Effingham Illinois DCFS Stole A Year Of My Son’s Life


    Effingham, Illinois

    Hello, my name is Shannon (Thompson) Black. My story started back in Feb 2010, when my 12 year old son (at that time) drew a stick figure drawing at the alternative school he was attending in Effingham, Illinois. It’s a small safe school he was attending to receive school in a smaller setting. The school contacted a crisis center (One Hope United) to assess my son. One Hope United was located in same building as alternative school, right across the hall. I later found out the same person runs the school & crisis center, being Ann Schwarm, who is also the chief of the 4th judicial circuit, Judge Schwarm’s wife. She also works in #3 regional office of education office. When One Hope United assessed my son it was VERY clear that he didn’t have any suicidal feelings but they still said he needed hospitalized & when I refused & took him home. DCFS & police showed up, forced us into my exhusband’s car (under threats of taking my child into protective custody) My son was placed in Carle Pavilion (mental) hospital & was given a diagnosis (in less then 24hrs), placed on strong psychotropic medication. When I went for a family session there I told them that this was a mistake & it was done because I told Kelly Hegarty (DCFS worker) that I didn’t want my son there, and demanded to speak to my son’s doctor there & Stacey McNicholl’s (Carle social worker/counselor) told my husband & I that parents aren’t allowed to speak with doctor’s & that I could let Dr know how I felt about my son being there by signing a request for 5 day release. Stacey called Kelly Hegarty while I was there at Carle (DCFS hadn’t even had any custody at this point)& I know because my ex-husband was sitting in Kelly’s office at the time of Stacey & Kelly’s phone conversation.

    Conflick of interest

    Next court hearing was the next day I believe, which is when DCFS took protective custody of all 3 of my children. Got my other 2 back at court next day, but my poor 12 yr old had to remain in Carle for 12 days & I had to file lawsuit against Carle & make my son a “hot potato” to get him released. Different doctors kept giving my son different diagnosis & different psychotropic medication for several months, until a good Judge (Becker) returned my son back home in April 2010, and he REMOVED dcfs from our lives. He said too much bad blood between DCFS & I. Then Judge Becker was gone from my county as a judge within day or two. (odd)
    That Judge Schwarm, 4th circuit chief Judge has started his own organization called 4th circuit family violence coordinating council. Made up of Judges, prosecutors, police, school principles, teachers, school administrators, circuit clerks, police, medical professionals, who meet regularly to collaborate & conspire to prosecute individuals (stated in their own mission statement) & take people’s children in our area. (that isn’t right) The 4th Circuit FVCC is located on the internet if you would like to know more about them.
    Now I have found out that DCFS in Effingham, Illinois lost their main supervisor, the one who over sees the entire office, some time ago. The office is now not being over seen by anyone & that Kelly

    Hegarty is out of control. I was told this by another local CPS agency. I live in a very small community but yet we have so many families who have been torn apart from our local DCFS & our 4th circuit court. Something is going on here that isn’t right. There should not be so many families here fighting to get their kids back. They just took a friend of mine children. I asked DCFS why & was told because the mom drank alcohol once & she not court ordered not to drink. Her kids were not even home. Babysitter testified at court, yet my friend lost her children for an activity that’s not even illegal! Another friend I went to court with & witness them terminate her parental rights because she refused to sign DCFS safety plan!

Effingham & vandalia, illinois

Oh and my son is no longer medicated & doing GREAT, but he lost almost a year of his life cuz he has no memory of alot of things during that time due to the medication-was a zombie!! They ROBBED my son’s life for a year!!!!

This may sound like a crazy case of fiction, but I am afraid that this is happening to families all over the United States.
This occurred in Effingham, Illinois but if you look at other city’s such as Bradenton, Florida or Oklahoma City,Oklahoma or even your home town you will find horror stories everywhere and not just one or two but hundreds.

Constitutional Rights


It is time to stand up to our state governments and tell them our children are not a commodity, parents have rights, and we as Americans have Constitutional Rights. Ignorance is no excuse.


2 comments to Effingham Illinois DCFS Stole A Year Of My Son’s Life

  • bonita goodwin

    i have not seen my children in 9 years…i absolutely agree that something needs to be done about this system…i see so many people have children that need some form of intervention and dcfs could care less about those situations. However when a parent is really dedicated to their children and their childrens well being dcfs wants to step in and show their power over the “good parents” like they will bow down and take it, most do. Thats the kind of system i have been introduced to. Not all caseworkers are like that just like not all cops are bad..however my children and i will never be the same..I feel sorry for anyone who has had to go through the things i had to. This all happened in Adams County…

  • Trish

    I live in Pana Christian county illinois and have been without my children for 7 months now and was just in court being told my children may be able to come home in a year if I comply to therapy and counseling and deal with my past and take psychotropic meds. I refuse to take any mind altering drugs because I like having emotions and these meds would stop that. It started out with accusations if me not caring about my youngest daughters heart disease that she was born with, one quick call to St. Louis children’s hospital to talk to my daughters cardiologist proved that to be untrue, that just the contrary I cared more then your typical parent cares. So when those accusations didn’t pan out they started in on my oldest daughters braces, she was being treated in Decatur illinois, in April of 2013 my stepson was murdered and due to my husband needing time off work we weren’t able to pay the braces bill, they dropped her as a patient I searched and searched and finally found someone to take her care on, she actually had her first appointment with them 3 days prior to my kids being kidnapped from us. One quick call to the prior orthodontist and one quick call to the current one plus proof of my step sons murder shot those claims in the rear, so then they decided to tell my husband and I that if we didn’t sign this paper the investigator had in front of her, then they’d take complete custody of my girls and place them wherever and couldn’t promise to keep them together or in the same school district. I refused to sign it but was threatened to be arrested and never see my girls again if I didn’t. I wasn’t left with a choice, I had to sign the damn paper, they place my kids with sister in law and now they are in a foster home in assumption illinois, and I’ve been told I’m being charged with sexual exploitation, sexual molestation, sexual trafficking of my children because I let them show horses and the horses were on my aunts farm who’s boyfriend molested me as a child, and into young adulthood, I told twice no one believed me so the thought of me saying no my kids will not ride or show horses because I don’t want them around him was not even in the works, they’d have called me nuts because they never believed me anyway, I received a ton if pressure from my family, my husband and I told our girls all about him and told them if the time ever came that they ha to be around him to stay far far away, he wasn’t ever home on the farm as he worked in Indiana and was only home two times a week of which we wouldn’t go to the farm but even though we took all precautions to protect our girls from him Dcfs and the judge says it isn’t enough and I need to deal with my past abuse sexual physical and emotional abuse take meds and have a psychologist of their choice tell them I’m better and ok to raise my kids, it’s awful funny I raised 2 smart beautifully talented young girls who are currently 14 and 12, but now I’m not capable of doing so, our system is flawed, this man has caused a ton of problems in my life and he has not one time had to suffer for what he’s done but I still continue to suffer for what he’s done to me, tell me how this is fair???

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