Need help, quick

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by At_The_Brink, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. At_The_Brink

    At_The_Brink Guest

    Can the courts or whatever terminate a parents rights without telling you or having you sign something?
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi & welcome. Sounds like you have a great deal going on in your life if someone is talking TPR.

    Generally, a parent has a great deal of warning & services to help "a family at risk" before termination of parental rights is discussed.

    Knowing little about what is going on that is really all I can offer.

    Good luck.
  3. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I believe they can if the parent hasn't been able to be contacted for a lengthy time and they have posted information in newspapers and can show the courts that they made every effort to find the parents.
    If the parent has been in contact with the child I think they would need to be notified of the court date and be provided with a lawyer if they couldn't afford one, but I'm not a lawyer so don't quote me.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Need more information, I think.

    But, welcome! You have found a great support system.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I would think there would need to be some formal notification to parents. However, if the safety of the child were in question.... I don't know.

    Without question, the parents need to get an attorney.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son's birthmother's rights were terminated, but she had to be notified and offered help for her addiction and they had to try to unify. She was not interested. Why not tell us more? Based on the little you told us, we can't really be of much help...
  7. At_The_Brink

    At_The_Brink Guest

    Okay, so far I am happy to hear what I am hearing. Our situation is this. We are in the CHIPS process to have our 15yo son removed from the home AND he has temporarily placed with a "bat" of a woman with whom we have had police contact with before(how the courts managed THAT I have NO idea). And no, she is not foster licensed(and she lives pretty much the next street over on the same "hundred" block as us). The courts ordered that all contact with her go through the worker. Yesterday I get a call from our family therapist who has spoken to "the bat" about the transportation that might be picking up difficult child for therapy services and the "bat" tells her difficult child has been having some awful stomach/swelling pains and couldn't get ahold of the worker on our case but she finally did and the worker told her that our parental rights have been terminated and medical care goes through the state. But they never arranged for him to see the doctor(WHY?). So I get on the phone and call her about difficult child stomache pain/swelling and thats when SHE told me that our parental rights have been terminated and that she didn't want to get into trouble by taking him to the doctor. Well, just let the kid sit there in pain then!?!? Where is the common sense here. Why could she not call me for this medical issue? UGH! Anywhoo, I took him to the E.R. last night(turned out to perhaps be acid indigestion or heartburn). Also, the last time his psyche medications were refilled was June 22(called the store to see if she got them refilled) and he tells me he still has "alot" because "missed" some doses. Put that together with the fact that the "bat" thinks that he is over medicated and what does that equal? I think she took him off of it or is weaning him. No? Okay, so lets see what you guys have to say now that you have more info. I had a long post before they upgraded to the new board but I think this is a significant update. Thanks ladies.
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So, have the parental rights been terminated? Or was she misinformed? I guess I could assume since you took him to the ER that is not the case. Phew/whew. What a roller coaster it must be to deal with so many.

    How do they remove from the home and place him a block over? UGH! Do they think this is healthy for anyone??
  9. At_The_Brink

    At_The_Brink Guest

    Okay, I have not gotten a call back from our attorney or the worker yet(maybe she is not returning ANY of my calls because we don't have any rights anymore???). But, I'm thinking that since WE petitioned the court for CHIPS vs. the "Bureau" petitioning the courts that we relinquished our rights(I have a friend that has been through the CHIPS process and I think I recollect her saying that the child becomes a ward of the state) which sounds like we gave up our rights!?! And thats okay, Y. I just don't like the idea of "stripping" us of our rights especially when there is no reason. The way the "bat" made it sound is that the rights were "taken" away from us.
    And as far as taking him to the ER, as far as I was concerned, because the social worker and the "bat" didn't make a full decision on what the next step was..............well, everything aside *I* was going to make sure that this didn't wait. Know what I mean?? He IS still our son. And I do care about him. I will post an update when I get a call. Thanks!
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How old is the child?
    My guess is the woman thinks it's all your fault (haha) and is trying to make you feel like the courts terminated your rights because YOU were a bad parent. No court can terminate your rights without notification unless you have literally tried to kill your child and, as a one-time foster parent, I know a parent who got her child back even after breaking both his legs, so it's not an easy thing to do.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  11. lambsear2

    lambsear2 New Member

    Terminating the parental rights sounds off to me.

