When Help is NO Help.

 This got a little wordier than I would have liked but please. Read it through to the end. It will give you cause to think.

I read an article today.........

that prompted me to write this.

The article I read was about homeless and runaway children. It was an opinion piece and did not in any way claim attachment to any group or organization. The author thoughts went something like he/she does not understand why there are so many runaways and Juveniles living on the streets when there are so many organizations out there to help them if there is trouble at home.

I am a grandmother nine times over. My grandchildren are one of the great joys in my life. I have always been very attached and involved. (yes I am that loving, doting, spoiling, babysitting at the drop of a hat grandmother) When one of them is hurt or sad I hurt with them. I cry with them, and I cry for them. To say that I have a wonderful relationship with these nine very special gifts from God would be a very mild understatement. They trust my husband and me and know that they are very free to talk to us about anything that they want to. If the five yr. old wants to spend an hour talking about the cartoon he just watched that is what we do. If the twelve yr. old wants to talk about his crush on a girl at school that is what we do. Building that trust has been on of the most important thing in my life. As it turns out it has proved to be a mixed blessing.

Recently the parents of one set of grandchildren divorced after ten years and three kids. Divorce is tough for any kid and these kids are not exceptions. The real trouble didn’t start however until mom found a new boyfriend. My granddaughter then eight was very attached to her father and had trouble adjusting to the new man in mom’s life. Stubborn and bullheaded as she is she did manage to get into some trouble both at school and at home. It wasn’t the things that she did but more the things that she wouldn’t do (so I was told) that got her into trouble. For about three months before Christmas last year every time I called or tried to visit these children they were in trouble or grounded at new boyfriends command. Finally in frustration my husband confronted mom. After that mom reluctantly allowed the children to come for an overnight about a week before Christmas. When they arrived they were happy and appeared well we laughed and played with them and as is typical it turned into a little rough housing. At some point my granddaughter’s leg was squeezed and she screamed in agony. Confused I tried to inspect her leg but she pulled away from me and broke down in tears. I looked to her older brother for answers and he hung his head and shyly told me that mom’s boyfriend had beaten her. Horrified, I convinced her to let me see her leg and when she did the abuse was very obvious. You could see bruised handprints that had started to fade and new bruises where a belt or strap had been used. She had multiple bruises on both legs in various stages of healing.

When questioned we were told by both older children that mom’s boyfriend had beat them both. Grandson showed us his bruises that had started to fade but where there none the less. They also told us that this man had told them that what goes on in his house was no one else’s concern and if they told he would beat them even worse the next time.

Without hesitation my husband and I called local law enforcement.

 

 The Police came to my home and spoke to both children. He then requested that I take the children to the police station where they were photographed and all of their bruises where documented. The officer kept reassuring both me and the children that we had done the right thing and that they were going to take care of it. I am very sure that he honesty believed what he was saying and had every faith that the system he worked for would help these children.

Doing his Duty he contacted both children and youth and mom. He informed mom that they were placing the children in our care until children and youth could review the case.

Children and Youth

The following day in intake counselor came to our home. She spoke to the children and inspected their injuries. She then amazingly made the decision that granddaughter would remain in our care until dad could be contacted but that because grandsons injuries where less severe and not as new both he and younger brother would be returned to mom. Horrified but with no options we complied. That was the last time I saw either of these grandsons.Granddaughter went to live with her dad. That was the last time she saw either of her brothers. Mom has since cut off all contact with the family and although Children and Youth tell us the boys are fine I have my concerns.

She stayed with dad for about six months before the time came that because dad had been unable to find work he was incarcerated for child support and granddaughter came to stay with us.

During the time that she was with us we got a subpoena to attend preliminary hearing for mom and boyfriend. As instructed we went to the District court office and there was granddaughters case worker. During the course of our chat she informed me that she was there to testify on mom's behalf. (I thought her job was the welfare of the kids?)

After that there were several more instances involving this case worker that caused me to question her point of view. I filed several complaints with her supervisor and other organization officials all of which fell on deaf ears. I requested a new case worker to be assigned and was again completely ignored.

