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My husband and I were accused by DCF of child abuse and neglect (in that order)of my sister's six year old autistic daughter. She said something in school that was misconstrued.

There was supposed to be an investigation within 10 days, but DCF never spoke with us because the DA told them not to, which goes against MGL. When I called DCF, they refused to speak to me and when I went to their office and delivered written requests for copies of any paperwork for us, they never sent it. The social worker told me to "talk to the police". Only after getting a lawyer involved did we receive our documents two months later.

They decided I did nothing wrong but my husband had to wait over a year for a so-called "fair hearing" while his name was added to a "perp list". Two hours after the hearing, DCF reversed their original findings due to "reasonable doubt".

But so much irreparable harm had been done to all of us. We were separated from my niece for six months because DCF and the DA put pressure on my sister, who knew this was all rubbish. There were never any charges from the DA to do NO EVIDENCE. My niece, who was accustomed to spending weekends with us and seeing us frequently during the week, was in therapy due to the trauma of being ripped away from her uncle and me. Her own pediatrician and counselor said there were absolutely no physical or emotional signs of any abuse. My nieces only problem was the pain and confusion of seemingly being abandoned by us. DCF lied to my sister telling her that a pediatric psychologist familiar with Autism would question my niece for the SANE interview, but it was the DA's assistant with no such training. It caused tremendous stress on my sister's relationship with her boyfriend. My husband suffered severe emotional trauma and anxiety and had to be hospitalized one night, and was out of work for seven months. His business nearly collapsed. Our marriage suffered. We gave up our hopes of adopting a child. People who knew us well looked at us differently. The stigma attached to such accusations never goes away. It has been over a year since the hearing cleared his name but the emotional and financial affects remain. We will never be the same.

I want to sue DCF. I want the public to know how evil they can be. They omitted facts from their reports, broke their own rules under Mass law, and destroyed our lives.

My husband is afraid to sue out of fear of retaliation. They made false allegations against us. Perhaps they might do it to my sister and take her daughter away. One lawyer said he had never seen this happen, but that it is very difficult to win a case against DCF.

So my question is this: Has anyone ever sued them and won, what is involved, and is it worth the pain?

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That sounds like a tragic situation for all involved.  However, this is not an area of the law that I am familiar with.  Follow this link to a website created by an attorney and discussing similar situations. 

He represented us at the fair hearing. He is an amazing man and a pioneer in representing people against the unjust accusations of DCF. I spoke to several attorneys and this man is the one who stood out as actually caring about us. He already has his hands full defending innocent people who are under attack from DCF.

Hi, if you have had any success in going after DCF and actually finding someone who can help please let me know. It seems that this agency or 'department' will never change! I have been reading so many stories and, although they are not all exactly the same as my situation, the treatment received by DCF is definitely the same.
If anyone is considering standing up to them in a lawsuit, I AM IN! My families civil rights have definitely been violated. DCF claims that they want to strengthen and support families but the truth is that they do not have the power to do that. While some workers are great to deal with, others just defend the department like its some kind of god. The sad thing is that the government gives DCF these rights to their 'regulations' which in no way are exactly the same as the law. My question would be: Does the government really know how DCF's regulations destroy families? Especially to the Governor I would ask that question. Why? Well, his name is the first thing that appears on DCF's letter head. However, I bet he has no clue what they are capable of and are REALLY up to. It's sad. If I told my story, YOU would cry with me.

I have watched CPS destroy families... destroy children. The children that were not abused gets abused by them, then they tell the children that you have abandoned them. CPS is guilty of more abuse per worker than the number of children who may get abused without their help. I would cry with you too. They attacked my family and caused five girls to raped repeatedly and beaten for the first time in their lives... They stole one daughter and after refusing to get her treatment sent her to be sold as a prostitute and are working to send this special needs child with the mind of a five year old back to be sold again. They have not taken our parental rights yet refuses to allow us contact for fear the child will tell us what they have been doing to her. She was pregnant and they held her down and forced her to go through an abortion... I cry often, for my children and for those innocent children who are abandoned by CPS to be abused and the children kidnapped from their parents to be abused!!

Try Swomley and Tennen out of Boston.

I believe they are already involved in a high profile case against DCF in MA. They may be a good option for you. Best of luck in your efforts against this highly unregulated organization. They profess to protect children and I believe some of the area offices do just that, but there are those who abuse their power and never have to answer to justice. An "I'm sorry" simply does not compensate for the enormous damage they can and have done to families and children in this state.