    When our son was sent to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) by Family Court. During the time that he was away, difficult child was considered a ward of the state. Later when he was release, he was returned home. (he was 16yo when he came home)

    I would expect that the child has a care giver who should be able to make medical decisions for him. However, as the parent, you can certainly follow up and you should have a contact regarding his care, a social worker thru office of child & family services (OCFS)?. I am not sure who a BAT is, but if you feel that they are not addressing difficult child needs properly, you should make contact with the social worker. Whenever we had issues, I would call the court liason from OCFS to get direction. (this liason was at all court appearances to ensure that difficult child was being properly represented and understood all that was going on)
  12. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Nothing sounds right about this. I gather the "bat" is not a blood relative to you or your son. So, how he could be placed in an unlicensed home as a foster child and ward of the court makes no sense. Even blood relatives have to be approved although they might get emergency placement for a day or two but not more than that without going through licensing. Given the lawsuits, etc. today, I doubt any governmental agency would do otherwise.

    Since it is obvious CFPS (or whatever the foster agency is called in your area) knows where you live and you have an attorney, there is no legal way your parental rights could be terminated without notification, even if you filed a CHIPS against your child.

    Sorry, but this just makes no sense.
  13. At_The_Brink

    At_The_Brink Guest

    Okay, parental rights have not been terminated, per the person I know that has been through the CHIPS process and some lady I got to speak with today at the bureau.:D I think that "bat" of a woman was trying to trip my trigger. I don't think she was misinformed, I think she was lying. She claims the case worker told her that. Funny I haven't got a return phone call from her for over a week now.

    ALL of this process we have gone through IS not right, thats for sure. Now we have a court appointed atty. and that is helping ALOT. The "bat" is the woman whom my son was placed with. And she is not a relative and not licensed foster care. Not sure HOW or WHY this happened but it did. Makes no sense to me. According to the family therapist she is getting ready to pull out of this deal. WOOHOO. I hope she does. I didn't want him there in the first place.

    Midwest Mom,
    He is 15 and yes, of course she thinks its all our fault. lol Doesn't have ANYTHING to do with filing missing persons reports on a weekly basis for difficult child running away or him doing 25 grand worth of damage to the school thats now torn down. :angry-very: Nah. And then I come to find out that they are teaching him to drive....................:mad: WHAT? Unless they managed to get him his temps, they are teaching him to drive while he is on probation for the school damage. Thats smart. Our attorney and social worker will be hearing about this for sure.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Devil's Advocate here. (It always helps to try to think the way the 'other people' are thinking).
    I know you think she's lying but "The Bat" may either not know the true situation, or be misinformed. In fact, I think it's highly likely. She's got difficult child living with her and probably he's desperately lying to her to 'explain' the various problems and situations. The damage to the school - well, accidents happen in science class sometimes, don't they? Or maybe it was some other kid, whose parents are highly placed in a corrupt political system and so they blamed it all on poor little difficult child. Or whatever he's telling them. Maybe he admits to getting up to mischief, but he's probably saying who can blame him with the abuse he's copped from his neglectful parents over the years, who have already been repeatedly investigated by the authorities, blah blah blah.
    People on this site talk about the 'honeymoon' period, where a child placed in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or foster care seems to be a perfect angel, and the foster parents begin to view the child's parents with increasing suspicion.

    So take this likelihood, add in to it that "the Bat" is not licensed or experienced (and hence has not previously been burnt enough to know when she's being fattened for the kill by a manipulative kid) and you have someone who is likely to be critical of you to the point of being judgemental and bad-mouthing. At the same time she's trying to 'make it up to' the boy by giving him privileges and TLC.

    Why didn't she take him to the doctor? Maybe, with all her faults, she's quite good at working out what is wrong and how to treat him. I must admit, even though we have a good health system here in Australia which wouldn't leave us out of pocket much, if at all, if I took a kid to the doctor, if I thought it was just a bit of colic or indigestion I would adopt a 'wait and see' attitude. And someone like that is also likely to "know better" about his medications, too, and be trying their own experiments "he doesn't really need all those nasty chemicals".

    "The Bat" may have been misinformed by authorities, too. It's easy to happen. Someone picks up the wrong file or recollects a different case... And even professionals make big mistakes in who they talk to and what they say. Loose talk can do a lot of damage. Add in here what I've already mentioned - the likelihood of a difficult child pouring his own "poor me" and misinformation to the mix, and it's no wonder that "The Bat" has got the wrong end of the stick.

