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 thoughts on “Prickly World for Alabama DHR Staff”

  1. Why are you still talking to the birth parents of your adopted children. Doesn’t Alabama have a closed adoption law. If you adopted from DHR, didn’t you agree to the closed adoption until the child was 18?

    You always seem to have an answer for everything and everyone but you never really seem to say anything????

  2. Maria,
    closed adoptions only mean that DHR cannot continue visitation after the adoption is finalized. However, if the adoptive parent and the biological parent agree to continue visitation for any reason, that is their prerogative. It is not against the law to do it, it just means the visitation cannot be put in the adoption order.

  3. Mercy Maria, what have I done to you???? If I have an answer for everyone about everything, then how can I NOT be saying anything? I only answer questions that I know something about, otherwise I’d be lying, huh?

    I stay in contact with some of my kids families and some I don’t stay in contact with. Some of their families still want to be involved with them, and it was no fault of theirs, that the child was taken or termination of parental rights occurred. We only do it when we know it won’t hurt our child. Period.

    What exactly would you like to know, that I haven’t divulged???? Do you have a specific question? If so, I’ll try my best to answer it, but I can’t answer the questions I haven’t heard you ask.

  4. To post 252, thank you. You are correct. Don’t worry Maria, I’m not breaking the law. Once you adopt a child you may do as you please as far as who gets to continue seeing that child. Actually children are supposed to have the opportunity to continue to see their birth families after adoption (if adopted from DHR), according to DHR policy. It’s in their manual, but most people don’t know this. Especially the families. Siblings are supposed to be kept together also (according to DHR policy manual), but they aren’t. My children could grow up and fall in love with one of their brothers or sisters because they don’t know where or who any of them are. Most of my children have at least one sibling and some of them have 7 or 8 siblings that have been sent to different families. Scary huh?

  5. Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parent Association Website – click on SDHR policies

    Minimum Standards for Foster Care Homes Click on 660 then click on 660-5-29

    Foster Parent Handbook 2001 Version

    Medically Fragile Policy

    Placement Policy

    ISP and Respite Policies

    Click here for ISP Power Point Presentation

    Parnership Policy

    Siblings Policy

    Visitation Policy

    Adoption Subsidy Policy

    Adoption Subsidy Pofile for Alabama

    Click here for TFC Manual

    TFC Core Services

    Claims by Foster Parents to Board of Adjustment

  6. “The children that I have are children of people that admitted to drinking and doing drugs while pregnant.”

    I drank socially before I realized I was pregnant and of course stopped after my physician told me.

    I was injected with huge amounts of mercury that had been used in the shots that RHd negative mothers have to take…before, during and after my pregnancy.

    During this time period studies have found that 53% of RHd negative mothers have children now with “Autism”.

    Acetaldehyde is in the air that we breath. Ethanol pollution is everywhere.

    The break down of fermented fruits is a natural biological process of our bodies.

    FAS groups now say that Autism and ADHD are caused by a mother drinking just a small amount of Alcohol.

    FAS cannot be reproduced over and over again with certainty. There are to many variables that we still don’t understand.

    There is NO test that determines whether or not the fetus was damaged by the mothers alcohol consumption or indirect forces through the environment.

    I think before we get to the point of sterilizing Alcoholic’s(which is really the only way to ensure their will be no pregnancy) to stop the epidemic of child abuse by FAS, we might want to find out if Mom is the real culprit in FAS or is it something else.

  7. it sounds as if you are advocating for drinking during pregnancy. Who cares what “some studies” say, what about the THOUSANDS of studies that do show that drinking alcohol during pregnancy does cause FAS? Maybe nothing would happen to your unborn baby, but what if it did and now your baby is messed up because of you? How could you live with that? Is it really worth it and worth the risk? I do not dispute that alcoholism is a disease, but one must try to find a cure for the disease, such as treatment. If an alcoholic TRULY cares about the well being of her child over the needs of herself, she would immediately seek help to help manage the disease during pregnancy.

  8. I don’t think we should “sterilize” anyone to stop the epidemic of child abuse. We need more education about drinking and the risk. We have warnings on cigarette packages telling you the risk.

    It seems that nobody knows what causes anything nowadays. They all have “ideas”, but next week those ideas will be thrown out the window and they will say that the research was wrong. It’s funny how we depend on certain things to make us well (like chemo), when we are the sick one, but if it’s something that pertains to someone else, or just isn’t fun to follow, we say that the research is wrong or everyone reads it differently (kind of like DHR policy 🙂 At times I do the same thing, so I’m not saying that I’m immune to that kind of thinking. Take caffeine for instance. A couple of years ago, it was bad for you and you shouldn’t take it while pregnant. Now you can and it’s fine.

    I don’t understand your statement that FAS can’t be reproduced over and over again. It’s just like cerebral palsy, or other conditions. Some children are very affected and some are not. Everything depends on timing. Just like life.

    Do you have a child with Autism? Do you blame yourself for it because of the shots? You shouldn’t. You have to do what you have to do to make sure your child is ok. Nobody ever knows what might hurt their child, when they try to hard to help them.

    As far as Mom being the culprit, it could be the Dad that drank too much and ruined his sperm. Actually I don’t think they’ve said that can happen, but who knows, next week they might. Research findings change constantly, but all I know is what I know, and that is how it (something out there) affected MY children. I know that I didn’t drink while pregnant, and none of my biological children have the symptoms of FAS. I’m not saying they don’t have symptoms of SOMETHING though. I just don’t know what 🙂 Naw, they are good kids.

  9. We are going to have a SAFE meeting soon at Phillip Bahakel’s office soon. I know that there are some social workers that would like to come, so as soon as I find out the date and time, I’ll let you know, so that you can attend.

  10. No I’m not advocating for or against drinking while pregnant, and my child has not been dx. with autism or FAS, really I have just been talking about how easy it is to take a child from a parent without a through investigation of possible causes other than intentional child abuse/neglect.