How about my family? We moved to Wyoming in 2005. My family knew no one. My girls developed relationships, held jobs, went to church.. and helped out by volunteering at many social causes. In 2008 my husband of 6 years got the call we knew would come one day.. CPS in South Carolina finally caught his ex-girlfriend and her husband abusing our ten year old. For the sake of being understood, I will call her his addition... Her name KS, they were raping her and made her do crack and meth, and then selling her for money to buy more drugs... (short background.. At 7 years old she had missed 170 days out of 180 for at least a year, the teacher told us she knew that KS was being abused but would not report the abuse unless we agreed to move back to Darlington, SC.When she did go to school, she would be dropped off around 10am and picked up by 1pm...CPS knew and refused to act, We went through the superintendent, the attendance office called her biological mother in, and they fell for the story, I can't make a 7 year old go to school!!??? Darlington county school and CPS knew this child was being abused, but only when KS's aunt had her over did anyone stand up for this child) During the hearings for KS, the maternal grandparents, were asked if they felt their daughter and Son-in-law had done anything wrong to this child?? The maternal grandparents said quote.. Our daughter did nothing wrong. Even when the evidence piled up proving the abuse these people could not understand why anyone was upset? Well as you can guess she had and has many emotional problems, and educational deficiencies..She was in our home just over 6 months. She had tried to kill 2 of her sisters on 3 different occasions, she killed a puppy at 7, and tried to smother one of my dogs. She was self-harming even while in SC CPS's custody, also in their custody, she pinned an 11 year old down and was grinding on him.
When she came to our house, she acted out sexually only on two occasions. Because I was near her at all times, I kept her from harming another child. The school had an IEP meeting where I asked them to keep her from any free time alone with the other children because her mother had taught her to be proud of this behavior. They promised they would always stay within earshot. I was told I had to except this, so I made the best out of it. KS started school on Tuesday, before the bell rung on that day I was cursed out by 3 mothers, for letting this child into the school. They did not keep her in earshot and she quickly bragged to a 9 year old boy everything she was taught to do to men. I pulled her out immediately and told them they would only get her for half days, since they could not seem to watch this child properly. In February of 2008, the team over ruled me and forced KS into all day school. They did not allow her recess or lunch with the other students. After she tried to kill her sisters. I decided we had to find a way to get her more help much quicker than one private counseling session a week and one family session every two weeks. Her counselor said that KS might be better served if she went to Wyoming Behavior Institute (WBI), I double checked with Buffalo mental help, with the family counselor...Jodie Verplanke, she concurred that this is the best course of action. We took her to WBI on a Sunday, I cried the moment we turned to walk out the door, my husband was also visibly upset. We were told we could visit her the following Sunday. When we arrived KS was not available, they said she was being tested by their Psychologists. On Wednesday evening around 4, WBI called and demanded we pick KS up, I asked if she was safe to be around my then 5 year old. They stated that if we did not pick this child up by 6 pm they would call CPS and report her as an abandoned child. My husband rushed down to get her. When John returned home, I asked for a copy of her release papers. John said he signed 2 or 3 forms but they did not send any paperwork home with her. I spent the next few weeks trying to reach them to find out what happened. KS finally told me that she took a 7 or 8 year old boy to her room... Without giving too much detail yes she molested him. With her history, these people did not keep an eye on her.
When she got home, she was 1000 times worse than when we took her. Her private counselor could not fit her into the schedule. I had found this counselor and set up KS's first appointment before John got custody of her. She was hurting herself more out right. One incident she shoved her finger up her nose and sucked the blood out of her nose into her mouth and spit it on the shirt she was wearing. She then kept screaming I want to go back to WBI. I continually had to let her know that WBI kicked her out and would not allow her back no matter what she did. At this point, I have great fear that she will hurt herself severely and we will not get help fast enough. The family counselor and I worked on KS for a few weeks and it seemed that the worse was over. She settled back into her school routine. Then her teacher Mrs. Morey was out for a week. KS cursed out her teacher and would not do her work. I found out and she had to write an apology letter and apologize in person. The next day I took my first respite day (the counselor had advised, that I take one respite day per month so that I would not burn out). That was on Saturday, on Sunday KS and I made our usual trip to the laundry-mat. She was of course on the side of defiant (this was normal). As we got near to the end of the laundry, KS, it appeared, had slipped , I asked if she was okay? KS said she was fine. about 5 minutes later she turned where I could see her whole face and she had a knot the size of a golf ball on her forehead above the right eye (in the eyebrow region) I put ice on it instantly and took her home. That was around 1pm, by 6 that night her forehead barely had a blue shade, and no knot. The next morning John woke up all the girls as usual (I would stay up as late as I could every night to watch for her, then John would take the morning shift till he left for work and I would be back up before he left). KS did not come out of the bedroom... so after 30 minutes he went to talk to her and see if she was okay. John woke me immediately telling me that KS had a black eye. I jumped out of bed and ran to her, yes she had a very swollen black eye. It was so swollen that I knew it had to be at least 2 hours old. Since I could not see the eye itself, I kept her home from school till I could be certain that she had not done any serious damage. The eye that was black was not the right eye but the left! We knew she had hurt herself again. I started calling everyone I could find to try to get her some help. Many of them kept referring me to CPS. SO I called them around 1pm that day. I told them what had been happening and that I just wanted to find KS a placement for no more than 6 months to get her clearly diagnosed so that we could take the right parenting classes to be able to help her more. CPS gave me another list of numbers and said that unless John and I signed her over to the state that they would not help. One of the numbers they gave me explained that the school district could help KS get placed just as easily as CPS, so I called the principal and explained our situation and I asked if she would schedule an IEP, to request the school district pay for KS's treatment. That evening after I had kept a close watch over KS, and her eye was improving wonderfully, she had another black eye!! Well the counselor told me not to let her stay out of school for long, and this one was obviously superficial, so I sent her on to school the next morning. I called the principal and explained these new injuries. They had seen many of her self-harming injuries in the 6 months she had attended school there.
