Dear Mr. Obama,
The week of 20 Feb 2012, I contacted FCCS to get help speeding up some referrals which were suppose to already be in place to address my son behavior. I had previously been working with a caseworker by the name of Keisha Savage, however when I contacted her she told me I needed to to another voluntarily (request her as the worker) intake because my case had been closed. Around 27 Feb 2012, a caseworker by the name of Rachel Ridgeway came out to speak with me regarding the call I had placed, when she showed up the information she had was not correct. She stated she was out to my home to discuss me relinquishing my parental rights. When she arrived she did not have a notebook or pen in hand, she only had a print out of the so called call I made to the agency (I was later informed she may have secretly recorded my child/myself during the interviews). After informing her that the information was incorrect, as well as giving her the reason for my call: we spoke for about fifteen minutes. She then asked to speak with my son, however he was not home so we scheduled another time for her to speak with him. On the following visit, she arrived fifteen minutes late 4:45pm (causing a delay in my plans with my son) I introduced her to my son, I then voluntarily left the room so she could speak with him in private. I nodded off, upon walking up I noticed my clock read 6:20pm at this time I realized my son was not in his room. As I proceeded downstairs I noticed my front door open and my son was walking toward me, he stated "the woman said she will be back she went to her car to call her supervisor". At this time I became upset with both myself and the intake worker, because I had fallen asleep and she had taken advantage of my son (by speaking to him for nearly 2 hours). She came back to my door, she asked me if I would be willing to go to the agency to speak with her supervisor. At this time she began to change the direction of the initial reason I called into a case of abuse.
Understandable shocked, frustrated, and upset by some of the things she claimed my son told her I stopped the interview and called my friend (her teenage son) over to serve as witnesses for the rest of the conversation. At this time the worker became obsessed with wanting to check my son for bruises, suggesting sending him to respite, talking about him not getting enough to eat, and why I allegedly lock my son in his room. I showed her around my home and again informed her the reason I contacted FCCS. She continued to tell me what I could and could not do in my home and how I should raise my son. So I asked her if she had any children, she stated "that is not relevant" at that point I told her it was time for her to leave my home because she could not relate to my situation unless she experienced a similar situation. She then asked "how about sending your son to respite for the night because you seem upset, I replied "I'm not frustrated with him I'm frustrated with your allegations". I also told her she was not going to dictate how I run my household. I informed her that the order of my household is Christ, myself, then my son. A dew days later the worker contacted me by phone asking me to come to the agency to speak with her supervisor, when I refused she stated "we'll just take you to court". When I asked why, she replied by saying "to address concerns of what may or may not be going on in the home". I have been ordered to do random drug test, parenting classes, mental health assessment, and agree to unannounced home visits with a caseworker from the agency.
Franklin County Children Services has failed to provide me with the proper services, lied in their report to take me to court, possibly made secret recordings of our meetings, and refuses to listen to my concerns. Instead of helping to address the concerns I have for my child they are more focused on me taking drug test and counseling. I filed a grievance but when I called to check the status, I was told the time frame for the grievance had expired. On Tuesday, 7 August 2012 I received a call from Amanda Dunigan informing me a court date had been scheduled for Monday, 13 August 2012 for FCCS to take custody of my son. When I arrived at court my court appointed attorney asked me what I wanted to do, when I told her I wanted to speak in court and tell the full truth because I was tired of the lies; I was denied that right.
At this point my son has been removed from my home, I was not allowed to see my son so I could explain to him what happened (he was just taken from school). I need help for starters getting my son returned home, I want to be allowed to address the court, I want this case closed, and if possible I want to file a lawsuit because one or more of my amendments was violated. I don't want another parent to suffer the same fate I'm faced with today. Through this entire process I have had 1 or 2 witnesses present during all meetings (except 2) with anyone from FCCS.
We had a court date on 13 August 2012 @ 9:30am where custody of my son was granted to FCCS, because the caseworker and guardian ad litem reported that I was not cooperative & refused to do what was asked of me in the case plan. I was not allowed to speak in court, when I tried to speak up my court appointed lawyer told me to be quiet so she could hear what FCCS worker was saying. She never addressed the fact that I had been taking the steps to complete the case plan requirement, the caseworker still failed to send the necessary referrals to the correct address, my work schedule, or my frequent doctor appointment which prevent me from doing some of the requirements on their time. It was also discovered that the address in which the caseworker claimed she had sent the referrals to was incorrect, however this was ignored by the court and custody was taking of my son. I was told on 17 August 2012 by the caseworker that if custody was taken of my son I would be allowed to bring him to the agency within 1 hour; once custody was granted to FCCS the worker walked over to me stating the following "I'm going to the school to get your son now", I was not allowed to explain to my son what was going on or to kiss, hug, or say I love you to my son. Within an 1 hour of getting custody, my son was removed from school and I was informed by the worker my son was on his way to the foster home. I was never asked if there was any family members who could take my son in, to avoid him being in a strange place. I have reached out for help throughout this entire process but I cannot seem to get anyone who will listen and hold FCCS accountable for their actions. Also, both the caseworker and my court appointed lawyer violated my privacy rights by discussing my case with another individual with my permission. My rights have been violated on several levels by this agency & I want to bring awareness that may help someone else. The goal is to regain custody of my son and have this case closed for good.
As of 18 August 2012, I have not seen my son and he has not been to school. Also, calls from family member have not been returned.