So I have to start by saying the Florida Department of Children and Families Has Failed many people through the years…. While they were still HRS they Failed me I was not removed from my home while I was being Sexually abused by my step father while there had been proof that something had happened nothing was done this man also got off on a technicality and served no time in Jail. Many years later the system is still a failure losing kids in the system, placing kids where they should not be placed and even breaking protocol. Why do I say this well, Starting March 31, 2009 My children were removed from my care for two months prior i had been fighting with DCF for Medicaid I was receiving unemployment 600 a month but yet myself, and my two kids that were with me (Jason and heather) were making too much to qualify for Medicaid….I begged because I knew my mental state was fading I knew I was in depression and needed help but couldn’t get that help unless i had Medicaid. A week before March 31, 2009 my ex husband brought my daughter Katlin to me and said he couldn’t handle her so I said fine i would take her… I didn’t seem to have any problems out of her while she was with me. except realizing a child with adhd needs to come home do homework and then play. The day she had a half day of school I figured she could do her homework at 4 when she usually did it so i let her go outside to play. well honestly the homework didn’t get done and i sent a note to the teacher and to my amazement the teacher understood and let her make it up. March 31, 2009 DCF showed up with two sheriffs’ officers and took the kids I did explain to the worker that I knew I was depressed and that yes i had issues and i needed help they had already contacted Katlins dad to come get her. When asked if they could contact my mother or other family members for Jason and Heather They said they already had a place they were going to. It is my understanding of the law before the court hearing with in 24 to 48 hours that they are to try to place with family and they did not. we went to court the next morning and the judge told DCF they had 24 hours to get me in for an evaluation this being court ordered I had to work on it myself at 4pm the next day I made myself the appointment and took the court papers with me. Diagnosis PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), major Depressive Disorder, and Anxiety.
I was told if I needed help with apts etc to contact the worker and they would help, when I did ask for help it was not provided except on occasion. this went on for several months saying I was not complying with the case and I was trying but I needed help they wanted me to work which I was doing but did not want to provide visits after work hours so i would have to take days off. That is a catch 22 basically you don’t work you don’t get your kids back you don’t follow visits you don’t get your kids back you lose your job because you talk off work too much you don’t get your kids back you lose your transportation cause you cant afford gas or your car payment cause you take off and lose your job… well you get what i am saying. This went on through July… July 17, my mother came over to let me know I had to be in court for another case involving my Daughter Katlin and William at their Fathers house. They were removed from his care as were his other two children. Katlin had bruises on the scalp two black-eyes and her ear was black and blue.
and another bruise found on her back, just under the shoulder blade…. I went to court talked to the caseworker and she showed me the pictures of Katlin it was horrifying I could not believe what i was seeing and the fact that her father allowed this to happen. Not only was that but her father allowing William 8 at the time to medicate himself. William was placed in a foster home without Katlin. She was in another foster home, in another county. Brandy (Dustins wife/ the step mother of my children/ and my cousin) was arrested for child abuse of Katlin. She was Charged and eventually plead guilty, Third degree Felony Child Abuse.
About a month after the children were removed I got a call saying that I needed to go to the centers to meet William that he had tried to commit suicide. When I got to the centers I met William who was happy to see me. I gave him a hug he looked at the clock on the wall and turned and said “Mommy I have to take this now” as he pulled an orange pill out of his pocket, there was no bottle no prescription on him in anyway… I asked William what it was and he said it was his rispridone….