At 1pm the day she returned to school, May 6th 2008. CPS and the city cop Officer Dickey showed up at my door. I told them that I should have expected them, and they began to explain why they were there. When they described her as bruised from the waste up, I asked them what happened at school? I asked them why the school was not watching her and allowed her to hurt herself so severely. About ten minutes later I realized what was actually being said, they were accusing me of beating this child. They refused to allow me to talk to her. The CPS worker Raelynn Miller then told me that KS wanted her soap for going back to WBI. I told the worker that WBI would not except her back, and explained that situation. CPS just huffed at me and told me that they were taking her to WBI as soon as WBI called her back. KS told 4 people at the school and 5 people at the ER that she had hit her eye on the spicket. (She had and still has a 5 year old mentality and if you could get any answer out of her about her injuries, it just showed the counselor had guided me to the right path.) That night (may 6th 2008) I received a phone call from Gillette mental hospital, it was the CPS worker. She explained that when they arrived at the hospital KS had suddenly turned on her and demanded to talk to me, CPS stated that she demanded that they call her Elizabeth (her middle name). CPS was obviously very scared of this child at this point. I spoke with KS and Told her I was proud of her for telling the truth. I was able calm her down. On Thursday of that week we had the emergency hearing. I was flabbergasted at their allegations. John was also in shock. CPS had told us that they would leave her in the mental hospital till she was diagnosed and then help her to get into a short term treatment facility. So in court we agreed to leave her in their custody till we had taken the correct parenting classes, that they said they could get for us easily. John and I immediately went to the hospital to visit her. When we arrived we noticed she had signs that she had been self harming again. We pointed it out to the nurse and she made a note of it. (later after we told CPS about the notation that day, it was no longer apart of her file) In less than a month, CPS became ugly. John was taken to the police station on 2 separate occasions and shown phonied up pictures. They tried to make him lie and say that I would do that. When he refused the city officer made it his duty to stalk and harass my family till we finally were forced to move in 2010.
They wanted a home study, so we completed that. They wanted access to my family's counselor reports, we gave them that. We offered her private counselor in Casper Cindi Parrish, they would not look at that (till this day they have never requested a copy of those records). We told them KS's history and that no contact was allowed with the mother or the maternal grandparents, they ignored that. After the first phone call with her mother... she tried to run away from the school.They removed KS from the mental hospital before she was diagnosed. They lied to the doctor at the hospital and then they lied to the staff at C-V a boces program. I kept pushing till I found someone at the school willing to listen to KS's history (CPS decided that her history was of no importance to her treatment). CPS tried to label her bi-polar, the doctor went against them, which is why they moved her so quickly.
Around August of that year CPS called the county sheriff's office and informed them that my family had purposely missed an appointment with her for a home study. We were not at home at the time. My mother lived down the street and warned us not to come home. My mother told me that a Sheriff's car was sitting in her drive way, another was sitting at our house, another was set up on the main road in to our little neighborhood, and yet two more were watching the exits. We got our 6 girls to safety and the next day went into the Sheriff's office to find out what was going on. The officer told me that we had missed our home study appointment and that he was going to take our other 6 girls. I explained that the home study was already filed with the court and had been for at least a week. Officer Odenbach then said I will find out right now, he ran across the parking lot into the court. We finished with the other officers, making sure we were in the clear. As we walked out Officer Odenbach was approaching. I asked him if he found it. Officer Odenbach, stated snidely, "yeah it was there but you are a child abuser and you don't deserve to have your kids".
When we were allowed in court again, I explained to the judge just what CPS was doing to my family... Judge Fenn ordered Mrs. Barb Pruett on the case. Before this hearing the Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) had been ugly, they called us names, told us to shut up that we were child abusers and any time we tried to bring what was best for KS into the meeting we were treated like criminals. I appealed their decision (here they have someone from CPS, go to their office and listen to the facts) It was found that the excessive discipline was unfounded. During this appeal hearing the social worker admitted to committing perjury during the emergency hearing. Yet even though the only supposed witness to KS saying that quote I lifted her with one arm and flung her around the laundry-mat, then beat her while holding her up in the air with one arm..was Raelynn Miller, yes the one who admitted to lying during the first hearing. I filed an appeal with the court next. I called to be sure that they received it, they had. Yet we never had another appeal hearing, when I questioned Judge Fenn about this..... He had no knowledge of the paperwork nor the appeal. With Barb on the case the next MDT meeting was empty. Jan Flaherty was the only one to show, the GAL. He informed Barb and I that he visited with KS and was describing their day, when he got to the part where he was leaving. KS asked him to take her out to eat next time so they could be alone. I quickly, yet as kindly as I could, explained to him that she was asking him out on a date. The GAL was instantly angry with ME!! I tried to explain that he should not go to see her alone, that this was the training she had received for dealing with men... He stormed out of the meeting instantly. I was grasping for the right words and was in shock trying to explain to Barb that she does not know any better but that if he refuses her or they are alone she would touch him inappropriately. This could cause him to get into trouble and I was just trying to protect him and KS. Barb said she would talk to him and that according to the Wyoming codes that he could not visit her alone. From that point on the GAL hated my family. Barb started our parenting classes and each week we would meet to discuss what we learned (yes, Barb took the classes with us). She started working toward KS being able to visit home during Easter break.