    I didn’t mean to stray from the subject, if we had jury trials and open courts for people who are accused of these crimes then it wouldn’t matter what any of our opinions were. The charge would be decided by a jury, which would then make “family court” constitutional.

  11. WE are thinking about Sunday (this coming Sunday), but I’ll let everyone know for sure and the time.

  12. So as of TUESDAY, January 1, 2008, you have no time, date or location set for this meeting. However, you are “thinking” about SUNDAY, January 6, 2008? What kind of reputable organization schedules meetings at the VERY last minute. Obviously one who does not want the public (aka: outsiders) to attend. I would hate to “assume” that you are hiding something. What exactly is “S.A.F.E.” and why can I not locate any information about your group, mission, expectations or members anywhere online?

  13. Anonymous 263, Obviously you were not looking for information. I have found some quite easily. click legal articles, and scroll down under bankruptcy lawyers and the date March 30,2007. Happy hunting!

  14. Calm down post 263. We aren’t hiding anything from you and if you really want to make sure that we are not, you may come to the meeting on Sunday, January 6th, at 2 P.M. If you think that this meeting is scheduled to soon for you to attend, you may attend our next meeting and I will be sure that I tell you about it at least a whole week in advance. If you need more notice than one week, then you are probably too busy to attend any meeting we have, so give me your address and I will send you a manuscript of the meetings. If you can’t give me your address, I “assume” you are not wanting your identity known. Oh yeah, you did sign your name “anonymous”. Now who’s hiding something 🙂

    All jokes aside…. we encourage ALL of the public that cares about child welfare to attend. We are trying to pass a bill that will open up the juvenile courts in Alabama, so that no one can hide behind confidentiality and that families will be protected. SAFE stands for Society of Advocates for Family Empowerment, so you see, we are not about “hiding” and are all about advocacy for families. We advocate for families in meetings (ISP’s) and in any other situation where they may need a helping hand to understand DHR policies or find resources to keep their families together. Now, does this sound like a secret organization to you?

    The meeting will be held at Phillip Bahakel’s office (where it always is) in Pelham, by the IHOP. If you need directions, you can call me at 205-520-1169 or call Phillip at 987-8787 or 587-9487. There are so many families now, that are fed up and need help, and they aren’t afraid to do something about it. This is what we have been waiting for.

    Post 263 – Do you consider yourself an “outsider”? You shouldn’t because you will be treated with the same respect as everyone else that attends the meeting.

  15. Thanks 264 (Mom to 3). I meet families every day (usually in Walmart or other places I buy groceries) that need some kind of help. I never have to go up to anyone and ASK if they need help. They see my family and we start talking, and that leads to them asking ME if I can do something to help them. I never promise that I can, because the system is a very complicated thing, but I tell them that I will do my best to guide them. All I can do is give them DHR policy and tell them to study it and know it. When you have the knowledge of what is SUPPOSED to be happening, then you can help yourself in any meeting or other contact you have with DHR. If the person still wants my presence in a meeting, then I will gladly come, but only if that person ask me to come. Nobody wants an advocate, information, or intimidation shoved down their throat. They need to empower themselves and that is what I help them do. It feels good when you know that you are doing something to help your situation.

  16. We had a very good SAFE meeting today. I will give everyone more notice when the next meeting is to be held. I think we will have it in St. Clair County the next time since that is where a lot of the problems are coming from right now.

  17. You say that the goal of SAFE is to open juvenile courts to the public, correct? Is St. Clair County the only county in Alabama that you think has problems within the court system? What problems do they have in St. Clair County?

  18. Oh heavens no, St. Clair County isn’t the only one. Jefferson County is a mess as is most of the other counties. I’ve just gotten a lot of calls over the last few months about St. Clair Cty. St. Clair’s problems are the same as most counties and that is not following DHR policy, not having trained GAL’s, not having trained social workers, supervisors not acting professionally in ISP’s and literally hollering at parents because they ask questions and want answers.

    You would think that with the money from the Torrie Monet lawsuit, that was supposed to go to training for social workers, that things would run smoothly. They don’t. I wonder where that money is and what it is really being used for. I’ll have my people check it out and let everyone know. I found out that one of my kids relatives work at the St. Clair DHR. Neat.

  19. Beverly,
    I have also been concerned about what kind of training GAL’s have. What classes do they have to take to become one? I know several people whose children never even met their GAL. How is this possible? How are they supposed to speak for the child if they don’t know what the child wants? What kind of supervisor would yell at an ISP meeting? How unprofessional is that? Did anyone say anything to him/her? I would have to report that to her supervisor if that happened to me. Maybe you should go to her next meeting so you can help her communicate with DHR.
    I really think that you could answer some of my questions…how do I contact you directly? I would also like to know more about your SAFE program. Can you give me the website? Thanks Beverly!

  20. Below is the current quality report for St Clair County. All areas indicate N/A. Doesn’t N/A mean not applicable? Out of my sample of the 67 Counties in Alabama, St clair County was the only one indicating N/A. Does this mean St Clair County is exempt from reporting?

    St. Clair County Contact Information
    Cherri Pilkington – Director

    Street Address
    3105 15th Avenue North
    Pell City, AL 35125

    Click Here for a Google Map

    Click Here to email this County DHR Office

    Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

    Phone Numbers
    Main Number (205) 812-2100
    Child Support Services (205) 812-2165
    FAX (205) 338-9899
    FAX (205) 814-0939

    Child Welfare Report Card
    Overall Rating:
    3rd and 4th Quarter 2007
    Safety Items
    Cases of Abuse/Neglect (CANs) Pending N/A
    Prevention Assessments Pending >90 days N/A
    5 Day Contacts on CANs Received (Initial Contact) N/A
    Permanency Items
    No Compelling Reason/Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) 15 of last 22 months N/A
    TPR Petitions Overdue >90 Days for Children with adoption as the permanency plan (Adoption) N/A
    Qualitative Items
    Average Child & Family Status Rating N/A
    Average System Performance Rating N/A

    County Comments

    Information on how these figures were calculated

    2007 1st and 2nd Quarter Report Card
    2006 3rd and 4th Quarter Report Card
    2006 1st and 2nd Quarter Report Card
    2005 3rd and 4th Quarter Report Card
    2005 1st and 2nd Quarter Report Card

    href=”” target=”_blank”>

  21. Wow, I guess St. Clair County is “special”, and doesn’t have to report. Maybe we should ask Commish Walley about that. I did go to the meeting where the supervisor yelled. It doesn’t matter if you report them, because it is one big happy family and nothing happens.