After about two months we received another subpoena, this time for a placement hearing. I questioned the case worker as to what this was? Did we need a lawyer? etc. She assured me that it was a formality and that it was only so that we had legal rights to act as granddaughter's guardians. Confident and happy about this we went to court. When we got there Mom and her lawyer, children and youth and their lawyers, Dad brought from jail without a lawyer and my husband and I un-represented were in the court room. After a moment two other men were introduced to us they were granddaughter's lawyer and her Guardian-ad-Litem. (How amazing is this neither of these men had ever spoke to my granddaughter before.)

When the proceedings started it did not take long for me to once again figure out that our case worker had some serious credibility issues. She was recomending that granddaughter be placed in fostercare because: 1) she was not being treated by a therapist (an out right lie since their group was paying a therapist to come into my home 3 or 4 days a week.) 2) because of the hostility between us and Mom. (?????????) and finally 3) because mom did not feel that we were capable of caring for her! (Mom who has by now been charged with several counts of abuse and child endangerment, Yea she has what say so?)

And............ yep you guessed it! they placed granddaughter in foster care. They took her right from the court room and would not even allow her to say good-bye to us! They did not ask for her things or in any way do anything to help her make this transition. Since then she has been placed in a residential treatment facility over 100 miles from our home town because she quit cooperating. (Imagine that)

With the loss of her testimony the D.A. was forced to accept a plea agreement with mom and boyfriend. They got 2 years probation each. They are walking around free and granddaughter has been locked up.

Now the question was why are there so many runaways in this country?

My questions are:

Why aren't there more?

When the abused are locked up and the abusers go free why would anyone claim to be abused?

When an abusive parent is permitted to punish family by not allowing them contact with the children why would any grandparent take a stand?

When children become the victims of children and youth who do you call?

When you are not blessed with a lot of money how do you fight back.

UPDATE

 I have created an Update Hub so that anyone that is interested can find out how this is all working out. http://hubpages.com/hub/Child-Welfare thank-you everyone who has cared enough to offer advice.

More by this Author


Comments 23 comments

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hi..there are lots of things going on regarding children and some misfits they are into, sad thing because they are the hope of the fatherland so to speak.


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Thanks Prettydarkhorse I appreciate the feed back and comment.


Sue Adams profile image

Sue Adams 6 years ago from Andalusia

Must be so frustrating for you.


Dame Scribe profile image

Dame Scribe 6 years ago from Canada

It is a very sad situation and system over all when nobody cares what the child wants or genuinely needs. I send letters to our gov't officials about questioning the *quality* of workers that break up families or *psychological* abuse of family and child. Great Hub!


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Thanks Sue Adams & Dame Scribe I appreciate your visiting, and your comments.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky

I read this yesterday. But held back from commenting until now. First of all, I am so sorry you are going through this. It is not your fault - you really thought you were doing the right thing.

But the truth of our lives nowadays is that the last people you want to call if you have a problem is the police or social services. They no longer help you, and in fact, may harm you instead. We are now much better off if we solve our problems on our own instead of trusting the ones who are supposed to be protecting our interests.

I was a foster parent for emotionally disturbed teenaged girls. The first girl was in foster care because she got in a fight with another kid over him stealing her learning disabled brother's bicycle. There was no abuse nor neglect involved - her mother loved her and took good care of her, though she and actually, the entire family, was somewhat cognitively impaired. I quickly realized this, and I welcomed both into my home and loved them both. The mother needed me as much as the kid did. I was ostracized for this. (Foster parents are supposed to hate the parents of the kids and have nothing to do with them)

When we went to court about her placement, they were rude to the mother and threatened to remove her from the courtroom - the girl became angry and told them to leave her mother alone. (She was very protective of her family, especially her mother!) Needless to say, this was sufficient for them to sentence her to a girls' reform school. Everyone left the courtroom laughing and joking (all except the mother and myself) Upon leaving the courtroom, the mother fell to the floor and proceeded to have a grand mal seizure, right there on the courthouse floor. All the lawyers, guardian ad litem, etc, stepped over the woman as if she did not exist. I did not. There was a bailiff standing there looking the other way and doing nothing - I asked him what the hell was wrong with him, why did he not call 911 and get this woman some help. He reluctantly called them and an ambulance came. I followed them in my car and went in to see about the woman - they had to hang an IV with Dilantin to get her seizures under control, she was in status epilepticus, constant seizuring, and could have died. When she was under control, I took her home.