Suddenly and without warning Barb was snatched off the case. No more parenting classes, no more empty MDT meetings, no more respect, no more working towards KS coming home. No reason was ever stated. Barb was threatened by CPS Kathy Diess (district manager). When we were allowed to go court again. I tried to explain to the judge that the order stated that Barb complete our parenting classes. CPS was alleging that we had not completed any of the family plan, that we were not working to get our daughter home. Though we had done everything they asked. John had lost his job, his boss said that when the mess with his daughter was over he would rehire him, but he could not take CPS's harassment any more. Due to this our rent had fallen behind by 2500$. CPS said that we had to participate in the wraparound program. We asked our minister, but he said CPS told him he was not allowed. So we went to this meeting not knowing what would happen? Well, nothing. That is right nothing, no one showed except for the lady in charge. We showed her our recent letter from our landlord. She said that it would be no trouble to help us get this rent paid up, but she needed to check with CPS first. She called and came back to tell us that CPS denied our request and that CPS said that she was not allowed to help us in any way. The next court hearing, CPS stated to the court that we asked for cash and not for help with the rent. I explained to the judge and showed him the letter from our landlord that included their phone number and address. Clearly showing we asked for our rent to be paid to our landlord not us. CPS said that we lied. So we received no help.
In the first week of April of 2009, CPS came to my home alleging that my other six girls were being abused? I laughed them out my house, especially after Kari Packard (CPS) started to fake cry in my kitchen to officer Odenbach, over my girls bedroom being small.. He explained to her the size of the bedroom was not illegal!
CPS stormed out. The next day I get a call asking for me to meet with CPS at their office. I walk into the meeting and was shocked to see our family counselor sitting there. John had gone on an emergency trip about his mother to S.C. This counselor who had told me time and time again that she had never met a mother who watches over their children emotional, educational and physical well being so well. She had told me that I was the best mother she had ever come into contact with? Yet, here she was telling me to sign my six girls over to CPS, for their best interest??? I found out a month later CPS had threatened to take her two little ones if she did not do as CPS said! I laughed at them both and walked out!... On Friday afternoon, the same week, Officer Odenbach and CPS (Kari) showed up at my house telling me that they were taking my girls for abuse and the hearing would be the next week?? My mother was there and we cried. How could these people just kidnap my girls and no one stop them?? Less than a week after the Emergency hearing.... I received a phone call from the foster parent, it said that my 5th daughter KMH had gotten a broken arm. She said that she had made this child get on a half broken horse and then walked away from her and the horse, and the horse threw my then 9 year old. (This is where is gets really interesting.) She then made this child wait for nearly two hours for my oldest to get off of work, and then decided to take her to the ER. I was told by Gordon Grant(a supervisor for CPS) that I could attend all of KMH's appointments for her arm. I went to the first one with no problem... The second appointment was 4 weeks after the supposed fall, She had lied about the appointment time and when I arrived she was already gone, the doctor's told me that CPS had told them I was no longer allowed to have any access to my daughter's medical reports??? I found out that night (my girls had a play) that the foster mother had approved early removal of the cast, but that the doctor said that KMH should not be handling any weight of more than 2 to 5 pounds, a second foster mother (with a newborn, a one year old, and a two year old) handed this 9 year old child her 1 year old and told her not to put her son down...??? I tried to speak to my 9 year old and this foster mother blocked me from speaking to my daughter (the judge had ordered full access at all school functions, I have recordings of my girls running to me after waiting by the door at the school), yet this person would not allow me to speak to my daughter nor would she allow my daughter to put down her 25 pound child. My oldest N was threatened by the foster mother that if she came to her house before 6pm that she would have her sent across the state to another foster home and she would not be allowed to see her sisters. My daughters were taken to a park for foster kids, for adoptive parents to choose their children they would adopt?? My girls showed great fear of these two foster mothers, and when the judge in the last hearing was saying a great thanks to these great people, I wanted to puke! My girls told me of horrid name calling, of these females snatching on my child's ears to drag them off of a three bed high bunkbed, of dragging them down the stairs with their arms pulled over their heads, so much abuse.... abused by CPS and with the full permission of the state of WYOMING!?!?!?
Just before CPS stole my 6 girls, I received paperwork from S.C. from my ex-husband. During the beginning of the case on KS, I gave documentation as to the dangers of my ex. I gave the documentation of his abuse of my 5 girls, born during our marriage. When I went to the hearing in S.C. his lawyer was requesting me to pay his attorney fees.... So the attorney submitted his bill as evidence. In this bill I found a bill for February of 2009... This bill showed his attorney talking to CPS in Wyoming, and His lawyer talking to the Johnson county Sheriff's office. I gave judge Fenn a copy of all the documentation that I had given CPS earlier, during the hearing for my 6 girls. The judge ruled no contact with Mr. Hudson (my ex). Here in Wyoming the emergency hearing automatically places your child for three months without any redress! During one of my supervised visits with my girls, Mr. Flaherty (yes the same GAL) stated that he had never seen children so open with their parents or as connected to each other and their parents as my girls. Yet during the 6 girls MDT meeting he was full of hate and venom. My oldest daughters told me that during one of his visits with my girls he told them that they needed to tell him about my beating KS? They of course told the truth and told him that I never hurt KS. He continued till he was threatening them that if they did not lie... He would make sure they were forced to their biological father 's house!! He showed my family that day, that my girls were not taken for abuse, they were taken because they had no evidence that KS was ever hurt by anyone