    The GAL’s are attorney’s that the judge appoints to a child. They are supposed to go to training specifically for this type of representation. Most don’t. Most don’t even know their client until the day of court, then they meet with them for 5 minutes and make a report to the judge. Sometimes the GAL for the child isn’t at court, so the judge gives it to another GAL, who knows even less about the child, and that GAL makes a recommendation. Unfortunately for these children, they don’t make any money so that they can get a GOOD attorney, therefore they get the worse representation available. That’s how it is if you’re poor. That goes for poor parents also.

    You may call me at 205-520-1169. We need more people to band together to make the system a better one. There is strength in numbers, that is why we have SAFE (Society of Advocates for Family Empowerment).

  22. I found this on one of Mr. Lee’s other blogs. I asked my attorney shouldn’t he have used this at my hearing? He said yes but, my first attorny should have used it. It appears to late for this to help me, but it might help someone else.

    Ex Parte: Mr. and Mrs. W. R. McLendon (Re: Mr. and Mrs. W.
    R. McLendon
    John William McLendon and Ruby Ann McLendon)
    No. 83-595
    455 So. 2d 863
    July 6, 1984, As Amended.



    Al Seale and Frances R. Niccolai for Seale, Marsal & Seale, Mobile For Petitioner(s)
    W. A. Kimbrough, Jr., Mobile For Respondent(s)


    Before SHORES, JUSTICE. Torbert, C.J., Faulkner, Jones, Almon, Embry, Beatty, and Adams, JJ., concur. Maddox, J., concurs in the result.



    This is a child custody case. The child was born in 1977. The parents of the child were divorced in 1980. By agreement of the parties, which was made a part of the divorce decree, custody was awarded to the paternal grandparents, who had already been caring for the child. In 1982, the mother picked up the child for visitation and took her to California, the mother’s new home, without advising the grandparents. The grandmother, after obtaining a California court order, regained custody of the child. She then petitioner the Circuit Court of Mobile County for suspension of the mother’s visitation rights. The mother counterclaimed, seeking a modification of the decree to regain custody. Following an ore tenus hearing, the trial court awarded custody to the mother, subject to the liberal visitation rights of the grandparents. The grandparents appealed, and the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the judgment. McLendon v. McLendon, [MS. February 1, 1984] So. 2d (Ala. Civ. App. 1984). Rehearing was denied, and the grandparents petitioned for a writ of certiorari. We granted the writ under A.R.A.P. Rule 39(c)(4).

    At the time of the hearing, the child was just under six years old and had been living with the grandparents since she was eleven months old, except for a period of about two months when she was with her mother in Tennessee. The child has remained with the grandparents during the pendency of this appeal because the trial court granted the motion of the grandparents for a stay of the custody award.

    The mother’s visits with the child over the past five years have been infrequent, although there is evidence of some extenuating circumstances, which may account for the lapses. It is undisputed that the grandparents provide a good home for the child and that the grandmother has been a good mother figure. The grandparents have provided substantial medical care for the child, nursing her through several illnesses.

    It is also undisputed that the mother has remarried and is now able to provide a stable and wholesome environment for the child. She and her new husband have one child of their own and have an income adequate to support both children. The mother’s new husband testified unequivocally that he would assist in the care and support of the child, and that he wanted custody to be returned to the mother. He and the mother agree that the grandparents can have all reasonable visitation rights and that, if they can afford to, they will send the child to the grandparents in the summer.

    A natural parent has a prima facie right to the custody of his or her child. However, this presumption does not apply after a voluntary forfeiture of custody or a prior decree removing custody from the natural parent and awarding it to a non-parent. Ex Parte Mathews, 428 So. 2d 58 (Ala. 1983); Ex Parte Berryhill, 410 So. 2d 416 (Ala. 1982); Horton v. Gilmer, 266 Ala. 124, 94 So. 2d 393 (1957); Lewis v. Douglass, 440 So. 2d 1073 (Ala. Civ. App. 1983).

    In returning custody to the mother, the trial court may have incorrectly given the mother the benefit of this presumption. The trial court apparently misconstrued our holding in Ex Parte Berryhill, supra, wherein this Court said that in a contest between a natural parent and a non-parent for custody of a child, the natural parent has a superior right to custody. The Court of Civil Appeals correctly noted that the holding of Berryhill has no application when there is a prior decree removing custody from the parent. The superior right of the mother in this case was cut off by the prior decree awarding custody to the grandparents. McLendon v. McLendon, So. 2d at .

    The correct standard in this case is:

    “Where a parent has transferred to another [whether it be a non-parent or the other parent], the custody of h[er] infant child by fair agreement, which has been acted upon by such other person to the manifest interest and welfare of the child, the parent will not be permitted to reclaim the custody of the child, unless [s]he can show that a change of the custody will materially promote h[er] child’s welfare.”

    Greene v. Greene, 249 Ala. 155, 157, 30 So. 2d 444, 445 (1947), quoting the Supreme Court of Virginia, Stringfellow v. Somerville, 95 Va. 701, 29 S.E. 685, 687, 40 L.R.A. 623 (1898).


    “[This] is a rule of repose, allowing the child, whose welfare is paramount, the valuable benefit of stability and the right to put down into its environment those roots necessary for the child’s healthy growth into adolescence and adulthood. The doctrine requires that the party seeking modification prove to the court’s satisfaction that material changes affecting the child’s welfare since the most recent decree demonstrate that custody should be disturbed to promote the child’s best interests. The positive good brought about by the modification must more than offset the inherently disruptive effect caused by uprooting the child. Frequent disruptions are to be condemned.”