Just an example of how callous these people really are... They really were just going to walk over and around her and leave her on the floor having seizures and forget about it like it was not happening...

I thought the girl needed to go home with her mother, or at least, stay at my house, where she could have 2 people that loved her - myself and her mother, to help her with her anger issues) They sent her to the reform school. She was not quite 12 years old when they sent her. I was only allowed to see her once a month. I took her clothing, etc. and visited her each month. It was a 200 mile drive. After a few months, she called to tell me that the staff were beating on her. I called the director and got no answers at all. I called the sheriff dept in that county and they refused to investigate it whatsoever. I later discovered that the sheriff was the brother of the woman who ran the reform school.

Both boys and girls were there at that school. They should have been segregated. They were not, apparently.

This girl's mother and I tried without ceasing to get her out of the reform school. Nothing worked. They became angry and would no longer let Cookie communicate with me, nor would they let me write to her nor visit her. We kept on trying, though. To no avail.

Suddenly, out of the blue, abruptly, they sent Cookie home to her mother. Just like that. She had been there for ten months. She was still 12 years old, about 3 or 4 months away from turning 13.

She was 7 1/2 months PREGNANT!!! She got pregnant while at the reform school. They had not supervised her at all. They refused to acknowledge their responsibility in this - when I called them about it, they claimed they "had no knowledge that she was pregnant, it was news to them!". Which was a blatant, bald-faced LIE, because by that time she was sticking out as big as a house. Well, she had the baby and her mother took care of it and loved it, etc...

The intervention of the police and social services really did this kid a lot of good, didn't it? Yeah, I sure think so! NOT!

Besides all of this: the foster care system is totally ridiculous. When Cookie got to my house at first, it was mid-January, about 30 below, and snow up to my butt. She had already been in foster care for about 3 months or so, but the previous foster home threw her out. The woman (acclaimed as one of the "best" foster parents") had collected her yearly clothing allowance of $400 or whatever it was, but had not spent one dime of the money on the kid. She had no winter coat, and no clothes hardly whatsoever. I took her out and bought her a winter coat, and a complete wardrobe. The kid did not even have any shoes!!!! I picked her up from juvenile detention and she did not even have any shoes!! What did the woman spend the money on? Herself, apparently. I tried to find out what had happened to her money and got nothing but a run-around. The other foster parent was never investigated - she was too special.

They had put Cookie on Ritalin. However, Cookie was a very well-developed kid - at age 11, she was a fully-developed adult who weighed 182 pounds, menstruated, and was no longer a child. Therefore, she should no way have been taking ritalin, whatsoever. I told them she should not be getting it. I am an RN and I know. She literally bounced off the walls a half an hour after taking it, and it was impossible to control her. I had to take her to a psychiatrist to get her off the Ritalin. The social workers did not like that one bit.

Anything to do with the kids, the social workers did not want to hear it. If you needed help figuring out what to do for the kid, they were not there. I drove myself crazy trying to figure out how to get these kids into the special classes they needed to be in, how to get them to school, taking them to counselling, and dealing with their violent behaviors and their families.

Yes, surely it's no wonder these kids are so messed up. And no wonder they have damaged impulse control, anger control issues, and behavior problems. I tried to do the best I could with them, showing and telling them that I loved them, that someone loved them. And their families were just as broken as they were. I honestly don't think any of the kids that were placed in my home should have been in foster care in the first place except for one, whose mother was a crack head.


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Magic StarER first thank you for stopping by.

Second what a horrific story. I always knew that this system was just like something from a mid evil torture chamber. I am appalled at the way they just walk all over people with no consequence for thier actions.

Third God bless you and others out there that open thier homes and hearts to strangers in need.

Fourth how many horror stories like ours do you think it would take to get Obama to consider some real meaningful reform for this system.


salt profile image

salt 6 years ago from australia

every time I start to write a comment something odd happens to my computer. I was going to say its a difficult dynamic, when workers are exhausted and families are exhausted and the legal system works to stop when it creates more harm.