in my home. During this same time they threatened John and I that if I did not admit to beating KS, that they would arrest my oldest N and charge her with beating KS. We still held firm knowing they were getting desperate! We were given the same attorney as we had working on KS's case. She would play her blackberry in court and I had to fight to be heard. In over a year she had refused to look at the evidence I had gathered that proved our innocence??? We had reported her behavior to the judge twice before this case was started. Each time we asked the judge for a new attorney the DA and CPS would tell the judge that if we fired her that we should not have any chance at getting another attorney unless we paid for it, so they would scare us into to keeping her. Judge Fenn tried to correct these severe problems by ordering her to view our evidence and to make time to go over the evidence with us, She never followed any court order as CPS also ignored his orders. The GAL was ordered on three separate occasions to get the court transcripts from the S.C. court that had ordered KS into our care.... The GAL made many excuses, but never turned over those transcripts , that ordered no contact with the biological mother, nor the maternal grandparents.
Judge Fenn ordered CPS to get a copy of My fourth daughter T's counseling notes from during the time my ex had visitation, and the PTSD she had and the flat a-fect he had caused twice in only a year due to his abuse. They finally did get a copy of that, after they received that file, CPS chose not to go after my children any further and released them to us... When the judge was finally allowed to hear this case, he ordered my children returned.(we had signed an agreement more than a week before the hearing and CPS promised that the children would be home immediately, they lied again.) School had just let out, CPS sent my two oldest to Laramie for a summer college program (in their fragile mental states and how protective they were over their little sisters, this was against the children's best interest). They had altered my daughters school records and forced two into summer school for remedial help in Math and English... My children all 6 were A-B honor roll students... These things were done to separate them and mentally abuse them, by keeping them from those who would protect them.
After my girls were returned home, we were summoned to court again... The state was asking us to pay them child support for the time these children were held from us. This was my first opportunity to show Judge Fenn the lawyers bill I had received in S.C. court. He asked me what it was, I told him that it proved that CPS had contacted my ex 2 months before they kidnapped my children, and it proved that Johnson county Police had assisted CPS in giving my ex our address, that we had filed paperwork proving that he was a danger to me and our children, and they had given him our information.... breaking state and federal laws. At this point the judge leapt from his chair and charged into his office, yelling out 15 minute recess... The child support attorney looked as us just as shocked as we were at the judges reaction! When he returned, Judge Fenn informed us and the attorney that he could not look at this evidence! That if he did, he would have to arrest all of the CPS office in Johnson county, more than half of the CPS office in Sheridan county, and his own Bailiff, officer Odenbach... for kidnapping and a myriad of other charges. He did order that we do not owe any child support and in his order he stated that CPS never had any reason to take my 6 girls!
During all of this CPS and the MDT gang (the CASA worker was the program director in KS's case)(the GAL, CPS workers and their bosses, the DA's office) were badgering us to visit KS, who was placed on the other side of the state and costs to us were more than 400 dollars per visit, John still could not hold a job because within 1 week of us informing them where he was working he was released from employment. We were once again summoned to S.C. for the exes custody hearing. we were only given 5 days notice. My oldest daughter gave us the three hundred that she had saved from working and her and her friends took up money so that we could get down there.... We went with 6 hundred dollars... We barely made it there, we went to court...... The judge refused to hear the ICPC appeal I had filed. See since the girls had lived in Wyoming for four years, they had to judge if S.C. had the right to make any orders... the judge ordered him 30 day visit in spite of the fact that my children would be forced to miss more than a week of school due to his order. The judge refused to hear from my two oldest, he refused any evidence that this would harm these children. My daughters were irate and terrified!! They started screaming when I told them what was happening.... The judge then (in the hall way) told the bailiff to hold me in custody till these girls went to this monsters house. This was my last time seeing my girls... That weekend my ex had found me and threatened me that if he saw me and my youngest daughter again he would kill us. John had found a job in S.C. and he gave us 400 and we took a bus home. On August 26th, the date they were supposedly allowed to come home. My husband went in the morning to pick them up, we found out that these children did not tell him when John (their daddy) was picking them up. So being the considerate person I am, I called him and let him know the girls were with John... He was IRATE !! He cussed me and after a few minutes I hung up on him! My girls told us how they had to run away from them and started telling us how much abuse they had suffered during those thirty days (I was in Wyoming talking to them over the phone). John found a piece of paper blowing around in his mom's yard (where they were staying, while I was working on getting them the rest of the money they needed to head home). My oldest read it to me.... It said there was a court hearing the next morning.. to shorten this story the courts handed him my children, the children called CPS there and were told they had to be 18 to report the abuse. They called the local DV center, they were told they had to 18 to be helped. They called the police who also said it did not matter what he did! When he arrived to get my girls... he arrived with three police cars... My girls hid! the police searched my mother-in-laws home with guns drawn, when they forced my children out of their hiding places.... these so called officers forced them to my exes vehicles at gun point!! The officers told my girls that if they tried to run from him for any reason that they would lock the two oldest up for kidnapping and have them charged with felonies! The officers at one point got on the phone with me, I tried to explain that these girls are terrified because of the abuse he had already done during the thirty days... he said it did not matter... I asked for a police report recording what my girls were trying to tell these officers, he said that there would be no police report and handed the phone back to my husband.