    Wood v. Wood, 333 So. 2d 826, 828 (Ala. Civ. App. 1976).
    It is not enough that the parent show that she has remarried, reformed her lifestyle, and improved her financial position. Carter v. Harbin, 279 Ala. 237, 184 So. 2d 145 (1966); Abel v. Hadder, 404 So. 2d 64 (Ala. Civ. App. 1981). The parent seeking the custody change must show not only that she is fit, but also that the change of custody “materially promotes” the child’s best interest and welfare.

    For several years now, the Court of Civil Appeals has stated that the parent seeking custody has the burden of showing a change in circumstances which adversely affect the welfare of the child. Lewis v. Douglass, 440 So. 2d 1073 (Ala. Civ. App. 1983); Simpson v. Gibson, 420 So. 2d 782 (Ala. Civ. App. 1982); Taylor v. Taylor, 387 So. 2d 849 (Ala. Civ. App. 1980); Keith v. Keith, 380 So. 2d 889 (Ala. Civ. App. 1980). This Court, in 1975, expressly rejected that standard in favor of the standard applied today. We held that “the use of the word ‘adversely’ limits the law as stated in our cases.” Ford v. Ford, 293 Ala. 743, 310 So. 2d 234 (1975). We reaffirm that holding today and further hold that all contrary decisions, including the above-cited ones, are overruled to this extent.

    We have examined the record carefully and conclude that the parties are equally capable of taking care of the child, and that both would provide her with a nurturing, loving home. The most that the mother has shown is that her circumstances have improved, and she is now able to provide for the child in the same manner in which the grandparents have been providing for her. She failed to show that changing the custody materially promotes the welfare and best interest of the child.

    In Carter v. Harbin, supra, that Court affirmed the trial court’s decree denying the mother’s petition to remove custody from the father, who had it by the original decree. We find some of the language in Carter to be particularly poignant:

    “In view of the evidence going to show that the father and stepmother are in all respects equipped to minister to the needs of the children in an adequate home where they are loved and cared for, we cannot believe it would be to the best interest of the children that they be uprooted again and taken to Huntsville to the home of their mother and her present husband, although it is clear that the present husband, as well as the mother, love the children and perhaps could afford them more of the luxuries of life than their father.”

    Carter v. Harbin, 279 Ala. at 240, 184 So. 2d at 148. If we substitute “grandparents” for “father and stepmother,” and “California” for “Huntsville,” this language could have been written especially for this case. The children in Carter had been shuffled from one household to the next many more times than this child, but the need for continuity is not any less in the case of this child than in the case of the Carter children. We cannot overemphasize that “frequent disruptions are to be condemned.” Wood v. Wood, 333 So. 2d at 828.

    The Court of Civil Appeals, in affirming the trial court’s award of custody to the mother, held that the mother had met her burden “to show a change in circumstances since the divorce in 1980 and that the grant to her of custody was in the best interest of her child.” McLendon v. McLendon, So. 2d at . Although the best interests of the child are paramount, this is not the standard to be applied in this case. It is important that she show that the child’s interests are promoted by the change, i.e., that she produce evidence to overcome the “inherently disruptive effect caused by uprooting the child.” Wood v. Wood, 333 So. 2d at 828. This she has not done.

    For these reasons, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Civil Appeals and remand the case to that court.


    Torbert, C.J., Faulkner, Jones, Almon, Embry, Beatty, and Adams, JJ., concur.
    Maddox, J., concurs in the result.



    MADDOX, JUSTICE (Concurring in the result).

    I concur in the result. At the conclusion of the trial in the instant case, the trial judge stated: “I know you use the best interest theory when you are dealing with people on the same level, but that decision [Berryhill ] appears to me, says that when they are on different levels you use different standards.” It appears that the trial court applied the wrong legal principle in determining whether a right to modification of custody was proven. I would remand the case to the Court of Civil Appeals with directions that the Court of Civil Appeals remand the cause to the circuit court with directions that the circuit court determine the question of custody using the principles of law set out in the majority opinion. In other words, I would not make that factual determination at this level of review.

    Back to Custody Issues

  23. Anonymous Post #220:

    I noticed that your hearing was this week. How did it go? Were you able to stand up against DHR or did they run over you like they run over all of us?

  24. I’ll answer that. The hearing went great. Justice was done, although DHR and the social workers board insisted that the hearing be closed due to “confidentiality”. There was NO confidential information that was going to be disclosed, but the judge went along with it. This is why we need open juvenile court hearings as well as any other hearings. What ever happened to the Sunshine Law??????? Oh, I guess you can close anything as long as you spout “confidentiality”.

  25. I agree. The hearing went great. Permanent surrender of a social work lisence by someone who did not follow Ethics is always a GREAT thing. For once, I agree with Beverly 100%!!!!

  26. Yes, there was surrender (not permanent) of the license because the license was about to expire and the social worker has been disabled for a long time. Isn’t it funny how DHR goes after the weak (children, poor families, the disabled, minorities) to make themselves look good. Big strong DHR can do whatever they want, whenever they want. The social worker didn’t have her licensed revoked because of doing something wrong. On the contrary, there is nothing in the records that will show that she did anything wrong, she was smart enough to give back the license that was going to be expired anyway because she is sick.

    I can see that the above thinks that DHR did something good, by TRYING to drag a social worker who followed the social works ethics in trying to help families and expose corruption in the system, through the mud. It’s typical. It’s particularly typical in St. Clair County at this time.

    What made DHR so mad is that this particular social worker had an EXCELLENT attorney to represent her pro bono. They thought she was going to have to represent herself since she is weak, poor, and sick. They were furious.

    There is so much corruption with everyone being related to everyone else (hmmm, strange)in this county, that nothing will be accomplished without cleaning house from top to bottom. Oh yeah, I also have someone close to me that works for the juvenile court system in St. Clair County 🙂 Could be very beneficial. It has been so far.

    And thanks for agreeing with me 100%. I knew you’d come around.

