Fifteen months no contact & no response from DHS

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honestwitness
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:40 pm

Fifteen months no contact & no response from DHS

Postby honestwitness » Mon May 16, 2011 4:58 pm

I am the grandmother of two boys, age 10 and 5. My son is their father. On Feb 14, 2010, the police and Linn County Iowa DHS came to their home and "interviewed" my son and his wife for 2.5 hours. They removed both of their computers and forced my son and his wife each to sign his/her individual "Iowa Safety Plan." They signed these plans under threat of having their children removed from their custody immediately. My son's plan required him to leave the home, stay with friends or relatives, and have no contact whatsoever with his children, during the DHS and police investigation of my son. That was 15 months ago, and my son and his wife have complied with their plans to the letter.

My son was charged with sex abuse in the second degree for allegedly abusing two children that were in the home in his wife's day care. There have been no charges of any kind of abuse of his own children. My son continues to insist he is innocent of all charges and both his wife and I are convinced he is telling the truth.

My husband and I provided the bond money to get my son out of jail in early April, 2010, when the charges were filed, and he has lived with us in Missouri ever since then. He owns his own computer-based business and has continued to work to pay his defense attorney.

My son's trial date has been delayed many times and is currently set for August 8. During this past 15 months, the boys have been seen regularly by a "play therapist." This person, who wishes to remain anonymous, has stated to the boy's mother and has left messages for the DHS caseworker that, in her professional opinion, the boys were never subject to abuse of any kind and need to continue their relationship with their father. DHS never responded to this therapist.

My son has made several attempts to communicate with DHS, asking them to revise the safety plan and allow supervised visitation. Their response has been a stubborn refusal to allow any contact whatsoever. Recently the therapist wrote a letter to the DHS caseworker, stating the same thing she had tried to tell them verbally many months ago.

After the most recent trial delay, which was initiated by the prosecuting attorney, we have finally been able to convince the defense attorney to contact DHS on my son's behalf to ask for supervised visitation. He tells my son he did just that last week. However, there has been no response. The defense attorney told my son and his wife that the prosecutor evidently knows he has a weak case and is delaying things, because he doesn't want to go to trial.

I believe the time has come for my son to make a concerted effort to get a revised safety plan in place, so he can resume his relationship with his children. There is no court order keeping him away from his children; there is only the Linn County Iowa DHS Safety Plan and the threat of removing the children from their mother’s custody, if she allows the boys any contact with their father.

Please advise what can be done to achieve a revised safety plan that will allow the children to resume their relationship with their father.

honestwitness
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Fifteen months no contact & no response from DHS

Postby honestwitness » Wed May 18, 2011 5:54 pm

We now have a new twist and it's an ugly one. As a result of the attorney's attempt to contact DHS, the DHS worker contacted the police investigator. The two of them then made a visit to the play therapist and convinced her to rescind her earlier recommendation that the boys be able to see their father. Now the play therapist is recommending against supervised visitation or any contact whatsoever.

We are shocked and devastated by this. It seems rather ominous that a police investigator and a DHS worker have been strong~arming an expert witness to go against her own professional assessment of the situation.

I just want to scream!

Can anyone offer any advice?

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LindaJM
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Re: Fifteen months no contact & no response from DHS

Postby LindaJM » Thu May 19, 2011 2:44 pm

They could have threatened her with having her license revoked! I'm so sorry... CPS agents are (IMO) evil. LEO's can be too...

As I see it, the only thing you can do is to get an attorney to take your request to juvenile court. It sounds like the CPS agent is operating outside of the court using only a voluntary safety plan. It is true that if the safety plan is violated the children will probably be detained and then the CPS agent will take it to court, and the mother will have a very hard time getting her children home again.

At this point your son could hire an attorney to take the CPS case into court to let a judge or juvenile court referee decide the matter. It could, of course, backfire with the children being placed in foster care... but you definitely should let a good attorney guide you in that matter.
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Please keep in mind that none of us are lawyers and we can't give legal advice. We are simply telling you what we would do in a similar situation. It is to your advantage to get a lawyer.

"Evil flourishes when good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke ... so try to do something to change the system ...

honestwitness
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Fifteen months no contact & no response from DHS

Postby honestwitness » Fri May 20, 2011 2:49 am

Thanks so much for your response, Linda. We will definitely contact an attorney. And follow his/her guidance.

What would happen if my daughter-in-law decided to move out of state with the children? She has relatives in Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin, with whom they could live. Is there any hope for better treatment in a different state?

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LindaJM
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Re: Fifteen months no contact & no response from DHS

Postby LindaJM » Sun May 22, 2011 10:24 am

The state may issue a warrant for her and take the children if she leaves right now, so definitely she should not leave unless her lawyer says it is alright to do so.

Just my opinion, but I believe it is better to stay and face the battle than to run and try to hide, because it is hard to hide permanently in this country.

Perhaps her lawyer could discuss her desire to relocate with the CPS worker... but then probably CPS workers in the neighboring state would be made aware of her situation.
Sample Document Library

Please keep in mind that none of us are lawyers and we can't give legal advice. We are simply telling you what we would do in a similar situation. It is to your advantage to get a lawyer.

"Evil flourishes when good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke ... so try to do something to change the system ...

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Greegor
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Re: Fifteen months no contact & no response from DHS

Postby Greegor » Mon May 23, 2011 3:33 am

I'm in Linn County Iowa, Cedar Rapids.

Another family had a situation where their kids were
in foster care in a next door county.

One of them got a job in that same county and they
notified the agency and court that they wanted to move
to that neighboring county.

When DHS went to move the case to the other county,
the DHS office there decided there was absolutely no
reason for the case in the first place.

When Linn county DHS found this out they got alarmed
and wanted to refuse to allow the parents to move
to that other county.

That didn't fly in court, for some reason.

The case got handed over to the other county
and they sent the kids home and closed the
case.

ie Linn County Iowa makes cases that many
other counties would not.

I also found out that a lot of this is a difference
between the Family Court prosecutor here,
Kelly Kaufman, and prosecutors in other counties.

From one Iowa county to another Iowa county
there is a HUGE difference in what kinds of
garbage they will accept from DHS, and the
DHS agencies adapt to that varying threshold.

ie Kelly Kaufman here in Linn will go for a case
even if it's complete BS, and DHS KNOWS that.
If a prosecutor won't accept BS cases in another
county, DHS there learn not to try such BS cases.

This also explains why statistics on removals
in one county might be totally out of proportion
to the population there, and it's FALSELY presented
that one county is a "hotbed of child abuse" when
it's really just this prosecutor THRESHOLD for
BS cases that makes the huge differences.


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