I found out later that his lawyer Braddock worked for Senator Saleeby. I had read an article in the Florence morning news in 2002 about Saleeby murdering his wife in her sleep, and that no charges were ever filed even though he admitted everything to the police. I knew at this point why every judge and official chose to turn their heads from my girls in their time of need... They were scared of Saleeby! We got back in court, and Judge Murdock heard all of the testimony, at the beginning of the hearing, he ruled that the August 26th hearing was illegal and that till the hearing was over temporary custody went to Mr. Hudson. During the hearing he heard how Mr. Hudson had abandoned the children and made no attempt to contact me or them (inspite of a court order directing him to write a letter each May requesting 3 separate weeks of visitation during the summer). I proved I had kept the same mailing address and had gone through the expense of insuring that he could contact me. His lawyer (Braddock) called CPS of S.C. in, they had received a report that Mr. Hudson was seen raping my second oldest in his yard. This worker admitted that after speaking with Mr. Hudson and he impressed upon them who his lawyer was, that they never spoke to my girls, never investigated the charges and left my girls to be abused. Mr. Hudson admitted that more than 60 animals had died in his house in the 5 months my girls were there but could not explain one death? The judges final order was that he was making this a permission to move to Wyoming hearing... I was to visit with my girls the next day while Mr. Braddock and Mr. Kilgo drew up his order. I sat with my girls that day praying for the order to be completed quickly. They were shy, and scared to even be touched... It took hours for them to let their guards down, but by the end of the visit my second oldest sat in my lap and I rocked her (she was 15) she cried softly. When the time came for them to go back they locked themselves up again, in a way that will torment me till the day I die. I have never seen them since. His lawyers waited till the thirtieth day at 4:30pm to hand the judge the order they created. The judge signed it without reading it, His lawyers gave him custody. I have a copy of the transcripts, when I challenged the reporters version she notified his lawyers... an odd thing to do if they had not had these transcripts altered.. I payed 1500 dollars. Yet if you read the transcripts you will find the proof that the orders are not accurate They left in there Murdock's order for temporary custody, but changed the order stating that the previous August 26th hearing was not invalid. If the hearing was not invalid then he would have had no reason to order temporary custody? When I called to ask for one last visit with my girls (the order gives him full power over any contact I have with my girls at his discretion) He ranted and raved angry that I was returning to Wyoming. He also denied me even a phone call with them. I have that recorded on tape, as alot of the phone calls before this hearing and all of them after. The pain, the screams, it would turn a cold heart to mush!! Knowing these children were happy, healthy girls with a great life ahead of them and to hear the pain in their voices and the loss of any hope. My oldest 2 are now over 18, yet if they leave his house he will kill the younger ones. They have not been allowed to date, they have not been allowed in sports (here the second oldest was 2nd in state for discus throwing) they are not allowed to contact me in any way. My youngest wrote them a letter and sent a picture to them... He received the letter and picture and never told them about the letter but finally allowed them to have the picture... He had them create facebook pages but he has locked them out of those pages and they now not allowed to write me on here or on paper. He controls all phone calls. I have tried to fight to have his bogus child support brought to my state to be heard so that the proper judges will hear the case, his lawyer has blocked S.C. from sending the documents required for me to get into court for three years.
Then we returned home with the majority of our family missing. During KS's next MDT meeting (remember they know how abusive he is and at this point know that he has raped at least one child) These monsters calling themselves the MDT group... wrote at the end of the MDT summary the the 5 girls were with their father where they deserved to be!??!? It still hurts each time I think that these people actually believe that an honest respectable child deserves to be beaten and raped!
These people were not done with my family though. They had forced KS into phone calls with her maternal grandparents only because the mother disappeared for a while... The lunatics sent my baby down to these monsters. They did not do a complete home study no financial statement was ever completed and neither adult in the house worked... They cut off phone calls between KS, me and my youngest E. They were angry that I was recording these phone calls... it caught the grandparents telling KS what to say. KS and her mother were arrested in January for shop-lifting, the original order was that the mother have no contact with KS, but in less than 2 months, not only was she seeing KS, but living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed. CPS kept okaying every break of court orders just to keep that child out of Wyoming. CPS then paid for an attorney to help these grand-parents to get custody of KS. They had ordered a court hearing to take away mine and John's parental rights away, but after the lawyer the court gave us... showed them just half of my evidence against them... CPS took an order to Jackson Hole Wyoming to get a judge there to sign it, and dismissed the hearing to take the parental rights away. By helping the grandparents go after custody in S.C. CPS's illegal actions would not be heard in our state! Well KS's biological mother was held by the police and KS returned to the grandparents, for the shop-lifting. The mother was released on a Thursday night or Friday morning. By Saturday morning she was dead in the same house KS was forced to be at! This is where it gets fun??? The coroner came to their house and no autopsy was performed on a 38 or so year old woman... Her parents had her cremated by noon the same day she was supposedly discovered dead??? no funeral, no wake.... nothing!!
My mother died a week or so later and KS was allowed to go to her funeral and wake. She saw her sisters but since the Douglas's were such good friends of Mr. Hudson, they kept my girls away from KS as much as possible. (Where was I?? HOME... My mother had gone down there to help free the 5 girls in any way she could, knowing that her lungs would only hold for a few months.. She called me in January..before my brother tossed her into a hospice center and abandoned her... and made me promise her that no matter what happened to her I would not go down there...I asked her why?? She told me that Mr. Hudson would kill me or have me thrown in jail, that my girls had asked her to pass a warning to me from them..) (My mom knows I always keep my promises and never lie) I kept my promise and stayed home. My girls are scared for my safety and the only way they know how to protect me and all of their little sisters is to stay....