  27. I attended another ISP today in Etowah County. The social workers running this ISP were unusually unprofessional. The ISP process is supposed to be one of uncovering strenghts and addressing weaknesses of the family. It gives the family the opportunity to ask questions (any question) that they would like to ask, and expect to get an answer. It seems that the ISP process is collapsing and it is hurting children and families instead of helping.

    If you have an ISP that you are going to (or if you need an ISP, and you usually do, call your worker), please take a friend or an advocate with you to every meeting. That way, if you get upset or don’t understand something the friend can ask questions for you and be your extra set of ears and eyes. It’s just like when you are going to the doctor and the doctor gives you some bad news. We usually don’t retain all of the information that the doctor gives us in these situations. That is why we take someone with us to help us remember what the doctor says. It is the same with ISP’s.

    You should also take a copy of the ISP policy with you when you go, so you will know how the ISP is supposed to be handled and YOU can keep it on track. Families are allowed to ask ANYTHING they wish and should be answered honestly. They should not get the run around and should not be made to feel guilty for asking questions. If this happens, you can stop the ISP and reschedule it so that you can get your “team” of support together. The ISP is for making a plan for the children and family so that they can be reunified in a TIMELY manner without fear or intimidation. If the plan shouldn’t be reunification, then the ISP is a meeting where the family should be given the exact reason why reunification is not going to occur and when TPR is going to take place. This isn’t a meeting for DHR to keep secrets from you until the day before the TPR takes place. Educate yourself about the system and the policies and you will do much better. You can go to the Health and Human Services site and get a lot of answers that you didn’t even know you needed. Then you can go and get yourself an attorney that has EXPERIENCE in child welfare policies and procedures and knows how to defend you in court. NOT A COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY.

  28. FBC Opelika member sees DHR job as way to serve God
    By Theresa Shadrix
    March 4, 2004

    A high-level public servant in Alabama infuses commitment to Christ into his life and work as he fulfills his responsibilities to protect Alabama’s children.
    Page Walley, a member of First Baptist Church of Opelika, leads the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) as commissioner.
    He promises a new day in the child welfare agency that oversees child support enforcement, child and adult protective services, food stamps, foster care and adoption.
    The post was left vacant when Bill Fuller announced his resignation to become a career missionary.
    Like Fuller, Walley brings a strong sense of faith, desiring to be a vessel used by God. “I will follow the example of Jesus Christ and go out and serve and draw people to Him,” he said.
    Raised in LaGrange, Tenn., a small antebellum town of 160 citizens, Walley, the oldest of three siblings, said his childhood offered the perfect environment. His father’s hard work at his job in the cotton industry and his mother’s commitment to raising the family created a safe and loving Christian home. This influence would guide Walley throughout his life.
    Upon graduating from high school, he attended Davidson College, Davidson, N.C., on a football scholarship, where he still holds fifth place in the top 10 for career rushing yards.
    Although he was a stand-out athlete at Davidson, the pigskin did not determine his future as much as a gothic-style psychiatric hospital located in Bolivar, Tenn., just 22 miles from his hometown.
    “I always was intrigued by the mental health field and the massive state hospital and wanted to pursue psychology,” he said.
    Walley said he publicly confessed his salvation in his junior high school gymnasium during an evangelism meeting. “I admit though, during my college years I did not always remember the lessons learned in my Christian home,” he said.
    His faith would find replenishment after he completed a master’s and doctorate in psychology at the University of Georgia. He then took a residency at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Coral Gables, Fla., and joined University Baptist Church, Coral Gables.
    The love and influence of his new church home, as well as the leadership of Dan Yeary, now senior pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church, Phoenix, Ariz., offered a renewed faith. Yeary recruited him as the director of Christian counseling ministry at University Baptist, a position he held 1985–1987.
    The staff position afforded him the opportunity to discover a gift for preaching after occasionally preaching in Yeary’s absence. “The church approached me about licensing,” Walley said. “Their policy was to reserve ordination for those who have seminary training. The church wanted to recognize a calling in my life, but I am not a full-time preacher.”
    So Walley was licensed to the gospel ministry by University Baptist Church in 1986.
    Walley said he does a lot of guest speaking in churches and Sunday School classes and is interested in supply preaching.
    He met his future wife, Terry, a Montgomery native and Auburn graduate, at University Baptist in Coral Gables. With a strong foundation built on Christ, the Walley family — which includes children Blake, Jordan and Annelise — moved back to his hometown in 1987 so he could take the position of clinic director of Quinco Community Mental Health in nearby Bolivar, Tenn.
    Amid his interaction with people in the community, he regained a grassroots feel for the needs of the people, enough so that he ran for public office. “People kept saying things about changing the state policy, and so I ran for office,” he said.
    This led him to serve in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1990 to 2000, sponsoring the legislation that created the department of children’s services in 1996. He held membership on the calendar and rules committee, health and human resources committee, finance committee and the governor’s task force to study child care.
    But he decided after 10 years in public service he wanted to focus on his family and the career he loved, so he served as a consultant for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. He next became the department’s commissioner. In March 2003 he moved to Alabama when Gov. Riley appointed him director of the department of children’s affairs.
    Although Walley was the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s 1994 Karl F. Heiser Award for Advocacy and several other awards, he wants no glory for his achievements.
    He said it is the everyday heroes like his parents, grandmother, minister, his wife, his in-laws and those in adversity he has counseled, who have influenced him.

  29. “Walley said he publicly confessed his salvation in his junior high school gymnasium during an evangelism meeting. “I admit though, during my college years I did not always remember the lessons learned in my Christian home,” he said.”

    Isn’t it something that he publicly confessed his salvation in High School, didn’t act like a good Christian in College, where the parties were, and came back to his Christian beliefs when the fun was over? Good for him. I wonder if he publicly confessed again after that? At least he’s telling the truth about the college years. I have an old friend that knew him then. Small world. He seemed like a good guy before he became Commissioner. Now he has his top attorney answer my emails 🙂

  30. After thinking about it, my life is much more open than a glass house. I’ve been checked out, up and down for each and every adoption, also for the foster parent license, and had social workers in my house at all hours and times of day for 14 years. I still have social workers that visit me, that are friends, and they pop in whenever they want to. Therapist, doctors, and nurses also. Supreme Court Judge Mike Bolin has even been here. Nice guy. I encourage it.