I know that that drug is usually used for bipolar there for is a felony if there is no script with it and an 8 yr old is carrying this pill in his pocket. Not to mention his foster mom allowed this to happen she gave it to him so he could take it when he needed to and the worker that came with William didn’t know he had it in his pocket. I did tell William that he could not take it because the doctor had to look at him first and ok it. Which the doctor did not ok. William admitted he had tied a rope around his neck two days prior. This devastated me that it happened two days before and was not reported until this day he was at the centers, The foster mom is an EMT therefore she knows better than most that it should have been reported right then. I told my concerns to DCF and they told me they would look into it they did not remove him from this care… they told her “don’t do it again”…other incidents happened failure to give meds several days in a row and still nothing was done. eventually William was placed, back in the care of his father and Brandy was frequently over to see Dustin, Williams father… once again William was removed from Dustin and then placed with Barbra, brandy’s mother whom brandy was living with I questioned this action because brandy was in the home and I was told that he is not in Brandy’s care…but a couple months later he was placed in Brandy’s care I questioned this also because before a child can be placed in someone’s care they have to have a background check and a violent history is a denial in this case she was allowed to take my son and she was on probation for third degree felony child abuse on his sister Katlin. Once again he was placed back with his father, Until October of last year. William was once again removed I was notified that William was removed and had to appear in court by phone since i am now in Michigan. Williams father was admitted to the Centers and I didn’t know what for … My mother called me that evening and let William talk to me I asked no questions regarding his father but William said “you know mom, dad is in the centers cause he was going to kill himself because he failed a polygraph test” polygraph coming out of Williams mouth did not surprise me…because in first grade he went to school and asked his teacher if she knew what MRSA stood for the teacher asked him what it stood for and he said Methacillin Resistant Staphylococcus Areaus big words for a first grader but always asked to look at my medical dictionary and asked questions I held nothing back if he wanted to learn.
William was placed in foster care where Jason and Heather were for a little over a year I was being jerked around they said they were going to send him up here to live with me and i was already for it and then they said they were going to send to his father again and then his father was found guilty of sexual battery therefore William could not be returned to Dustin. Just before the last hearing the case worker Yolanda called me and told me they were thinking of placing William back with Brandy. I told her absolutely not and explained that she had been charged in the abuse of Williams sister which she already knew since this is the same worker throughout the case with the exception of the first month which was a male worker of whom i had dated in the past and it was a conflict of interest and we both asked for there to be another worker as it was a conflict of interest but did not explain to what extent it was. Yolanda told me that William was not the victim in the case and that she would be able to care for him. When asked why they were now not considering me for placement I was told that it is because i lost my job… I am not going to lie I was very heated over that and told her that there are people everyday that don’t have jobs and care for their kids just fine. I am keeping up with my bills. Yolanda also told me that the court would call me in two days cause that was our hearing. To my surprise Marion county courts did not call, when they had called every time before that. The decision was to send him to live with Brandy. William went to live with Brandy on the 28th of December 2012. I have been told by a source that wishes me not to give her name but is a family member that Brandy has had Dustin over to see the kids several times. This source is in Florida and said she knows for a fact that this has happened. I am tired of getting nowhere when I ask the news, newspapers, and other sources for help. Reporting this to the Head of DCF in Florida in Tallahassee I was basically given a lie to shut me up. This lie was that the worker had been fired when my mother showed up in court well the worker was still there…. So if the head haunchos in Tallahassee are covering things up too where do i go for help now….Washington? Where Do I start? Here? I am writing this not only to expose Florida’s DCF system and Marion county court system but also for help and answers. DCF in Florida looks at it as though I don’t care for my kids, The thing is I do I care for them enough to say yes I screwed up and I was a mess, I also care for them to try to find out answers to questions no matter how long it takes hoping to change laws.
That system can not honestly say they know what people feel like, their psychological evals are not realistic by no means having your children taken from you and experiencing it twice in less than a year who would not feel angry and upset not to mention calling them on their screw-up’s and nothing being done about it where a normal parent would have the child removed from their care a foster parent is slapped on the hand and told not to do it again….yeah I think I have that right to be angry with out being told that i have anger issues because lets face it anyone enduring that much hurt and loss would be normal to be angry, sad and depressed. So if anyone out there can help with information on where i can go to get help…. I dont know if i could sue the state but am so willing to do what i can to change something with that system.