Feeling totally helpless to help a friend out


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ARperson
December 3, 2004, 08:26 PM
This is long, but I need to let it out because I can't stand the injustice of the situation. And what's worse is that it's not even happening to me.

We've got a friend whose daughter hasn't made all the right choices in life. But he's letting his daughter and her son live with him so that the boy has a roof over his head and food on the table and the girl can try and clean up her life. THe first part was succeeding. THe second apparently not so well.

One night the mom and son are home alone (friend is out to dinner). Mom falls down and cracks head open on table from seizure. Boy calls 9-1-1. EMTs come to the "rescue." Apparently, one of the EMTs decideds the house is unfit for the boy to live in and calls in child protective services. While the mom is in the hospital, the boy is taken into custody and our friend has to put his life on hold to figure this mess out.

After initial court hearing, there is a chance friend can get custody of his grandson as long as the mother does not live with them. In an effort to wear the friend down, the CPS did their inspection of the premises at 9:30 at night!!!!!!! Last word from the friend was that he should be getting the boy the next day.

Next day (this evening) arrives and the friend comes over crying his eyes out to ask us to watch over his place for a little while...he needs to go for a drive Turns out the mom visited the little boy at the "jail" where they were holding him, which apparently is a violation of the rules. And because of that, the friend won't get custody.

No good reason to deny him custody other than the mother did something really stupid. (which I guess I can't blame her too much. Who knows what was running through her head.) But now this child is going to be a ward of the state. In a state where child abuse and deaths have made the news far too often this year.

And I'm pissed and sad and frustrated and mad as hell. That the State is taking the boy away from a family member. That it's for such an assinine reason. And that there ain't a damn thing I can do help a friend out.

I mean, why are they punishing my friend and that little boy because the mom had a lapse in judgement? How can that be justification for denying our friend custody. Not to mention the friend is also our tenant and by saying the house is not fit is also saying we are slum lords. That didn't sit well with me either.) How can they do this? My husband is ranting and raving all sorts of get-him-in-trouble thoughts right now too. What a crock. To see a grown man cry is just about the worst thing in this world. And that poor little boy.

One of our local tv stations has a consumer help line/investigative reporting side that helps people with problems/injustices like this. My husband says there's no way to fight the State (I agree to a certain point), and pushing them with the media that way will probably only make them dig in their heels. But this just isn't right. And the people should be made aware of how their tax dollars are spent ripping families apart and putting kids in the custody of people who won't love them and nurture them.

I've never felt so helpless in my life. And yet this isn't even my fight. I don't know if there's anything I could do simply because I don't have a dog in the fight. And I certainly don't want to do anything to make it worse for our friend.

:(

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squadfounder
December 3, 2004, 08:33 PM
Unfortunately, child custody guidlines do not always result in what's best for the child. The state has the responsibility to try to make a choice as to what is in the child's best interest, but foster care and such are generally pretty grim for the child. I would think that with a good lawyer your friend should be able to convince the state that he is capable of providing a stable home for the child, with or without the mother. Best of luck

Sindawe
December 3, 2004, 08:58 PM
Money. Child fostered out get the Child Snatchers money. Child adopted out of foster care gets them more $$$.

You may want to refer your friend to these folks: http://www.familyrightsassociation.com/ as well as suggesting they lawer-up and get ready for a fight.

And post/ask for input on the Usenet Group alt.support.child-protective-services.

DRZinn
December 3, 2004, 11:35 PM
I forgot to put this one in the "oxymorons" thread: "protective custody"

A similar thing happened to me when I was 13. It took three months and thousands of dollars to resolve, and at the end I had lost some hearing and sight as a result of a fight that would never have happened at home. The first three places I went, I called my father to keep him updated, and they moved me just for that. In three months they put me in five different places.

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