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Salt I appreciate yor obsevations, I agree that an overworked system can cause a lot of problems. But sometimes you can not blame the system for the disreputable actions of the people working in the system. This case worker has clearly acted outside of her positions authority and continues to do so as Granddaughter is still not home and I still have not been able to see or have any contact wth Grandsons.


Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 6 years ago from Wv

Wow.. sounds like you didn't have a very fair judge. In my experience Judges don't take children from family unless absolutely necessary. ( meaning great harm could come to the child) If they were so worried about therapy they could of had meetings ect...Sounds like the social worker was making a mountian out of a molehill. A lot of time I have seen social workers make a big deal out of little things, especailly those workers who have been in the system a long while...

sorry you had to go through this..


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Ohma, I didn't know they took her from you, and I am so sorry. I know the social services in this country do not work in the best interest of the children! This is an important issue, and has been going on forever! Even when I was young, kids ran away and got married in another state, just so they didn't have to go back home. Once they were legally married it was kind of difficult for the parents to make them go back. My best friend did it, a lot of girls I went to school with, did too.


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Faybe, thank-you for your concerns. It sickens me when I think that all of this happened to my poor grandchild and then the social services come in and victimizes her even further. I have no idea how they get away with this crap. I have no idea how to fight it every avenue I pursue is blocked by them and they do not even need to answer for the out and out lies the case worker used to manipulate this situation.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

This is just tragic. All the more reason not to trust Government bureaucracy. Now another child gets harmed by the system and every question you have is legitimate. Thanks for sharing this


Nicole Winter profile image

Nicole Winter 6 years ago from Chicago, IL

This is truly horrific, Ohma, I am so sorry you are going through this, my heart goes out to you. Having dealt with social services before, I'd like to give some advice that doesn't really pertain to your questions, (though they are amazingly good questions,) if you're still going through all of this...

Start documenting everything! If / when the mother of your granddaughter calls, record the conversation. Record all conversations with social services. If possible, when social services comes knocking, set a video recorder up for your house in a far-off place where it can't be easily viewed. Claim it's charging if you're confronted by someone about it. (Make sure it's plugged in to make that a plausible excuse.)

I don't know what state you live in, but begin a letter writing campaign. Copy said letters and send them to everyone you can think of who could possibly help you in your situation. Government officials, social services, local police, they may not be "on your side," but with persistence you may find someone who is willing to help you, if nothing else, to get you to stop bothering them.

Get the local community involved. This story is so heartbreaking, if you're willing to open yourselves up to your community and tell them what has happened, I know, there are people in your community who will help take up your cause. Organize rallies, fundraisers, mailing circles... This CANNOT happen in our country. I know it happens all the time, but as a community if we band together there's a chance we can stop this from continuing.

Check out the laws in your state regarding grandparent's rights.

Call social services and ask what kind of parenting classes they have available. I realize you don't need them, but sometimes the people who have hurt you can be the first to help. You'll make contacts and become involved in the system. You can't beat the system without joining them. Unfortunately.

Check Craigslist for free or near free help from a lawyer in your area. Also, post your story to CL, perhaps there is someone reading out there who can help.

I hope that any of this is helpful to you and yours, Ohma. I wish you all the luck, this is a terrible situation and I hope something here or something someone else has suggested works out for you.


Dale Mazurek profile image

Dale Mazurek 6 years ago from Canada

Well my friend this hub definatly was not to wordy.

You had a story that needed to be told and a story that continues to be needed to be told.

Your hub is now up on my blog and I hope it gets some much deserved traffic.

Dale


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Dale as Always I am so appreciative of the lengths you go to to help us out. Thank-you!


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

ohma, that means grandmother doesn't it? I think you may be able to get help from contacting your local politicians. I have done it before. Sometimes it is true the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Also go to your news paper. There are also lawyers who will help in these kind of cases. Just keep digging.Nicole is right, keep records, names, dates. You will find help. Good Luck to you and your grandchildren. I will pray you get them back.