    As for "the Bat" telling you that your rights have been terminated - if this is a conscious lie, what does she hope to gain? A few hours' distress to you is not worth making you angry and getting your attorneys riled up, not when YOU know it's not true and you will soon clarify the situation. No, if she knew your rights hadn't been terminated and really wanted to stick the knife in to you, she is more likely to have said to you, "Your rights as parents are likely to be investigated, you will have to prove yourselves as fit parents before you get him back," or something not quite so closed-door or specific.

    As you said, your attorney and social worker will be hearing about it. Her defence is likely to be, "I spoke the truth, as far as I knew it. I can't help if I'm given the wrong information, I can only act on the information I'm given," and nothing more will be done. No action taken.

    As for how she got him placed with her, despite not being officially licensed - she either knows someone (or vice versa) or they're really desperate. Or is she someone difficult child knows and who he requested? If she is someone they know for other reasons, it could also explain the misinformation - someone talking out of turn and getting it all wrong.

    I think you would be entitled to ask for an apology for the concern it's caused you as well as the distress. I doubt you'll get one, though.

    Instead, I'd be focussing for now on what difficult child needs from here, and what will be happening with him.

  15. gateship

    gateship New Member

    I haven't had to deal with social worker from your side of things but my family and I have had to deal with them a lot in the adoption area. It is very common for a social worker not to call you back for a while- annoying Yes! frustrating Yes! but very common. Several things could be happening: 1) she/he is on vacation (a lot of workers are trying to get some vacation time in before school starts up). 2) she/he is so busy they have not had the time to call you back. 3) she/he is trying to avoid you.
    My guess is that it is either 1 or 2. Still I would suggest that if you have not heard anything by tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning find out who the worker's supervisor is and contact them directly. Make sure you are nice to them (which I am sure you would be) but also tell them how frustrating it has been not hearing about your case- especially when you found out your child was ill.
    Just my two cents. Hope things clear up soon!
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Heh. Driving.
    Wait until he gets violent toward "bat." It will eventually happen. Suddenly she'll be humble REAL fast.
  17. At_The_Brink

    At_The_Brink Guest

    Seems as though you are put off a little bit by me referring to this person as a bat. Well, you might feel the same way if someone said to you "if you hate your son so much, why don't you pack up his **** and I will take him and you won't have to pay for a thing" OR he steals a bike from her son(his friend) and he's not allowed over there anymore and 2 months later she gifts him the very bike that he stole from her son OR "you need to talk to me about whats going on at your house or I am calling Social Services OR she tells you that "he doesn't feel loved"(and she is going completely off of what a 15 yo kid is telling her) my opinion way overstepping her bounds and enabling his manipulation. Thats fine. I can call her J then.

    The damage at the school was criminal and resulted in charges, a sentence, and many court dates. And we are yet facing a lawsuit for this. For us, that could darn near ruin us financially. It wasn't just an accident.

    Neglectful? Abusive? If that were the case then don't you think with over 16 visits to our house by Social Services(all because of allegations from difficult child) that they would take the kids out? Geez, come on!!!!!! You can't be serious?!?!

    Furthermore, J is not obligated at all to "experiment" with my son's medications REGARDLESS of what her experience is. With regards to his medical issue, he was having severe pain causing him to double over. She tried for 2 weeks to get ahold of the Social Worker, didn't want to take him to the doctor for fear of being sued and had my number but couldn't pick up the phone to let me know. In the mean time he dies because she doesn't want to get sued. Sounds smart to me?!?!? She is mainly there right now to provide an temporary place to be while the courts find a more suitable home. And that is IT. Teaching him to drive is a "parental" decision NOT to be made by a glorified babysitter. Also, the house is going through foreclosure(per difficult child) and there are 9 other people living in their 1,000 sq ft house. Should I have no reason to be a "tad" irritated by this woman and this situation?

    And J was a request by difficult child's atty per difficult child. Isn't that every kids dream? Live with your friends parents? He is getting the easy road. A home with VERY little rules, regulations.

    And the parts my atty will be hearing about don't have anything to do with what she had said about our rights being severed. I was just going to get it "cleared" up. So I KNEW. Know what I mean?? The other things regarding him not taking his medications and the pain in his stomache? THAT seems like neglect to me. No?

    Funny how TODAY I left a message about the information about terminating parental rights that was told to J and TODAY I got a response. She did not call the work number I left her but my cell. She said that no, our parental rights are not severed. Ha. How about that quick response from her? Interesting.