Now you might think after all of this CPS had won??? Nope! After just a few months they took off with KS and I found her in Myrtle Beach. They had absconded with this child for three months. During an MDT meeting, they were apologizing that they could not reach the grandparents though they had called repeatedly. I had to inform them where these people had taken my daughter. (Yes I have that meeting recorded too.) CPS forced the Douglas's to return to Darlington County
They allowed one phone call between my husband and his daughter in Natrona county CPS's office.... There this child who still only has a 5 to 7 year old mind.... asked her daddy if he would go to the grandparents house and beep the horn... she said she would run out to his car and he could take her to a motel room for the night. She also talked of her grandparents buying a beach house with cash??? During the next MDT meeting this was brought up and no more phone calls were allowed. We received a call from CPS in Johnson county in April... the 26th, 2013 that our daughter was taken by CPS in Darlington county... sexual abuse, and someone beating on her... My husband left on the 29th to try to bring her home. The social worker there said that it seemed as if Wyoming CPS had abandoned her and that he was working on getting custody back to us. After 2 weeks they finally set up a visit between John and KS. The day he went to see her, he was met by a super upset social worker... the social worker had just received news that KS had been snatched from the foster home... after an hour or two, he was told Wyoming CPS took KS from the foster home (in S.C. no child can leave CPS's care without a court order) There was no order so legally speaking they kidnapped her and CPS there helped them to cover it up.
They brought KS to Wyoming and locked her in a kids jail, had an Emergency hearing which I faxed an appeal... that seems to have disappeared before the judge could see it (I requested a postponement of the hearing as her father was still in S.C. and we asked for a third time for a change of venue because of Odenbach's threats) Sorry the day the hearing was scheduled to try to take our rights away, we went to the court house.. The secretary got us a copy of the dismissal (this was our first chance to get our evidence into court) as we were leaving, Officer Odenbach ran into the court house (he ran past us as we were in the elevator) He turned and try to block us from leaving the court house... I pushed passed (John and I each had all of our evidence in 2 boxes and it occurred to me that he might be trying to steal it) He made a very clear threat to us both... that if he ever catches either of us at any county office or building for any reason that he would have us arrested on the spot and he would make up a reason! We went to the DA's office to ask him to look at our evidence.. he told us in his waiting room he did not need to see our evidence because it did not matter if we were innocent!! In his parking lot I received my returned call from the Sheriff of Johnson county... I explained to him what Odenbach had threatened and let him in on some other things... He said he did not allow that type of behavior from his officers and he would call me back... He never did!! I called him three more times during the next 8 days and he could never be reached.
CPS had the hearing, nothing was mentioned of the appeal. KS was locked up like she was the criminal. Three weeks later they moved her back to C-V where she had had more than 24 sexual incidents.... In less than a week she had another sexual incident?? No they were not caring for her, just housing her... Then I received paperwork that indicated my baby was pregnant... (because of previous MDT meetings where the grandparents were not getting KS any medical attention nor counseling) I knew... that this was the real reason why. But within weeks of me realizing what CPS here was hiding, I received another report showing that KS was forced to an OBGYN and that now they could drug her all they want (they killed my grandchild)
The last MDT meeting was recently... they are making plans to send her back to the grandparents. They are working with S.C. CPS to clear the grandparents charges of abuse so they can return her to their abuse. When I tried to find out when they were going to plan to let her come home or at least get her into a safe place... they continually spoke over me and then terminated the call-in to the meeting... They are not allowing the new GAL to speak to us, they are not allowing the new CASA worker to speak to us... I asked during the meeting why?? They refused to answer and said I was speaking irrationally???
The state of Wyoming has a law that after 18 to 22 months if the parents rights are not taken that the child must be returned to their parents... it has crossed 60 months and they will not allow the case to be transferred out of Johnson and Sheridan County's control?? We need help!! My 5 are trapped in S.C. and are not allowed to come home... They have his child who is emotionally handicapped and hurt by all the abuse before we got her and after CPS got her... They will not allow us to get into court to show our evidence... Kidnapping a child to abuse is still illegal??? ISN'T IT????