    Now, annonymous 283, how many times have you been checked out, up and down? When was your last background check. I know they have (or are supposed) to do one when you become a social worker. Did they, and if so how long ago and have they updated that background check recently? You know there’s a lot of trouble to get into AFTER you have the background check, that won’t be caught. We all have skeletons in our closet but I just keep mine on the couch for everyone to see. Thank God I don’t have to feed it. My grocery bill is already huge.

  31. Looks like this blog is slowing down. What’s wrong with everyone? No insults or anything to throw around? I guess it’s all been said.


  33. Susan you can call me at 205-520-1169. I’m an advocate for families and have an organization called SAFE (society of advocates for family empowerment). DHR has gotten out of control and it will take many to reign it back in. We are working on that now. I also know many good attorney’s that would love to help.

  34. Beverly … I had not checked this site in a while. WHEW! I cast my net and am amazed at the fish! I will try to contact you at your number. I’m also interested in talking to you also LowKey. I wholeheartedly identify with his phrase, “They never saw me coming.” I thank the true and living God, in the name of Jesus, for your input to this site (as well as everyone else – pro & con) and the laughs while reading. No matter what it “looks” like to the natural eye, the victory has already been won by Jesus. The real enemy behind DHR has been exposed by the written Word. I will join in and support a class action suit against DHR. More to follow … from Wes.

  35. Susan,
    It is doubtful that you burned your daughter with a cigarette. Most physical abusers are male not female. Most have had other law enforcement problems in their lives, such as domestic violence. Have you had no other law enforcement problems?
    #1. You should cooperate with DHR to the fullest extent of your being.
    #2. Ask if there was a medical examination of your child on or next to the date of the alleged burns. There have been numerous cases of impetigo reported by doctors as burns. But some doctors do know the difference.
    #3. Teachers don’t like children whose clothes smell like smoke; they think parents who smoke are not good parents and possibly use alcohol and/or drugs. Never smoke in your house again; it circulates in the H/AC system and gets in your child’s clothes. Teachers think the smell of smoke is horrible in their meticulous classrooms. This makes them look for other signs of abuse/neglect, such as ragged clothing, matter in the eyes, etc.
    #4. Young children will bow to the will of authority figures, such as teachers, principals, guidance conselors. Ask the DHR social worker if your child could be interviewed by a Child Advocacy Center Forensic Specialist over several interviews over several weeks.
    #5. Ask for visits with your child. You have a right to visit. If DHR believes that you are a threat to your child, then a therapist must write that you are and write that at least monthly, not forever. If a therapist puts him/herself out there with that statement then you should visit in the DHR office or under the supervision of a trusted family member.
    #6. Know that an out of home safety plan with relatives is only good for 90 days then there should be a court order for the placement, which would give you the opportunity to testify in open court. If not, ask for the Department to work with you for the return of your child to your home. Cooperate fully. Whatever services they want to put in your home you should cooperate with.
    Most social workers are untrained and inexperienced, but they are in a position of being accused, losing their jobs, and arrested, if something happens to a child on their watch. They take the position: “Err on the side of the child.” This is an old principle. It goes back to the days when workers had too many cases and not enough time to find the truth. Social workers with DHR are in a difficult spot. They can lose their jobs and be sued and arrested. If they err on the side of the child, they come out cleaner in our current society. The pendelum is swinging far to the right. It will be swing back, but who knows when.
    Almost forgot, ask in wirting for an administrative record review, if you receive a letter stating the report is indicated.

  36. Yes, you must cooperate, but remember this….DHR will lie about anything that they think will prolong the case. Also remember this….it’s all about money. Federal funds that DHR is getting to have this child in foster care. Once the child is in foster care, they aren’t in a hurry to return the child. The child is their gravy train.

    Scrapes do NOT look like cigarette burns. There is a huge difference. DHR workers can be sued, but it is very hard to do. They are protected from the top (Commissioner Walley). Make sure that the counselors, or therapist, TAPE the interviews with your child. They are supposed to, but they don’t. I’m dealing with this now with several people. Also, it will take months before DHR will send this child to a therapist. The therapist that questions your child will be getting their money from DHR. Put two and two together. You will not be allowed to get your own private therapist that you pay for. DHR will say that this therapist is biased. I’ve heard it all before.

    Usually parents aren’t even allowed to talk to the judge when they have been accused of wrongdoings. The attorney and DHR go in front of the judge, by themselves, and plead the case and the parents never get to say a word in their own defense. The attorney then comes out to the parent and tells them what the judge said. There are many judges that won’t allow a parent to speak in their courtroom. I know that this is unfair, but believe me, IT HAPPENS all the time. You are guilty until proven innocent. So much for the justice system, huh? Parents have to grow some b___s, and tell their attorney that they WILL go in front of the judge, and they will NOT let the attorney’s “handle it”.

    Workers still have too many cases (up to 25 per social worker, sometimes more). They hid the number of cases that they have when HHS in Atlanta did the reviews. I know this from a former social worker that left on her own accord and is now in a great position, as a social worker, elsewhere. SHE WAS NOT FIRED BY DHR so it is not a case of a social worker trying to get back at DHR. Like you said, the workers are not trained and most haven’t even read the policy manuals. I have had social workers ask me if they can make a copy of MY copies. Scarry. When they do read the manual, their supervisor tells them that this is the way the case is going to go, and don’t ask questions. Their hands are tied. What does DHR care if the social worker is sued? There is an insurance fund set up specifically for this. I guess it comes from our tax dollars. If a social worker is sued or found to have done something horribly wrong, they are put in another position within DHR until it all blows over. They are not fired.