FrankiesGirl6Yr profile image

FrankiesGirl6Yr 6 years ago from South Carolina

I believe even if they would have lisened to one request and issued you another caseworker, the out come would have likely been the same. This system is so ass backwards. excuse me, that I have started a four part hub on the subject, but it seems the more I research the more I'm coming to the conclusion that there are so many issues, "deadly mess ups" that there is no way I can conclude the corupt info in a four part hub. A dailey issue is more realistic. I am so sorry, first of all, for your grandchildrens suffering. I am also so sorry that you and your grans have become victims of the incompatent hands of Social services.

I am placing your Hub on my blog, under your not the only, with many other sad stories of abuse and incompatent social workers.....Keep this story alive!

Thanks for sharing your experience.


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Thank-you FG I appreciate not being alone in this. We just came home from another absolutely horrid and pointless family meeting with this organization at the helm and once again no answers, no solutions, no attempt being made to correct the mistakes that have been made and wonder upon wonder these morons are still listening to moms garbage even though she has plainly and officially stated in the court room in front of a judge that she has no interest in being reunited with her daughter.

I do not even know what the devil she was doing at the meeting but this amazingly incompetent case worker insisted that she be there.


raisingme profile image

raisingme 6 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

You would think that mankind with its supposed intelligence would do better than to devour their own offspring. Too often when one reaches to 'help' a child or children in abusive situations one the result is they are plucked from one nightmare only to be deposited in another. "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."

~Dietrich Bonhoeffe

In North America we have failed the morality test dismally. There are no justifications, no excuses for what happened to your grandchildren and the thousands upon thousands of other children we have let down and abandoned. Keep telling your story, tell it to the press, tell it to your government representatives, tell it to the administrators at your grandchildren's school. In many parts of North America there are Child Advocacy Groups which operate outside the "system" who work solely in the child's best interests. Your writing this hub is a really good step because realities are based on agreements and there are many hubbers who will not go into agreement with what has happened to your grandchildren but will instead agree that they deserve to live their childhood unharmed and unmolested! Social Services in North America is an oxymoron - I'm not sure who they think they are serving but there is nothing about them that serves "concern with human beings in their relations to each other or in dealing with the living conditions, health, treatment,etc. of human beings. The entire system needs a major overhaul! Good on you for being a voice for your grandchildren where they are not even allowed the dignity of being heard! My son was not physically abused but emotionally abused by an adults in a youth organization he belonged to. I found out that prior to my son there had been 40 other children that had been subjected to similar treatment at the hands of the same adults who were charged with their care. My motto became "They dicked with the wrong kid this time." I took me two years, seven days a week but I brought their actions to a halt! I talked to anyone who would listen and wrote letters. I have two big file boxes. Keep a journal. They 'dicked' with the wrong grandmother this time!!!!


Rafini profile image

Rafini 6 years ago from Somewhere I can't get away from

Ohma, my heart aches for you. Since the kids were with you when the police contacted CPS you should have been advised to get an attorney. Things most likely would have turned out differently. If you get an attorney now you should still be able to fight it and possibly arrange to have your granddaughter with you. Keep fighting!! And keep meticulous documentation of everything that happens, names, dates, conversations, court dates. Everything! And I like the idea someone else said - contact your state rep for assistance. That's what their there for, right? I wish you the best of luck.


Ohma profile image

Ohma 6 years ago Author

Rafini

We have no money for an attorney, and in this state getting anyone to take a pro-bono case against CYP is impossible. I have seen law suits against them be drug out for years and literally cost a hundred thousand dollars. They are a government supported mafia. As far as contacting the state officials did that over a year ago and got a thank-you for your time we will look into it letter and nothing more. I have been sending the rep a letter once a week for a year. they do not even bother responding any more.


Rafini profile image

Rafini 6 years ago from Somewhere I can't get away from

Hey Ohma, I had a few other ideas. Have you thought of contacting other sources? Such as Oprah (gotta love what she does, do you think she could help?) American Civil Liberties Union? (they fight for illegal immigrants, they should fight for legal citizens too) the Today Show? (I've seen others on there...for international kidnapping cases by parents) there must be someone somewhere who can help. Don't give up. ((((HUGS))))

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