    Okay, thats it for now, getting tired. Will be back tomorrow. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and opinions.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think you misunderstood me. I was not trying to say that you ARE neglectful etc, just that from the vibes I get about your son, it's highly likely that that is what HE is saying about you. He's a rat in a corner, desperate for whatever he can milk out of the situation. And if he is convincing enough, even all those resolved visits by social services might not be enough to convince a third party ("J", for example), who only hears your son's point of view. As you just said, "she is going completely off of what a 15 yo kid is telling her" and I agree, "way overstepping her bounds and enabling his manipulation".

    We're all too much in the same boat here, for me to have jumped in to attack you. I'm sorry if you thought I was - we just don't work that way here.

    I really don't mind whether we refer to her as "The Bat" or "J". But "J" is shorter and easier to type! Actually, apart from the length of it, I quite liked "The Bat" as a label. It was very descriptive without being too offensive. Don't mind me - I'm a stickler for putting things in quote marks. Just a tad Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), myself. At least where spelling and punctuation are concerned...

    To summarise what I was trying to say - it can sometimes help to get inside someone else's head, however briefly, because that can sometimes help you know what to expect them to do next. That doesn't mean you have to think they're lovely people - often they're not.

    If she really believes your son is a hard-done-by kid who is sadly misunderstood, it MAY explain a lot but of course doesn't excuse it. If as you say she is unqualified and a short-term stopover only because your son requested her (and from what you say, it sure does sound like she manipulated him into requesting her) then she is more likely to be unpredictable in her next move. Tricky.

    So after being a real PITA for you to the extent that you have resorted to these steps, he's been placed with someone who hasn't been properly checked out (again, maybe because he was vehement in requesting her) who is 'rewarding' him with little controls, making parental decisions beyond her jurisdiction (such as allowing him to learn to drive), interfering with his medical regime (including not getting his medical care dealt with appropriately as well as not supervising DOCTOR-PRESCRIBED medication).

    I do find it interesting that you left message after message about what the SW probably dismissed as the usual hassles with parents - "nobody is good enough to look after my little boy" - but as soon as you mentioned what I agree is a BIG problem (either breach of confidentiality by department followed by this being told to you by "J", or "J" lying to you, or both) then you got a FAST response. Someone either has a guilty conscience or communication with this mob simply shuts down until things reach crisis point.

    I'm really concerned about his medications. I know you are too, I suspect it's high on your priority list to clarify? Maybe if you can press the point that YOU didn't prescribe these medications, a doctor did. And probably not just any doctor, but someone who specialises in exactly this kind of problem.
    To accidentally miss a couple of medications under the circumstances he is in - maybe once is understandable, but not good. But any more - neglectful. However, to miss more than that goes way beyond neglectful, I think. I believe it borders on arrogance on "J"'s part, to assume she knows better than the specialist. The words "deliberately damaging" come to mind. Interference. Meddling. Divisive. Undermining. Confusing.

    So, once inside her head, what do we think she is going to do next?
    I suspect she is going to backpedal, fast. If they approach her with "benefit of the doubt" which I suspect they will (they need more people prepared to foster, and maybe they think she is worth cultivating) then this will give her plenty of wiggle room to say either, "I was misled by someone in the office" or "I never said it, she's lying," or "Ooops. But she made me so angry, that poor boy..." etc. The thing is, I strongly suspect she will weasel out of it all, even though when we look at it and add it all up, it really amounts to a very unpleasant whole. And who knows? They may decide, "J's not going to have him much longer anyway, let's just leave it."

    If, on the other hand, her next move is going to be to apply to keep him longer (the mad fool) then I strongly suspect her next move will be to throw up her hands in horror when the honeymoon period ends and she discovers truths, bit by bit. I'd be concerned if the services would allow her to keep him longer, given your concerns and now these obvious problems - but I suspect she will be able to talk her way out of any problems, unfortunately. That is when you'd need your attorney putting in the boot.

    If they do drop it, you might have some success getting your attorney to keep pursuing. But be guided by his advice - you sound like you have even bigger fish to fry, and this (bad as it is) may be too much of a distraction for you from the main issue - what is to be done with your son?

    Also important in all this - you sound very stressed, very tired. Do make sure you are doing the best you can to look after yourself. You're going to need all the strength you can get.
    And what could that be doing to his management? I shudder to think.

    Hang in there. I know it feels like you're at the end of your rope, but hang in there as best you can.