    This sounds harsh doesn’t it? It is very depressing to think that our system of justice is bogus, but it is. Even if you find a fantastic attorney to take your case for big bucks, it doesn’t mean they will win. You need a criminal attorney that isn’t going to buckle underneath DHR’s pressure. Do not get an attorney in your own county. They will only go along with DHR. Don’t let DHR tell you that you have to have an attorney from your own county because someone else doesn’t know the rules of this particular county. The same rules and policies apply to ALL THE COUNTIES IN ALABAMA. I haven’t done this for 17 years and not know what I’m talking about.

    Bottom line is, there are many laws and policies, but nobody has to follow them at DHR, if they don’t want to………………..and they don’t.

  37. One more thing. Tape every meeting, interview, or phone conversation that you have with DHR and your child. In Alabama it is legal. Look up the law for this. Take pictures of your child, every time you have a visit, and record their whole visit with you. Get a video camera or a camera phone. Do ask if the child was seen by a doctor after DHR took custody of the child. They are supposed to within 5 days. That seems too long a wait, but that’s the policy.

    Have an advocate, whether it be a friend, neighbor, or a pastor, to be with you in every encounter with DHR. Protect yourself because no one else will.

    I’m curious about something. You said that DHR took the child, the father got a court order saying he could have visitation and then he did not return the child to your parents. Did DHR have a dependency hearing, and if so, what was the outcome? If the judge ruled the child dependent, then DHR got custody of the child, right? If the Dad took the child after DHR got custody, then he kidnapped the child. Right? That’s what I would think.

    What is DHR saying about him not returning the child?

    Have you filed a kidnapping charge against him? I would think that you could (but I’m not telling you to, because that would be legal advice, I think 🙂 if the judge didn’t rule the child dependent and gave DHR custody. I’m not an attorney, and cannot give you legal advice (lord knows I don’t have any), only information about what to expect, but I know from my own experience what they usually do. Ask your attorney about this and if you don’t have one, all I’m saying is….. you better get one (criminal attorney). It will only get worse. Your attorney can call me and I can prepare him for what he is up against. I don’t mind helping them prepare. Since DHR says that I “solicit” people so that I can help them (whatever the heck that means) and they want to prosecute me for that, I guess that it’s OK to talk to attorney’s and help them. Whatever happened to our Constitutional Rights to freedom of speech? You would think that “advocating” for families would be covered under that. I guess that’s too threatening to DHR.

  38. Go to to see the Alabama code for taping conversations. This is specifically directed to the DHR employees that use this blog. I know that you like to know the legal ins and outs of things. Also, our attorney general said you can tape conversations as long as one person knows your doing it. That one person can be YOU. This is on his website.

  39. I don’t want anyone to be discouraged by what they have read above. As long as you persevere, and don’t give in to what you are being told by DHR, things can change. I still don’t understand, even with all of the experience I have with DHR, why someone at the lower level (social worker or supervisor) would treat families the way they do. Would you like for your child or family to be treated this way? I hope not, but it can happen even if you are a social worker. I know that at the top level there is money to be made off of the children, but at the lower levels there is the power and no monetary gain. Unless you are promised a raise if you do as you’re told. I do know that you are promised that you will be fired, if you don’t. You are also threatened with loosing your social work license. I would rather work at a fast food joint, if that would keep my integrity in place. There are many jobs that pay the same rate that social workers receive, and you can sleep peacefully at night knowing that you are not ruining lives.

    I guess power is as good as money (and integrity) to some, but it comes at the cost of your morals. Don’t you worry about what will happen to your soul, should you die? Sleep on that. Don’t hate me for telling the truth. You know what I say is right.

    The things I have heard and seen on tape should make every social worker worry about their job, should it get out to the press.

  40. I see that some of my email address’s didn’t come through. Call me or email me and I’ll give them to you. I’ve got a ton of them, and know most of them personally. Advocate for yourself and be strong, and let that hurt in your heart turn into a fire that spurs you on. Don’t let the depression that sets in, when DHR takes your child, hold you back. Let it work FOR you.

    Nobody will take care of you, if you don’t take care of yourself.

  41. Here’s something good, for a change. I went to an ISP in Tuscaloosa yesterday, and it was very well done. The mother is clear about what she needs to do, and the DHR attorney gave her good advice without being condescending. Feels good to have everyone on the same page.

  42. Alabama State Statutes

    State Statutes Results

    Child Welfare
    Online Resources for State Child Welfare Law and Policy
    To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Online Resources for State Child Welfare Law and Policy (PDF – 472 KB) publication.


    Website for Statutes:

    Adoption: Title 26, Chapters 10, 10A, 10B, 10C
    Child Protection: Title 26, Chapters 14, 15, 16, 18, 20
    Child Welfare: Title 12, Chapter 15; Title 26, Chapter 18


    Website for Administrative Code:
    Note: See Chapter 660, Section 5, Parts 21–24, 28–30, 34–35, 37, 39, 46–48, 50, 53

    Other Resources

    Department of Human Resources

    Foster Parent Handbook
    Therapeutic Foster Care Manual
    Guidelines for Assessment Foster Family and Congregate Care Programs

  43. beverly can you please contact me via email i have been in this fight for almost a year i have so much to say i have been trying to find help and Mr.walley wont even return my calls i need help

