/07. I am still waiting for her to “call me right back” HA! You bet. If they take children based on someone telling a lie to a doctor then where are the child’s rights? They didn’t investigate, they wanted psychological evaluations done because of the possible danger of the mother hurting the child (she did tell a lie?? so?). Why then did it take almost 4 months to schedule an appointment for this so-called “service”? Why did the caseworker not show up for the feedback session? If the baby was in such “danger” why didn’t DHR do something immediately before the baby ever left the hospital? i.e., evaluations done before the mother ever left the hospital? that however wasn’t done.
    “Please understand that DHR does not take children away…JUDGES make those decisions based on EVIDENCE of child abuse and neglect.” there was no EVIDENCE of any abuse or neglect in our case. Just a possibility that it could happen because the baby’s 17 year old mother told a lie about having a baby before this one that died. Granted she did tell a lie, but what right does DHR or a judge have to take a baby that has never been in a dangerous situation or even gone home from the hospital yet, just because the mother told a lie? Then when the evaluations were done, the mother is diagnosed as normal, yet the DHR still has their hooks in us. They have promised services to help with childcare for the young mother to complete at least her high school education and further prep her for college and employment. None of these things have come to pass. No need to call them because they can’t be bothered to call you back. Makes it hard to co-operate with your theory of: “If you people would spend half the time you spend posting these ridiculous blogs participating in the services DHR asks that you participate in, you might just get your kids back.”
    You are just stupid. If it’s the judges fault for children being taken then I’d say the whole system is corrupt and unorganized and unaccountable to the people they are responsible for and the entire state of Alabama. The Lawyers, DHR case workers GAL’s and judges all get paid by the same people-the people they are doing the biggest injustice to. I don’t know who you are, but I just hope that you or anyone you care about never has to go thru this total BS system.
    I want to do whatever it takes to get DHR out of my home and live like normal people again. I have never had any dealings with this agency before this and I will make it a point not to again. We are in the middle of this mess because we are trying to help the parents of our grandchild and we have no recourse except to pay for a lawyer or raise so much hell that this gets thrown out or closed.
    How do people ever get DHR out of their lives? Why do innocent people have to endure so much with so little actually done to help the children or the parents,grandparents and relatives of the children? If you know so freaking much, why don’t you do something besides belittling people who post on this blog? I have learned alot from this blog and others like it. Common folk don’t have any rights with DHR or Family Court. How is this possible when we support these agencies with our tax money? They don’t have enough money, they don’t have enough resources, blah, blah, blah. Bunch of whining, uncaring people working for an uncaring agency with the power of GOD over innocent children and families, otherwise known as the victims of DHR. I could go on for days, but there is no use.
    If anybody knows what can be done or how to get them out of our lives please post to this blog.
    Oh, by the way, post#60 Annonymous 7/19/07, go get a life and stop being critical of something you have obviously never been involved in. People like you make me sick. Furthermore, if you are “amused by these posts” then maybe you should go to work for the DHR and see if you can find out what’s going on or make this system work for the people who need it. I don’t need it and I don’t need DHR in my life. They should be disbanded and punished for their actions in about 95% of cases. Maybe once in a while they get lucky and actually take a child from an abusive home, but really, how many? Do you know the answers to any of these questions “annonymous”? I think not.
    People who are involved in DHR Hell please post on here. Let’s get together and get something done about this. How many more people/families have to suffer before something positive is done? I want to do more than talk about this. I want some action! How about the rest of you?

  • Anonymous

    “If anybody knows what can be done or how to get them out of our lives please post to this blog.”

    Your families names are now in Alabama’s Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry, based on the Social Workers professional opinion the case is either substantiated or not substantiated.
    Every state now has access to your families file, because of the Federal National Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry.
    It makes no difference whether the information collected is accurate or inaccurate, they have no way of knowing, its all based on what that Social Worker and their supervisor in that County office says.

    If in the Social Workers opinion abuse or neglect happened you will have to prove your innocent. Unless you are charged with a crime I believe you will now have to ask the State Attorney General to review the case and tell DHR the abuse didn’t happen and expunge the names from the registry.
    DHR has spent billions over the years (I believe it started in the 80′s) trying to make this registry using different companies, just imagine how that data could be corrupted.
    It takes the family alot of money to get this corrected.

    You can file a complaint with the Federal Health and Human Resource agency Office of Civil Rights, its supposed to oversee state DHR’s use of federal money. http://www.hhs.gov/ocr

    Good Luck

  • We are all not the same!

    Don’t be too quick to judge ALL social workers who happen to work for DHR. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, everyone has a different experience because everyone has a different worker. I happen to work for Jefferson County DHR and I love my job. I have worked for DHR for over 5 years and I would not want to be using my abilities to do anything different. I agree with some of the posts here. DHR does have workers who don’t return phone calls, who don’t put the needs of the children first, who don’t take the time to fully investigate reports; however, I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE WORKERS. If you truly have a problem, go to the source. Call the worker, then their supervisor, then their supervisor, then the program supervisor, then the director. Call Montgomery, talk with PACT, do whatever you need to do. But quit offending those of us who LOVE our jobs and do EVERYTHING we can to keep families together despite being overworked, underpaid and unappreciated. I would love to share success stories here and stories of what I could have done differntly but I can’t. These same people who cuss me out, call me names, follow me home and threaten my safety and my family are the same people I have to protect by maintaining their confidentiality. Despite the negative aspects of my job, the lack of respect from anyone, threats, hurtful comments, etc… I would not have any other job in the world. I am only responsible for my actions. When I go to sleep at night, I know that I do my job to the best of my ability and I remove children from thier homes as a LAST RESORT. I respect my families and I do not treat them any way that I would not want to be treated. My only wish is that, for once, these families would do the same for me.

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