  44. DHR is a joke one of the biggest. Dhr has went beyound what I thought they would do. My great neice is 15 months old. Her mom is 28 she has never had a connection with her child. The childs grandmother and great grandmother is raising her in a loving caring safe enviorment.The childs mother lost custody of her due to neglect.The baby’s grandmother tried countless times to get them to bond, The mom would not even bathe the baby.The mom wanted to party all the time and she got in her way. The baby got burned extremly bad due to a cigarette. The childs mom was living with her ex stepdad which is a terrible person and she said that he accidently burned the baby.The burn was about an inch long and 1/8″ deep and the mom said oh it didnt hurt her. The grandmother ask her to take her to the doctor and the mom refused and it was getting infected, the grandmother took the baby to the ER and the doctor was appallled that the mom would say it didnt hurt the baby. He called DHR and they got involved. Now in the meantime The mom was on drugs and had no intention of getting off of them she said she loved being high. Grndmother filed for custody. She got full custody. The judge was great he told the mom that she had to get off drugs get a job and a place to live and only give her 2 hrs supervised visitation. The mom rarely came to see the baby.Been to court several times and she still failed drug test. Judge left supervised visation only.Now the mom is pregnant again which she has been drug free for 3 months since she got pregnant again. She was drug free during her first pregnany however sood as the baby was born she was back on them again, she said she just loves being high, and is seeking custody back.During all this time we found out that the real person that burned the child was her stepdads wife which is also a addict, and she was covering for her instead of doing what is best for the baby.The Judge did put a restraing order againt her ex stepdad and his wife not to have any contact with the child.There was also a restraining order againt her boyfrien which is only 18 she would not stay away from him and now she says that she is pregnant by him.Everytime we went to court we had the same Judge and he still refused to give her unsupervised visatation because she was in contemp on everything. Well this last time we went to court we got a new judge and without hesitaion she over ruled the other Judge and decided to give her unsupervised visitation,all parties agreed on the same 2 hours a week and the Judge decided on 6 hours and the judge wanted it on the weekend and the granmother ask for it to stay on wednesdays because it ties up her weekend and the judge replied so what do you do on weekends? and the grandmother replied i go out of town on ocation to see my uncle in Ga, he is a preacher and I sometimes go to see him , and the Judge replied well what do you take the baby with you? like she there was something wrong with taking her with me. ( this day and and time moms dont have the patients to take their kids with them anywhere ) and granmothers reply was of course she goes where ever I go. Finally judge agreed to that. The grandmother ask Judge may I say something and the Judge said no you may not. She felt like they are treating her like she did something wrong and all she wanted was for the baby to be safe , happy ,healthy and very loved with a chance at a good life. She then decided to get herself a lawyer maybe the judge would let him speek for her. Grandmother then got a letter from DHR that there was to be a meeting in their office for all parties. Grandmother called her new lawyer and he said he would be there to speek for her. Later on that day the mother of baby called grandmother and told her that the meeting had been changed to the folowing week because it was not convientent for her and that the social worker ask her to call grandmother and tell her because she did not want to talk to her,that is real professional right? there are 2 social workers one is a trainee 23 yrs old and the other is only 24 years old. never had kids. What gives them the right to make a lifelong decision on the fate of a child without an investication of any kind? DHR social workers said (Quote ) our job to to reunite the mother and child only and that is what we intend to do. I thought it was suppose to be for the child? This child has been with grandmother since birth.The child barely even knows the Mom. The meeting at the DHR office both social workers were there and their supervisor, however The grandmothers lawyer did not show he said he called to court so there she was again no lawyer, and DHR failed to tell the babys lawyer about the meeting,so she was’nt there either.At first it seemed ok then they told granmother she was going to have to get along with Mother regaurdless!! Granmother replied look my daughter has told me Quote rot in hell told lies on me that I abandoned her when she was a baby that I was a terrible mother and that she hates me and DHR believes everything she says they said it was on record that I had been investicated when my daughter wss a baby which is a lie and they said they could not reveal anything about it, or if they could prove such a accuzation which I know they cant and so do they, and they know she is a patological liar, but they must reunite.(Birthing a child does not make them a mom!!!)( Grandmother said)I have coperated with most of what you wanted I even seen a councelor and my daughter never attented any counceling which was court ordered, she was suppose to go to anger management which she did not.A couple of days before court they pulled my counceler and told the Judge that my daughter has been to councling ( which was 1 time rite before court.)The supervisor ask grandmother to let mom see baby on saturdays unsupervised also and granmother said not until it is ordered by the court, well the supervisor of DHR replied well if you dont then we will seek to take custody from you. ( Grandmother ) Where is the justice in all this I have did nothing wrong, my daughetr lost her child due to neglect and I am the one being prosecuted here and All I am doing is giving my grandaughter a chance in life away from drugs and neglect and growing up with alot of LOVE. I cant help how my daughter is She is grown and The baby is not and the social worker supervisor said well she had to get it from someone to turn out this way, Which really hurt me and I replied maybe from my ex husband but not me and the supervisor said how long was you married to him and I said 10 yrs and he is a nutcase, social worker then replied and what does that make you? That was low!!I told social worker then that all I ask is you wait till she has this baby and you will see she will be back on drugs. Social worker replied come on get with the times its only pot now what is the big deal. Well it was on last test however what about all the other drugs? and pot is illegal and mind altering also. She was actually saying this front of my daughter kinda letting her know pot is ok. Then she told my daughter I know you are on Loratabs for the backache and you will have to get off them to take care of the baby and my daughter said I guess I can but, then I will be in the bed all the time. Social worker then said You cant take care of a baby in the bed.I also would like to say that DHR knows that my daughter is living with this young boy and his mom and that his mom goes to meth clinic everyday. Now I ask is this a place for a child to live? And by the way the restraning order was canceled on this young man when she got pregnant by him, in the courtroom they said it was a mistake to do it anyway, now you tell me why would a Judge put a restraing order againt a guy if there was no cause? There is something fishy there. Dhr is wanting to take this child away from a stable, loving, caring happy home and put her with drug addicts. She wont stand a chance in life. My daughter has had every opportunity to change her life and she still refuses, however DHR’s job is only to reunite, not what is best for the child.I guess we will see what happens next. But if anything happens to my grandaughter while in the supervision of my daughter I will hold DHR responsible!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have full 100% custody of my grandaughter so why am I having to fight DHR????There has to be something that can be done if anyone knows please let me know.

  45. Beverly, has it occurred to you that you’re only hearing one side of these stories? With your years of experience with the ‘system’, you should know there is always more than one side and that each side presents their story with their own slant.

    Then you proceed to give what could well be construed as legal advice. Adding the disclaimer that it isn’t legal advice simply doesn’t make it so.

    As long as you’re being so open and honest here, can I ask exactly why your foster care license was revoked? I actually already know the answer to that one, but I’m curious about just how honest you’re really going to be on the issue.

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