John and Jessica Smith and their little sister E

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege. - Charles Kuralt

Ever since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided two cases back in 1995, Care and Protection of Isaac, 419 Mass. 602 (1995) and Care and Protection of Jeremy, 419 Mass. 616 (1995), the DCF has had almost complete control of all children in its custody. A judge will only interfere if DCF is committing what is called an abuse of discretion. As with all things in the strange world of child protection, the DCF has been given a gift of protection from lawsuits, called qualified immunity. That is a fancy name for being lawsuit-proof in most cases. Right now, until someone succeeds in getting a court to change the situation, DCF agents are immune from suits for all discretionary decisions. Which in Mass means you lose. My opinion; forget the past, move on toward the future, and use time wisely. The farther you get away from this matter the better you will feel, and the more likely it will become a part of your distant past that no one cares about. Sharing your knowledge, champion for new laws or changes in the current ones, and assisting others in your situation is a much better use of your time and energy then beating your head against a wall trying to fight an agency deeply protected by the current system & laws.

Investigation of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families by the United States Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act (DJ No. 204-36-216 and HHS No. 14-182176)
Mentally slow mother lost to DCF, sued for civil rights infringement/discrimination, won her child back

My grandson was adopted out of the MA system at the age of 4 1/2. He had been in several foster homes (7-8 in 4 years), lived in a halfway house with his biological mother and exposed to various sexual encounters and even abuse as an infant. He has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and severe attachment disorders. He is now 14 and will be 15. He has been in trouble in school, sexual complaints filled out by younger girls, suspended from school, placed in alternative programs, mainstreamed back into school, attacked his younger brother and father and now information has been discovered that he has been involved in "bullying" episodes involving younger boys. He egged the boys on to fight until one child (10 yrs old) was bleeding and then paid money to the "winner." He was hospitalized once and put into a CBT program for 10 days. He shows no remorse for his actions and does not demonstrate that he has an understanding of right and wrong.
Under supervision, he is an angel but constant supervision of an almost 15 year old is not a reality.
He has been in therapy and told the therapist that his parents abused him. As a result, the parents were under investigation for abuse and neglect. All turned out to be "not true" but the family suffered. The family is abused by this disturbed child.
My point in all of this is to challenge Children's Services and hold the State of MA liable for the trauma this child suffered while in the system. The trauma is now becoming evident. He is disturbed, a danger to younger children and a threatening presence to the family.
This boy needs a therapeutic residential program now, before it is too late. His problems are the direct result of negligent placements and supervision by state workers. Hence, it is the family's position that the state of MA must be held accountable and must compensate the family and child by assuming the costs associated with a therapeutic residential program.

Hi, who was your attorney who won the fair hearing for you? I am in same boat and need a good attorney to fight my case, as DCF has just finished their 10 days investigation with 'Supported' finding and I need to request for the fair hearing at the earliest.

I had my daughter taken away by Dcf back in 2004 and was given to my abuser. My daughter spent a majority of time taken care of a drunken man. My daughter was his care giver. She would take care of his bed pans and clean up after him. Her father drank 1 pint of whiskey a day. He now is dying he needs a liver transplant because of all the drinking he did. He anilated her from me so I really never got to see her. So his sister ended up calling Dcf who in turn took custody away from him to eventually give her back to him and now he lost custody again because he punched her with a close fist well guess what they took her away again. I am so sick of the games Dcf playing their games they have been talking to my daughter saying not to come back to me full time. Between the lawyers playing games and Dcf I have had enough!

DCF is stealing our children. They took my grandson from my oldest daughter that was caring for my other daughter who happens to be the mother. Anyway, DCF tried every dirty trick in their defense to remove my grandson from her care because according to them he was in danger. My daughter had three of her own children that can talk, walk, climb and get into more danger if that were the excuse and they removed my grandson from her whom at the time was not walking, in a walker and could not reach anything to be put in danger. However, they removed him and left the other three. I don't get it. DCF made my daughter choose between siblings which one to give up so that she can keep the other only to lose both. I would love to sue DCF and this has nothing to do with money for my pocket, but so that this is not ever repeated again and so that the reigns be taken away from them. They did not consider me nor any other member of my grandchildren, just placed them with strangers. Stripped us of our children and fabricated a lot of untruth to gain access of our love ones. I am still heart broken. I sincerely believe that in this country if you are poor you do not have a leg to stand on. They say pro bono but you don't get the full extend of a paid for lawyer even thou that lawyer is suppose to represent as if the money is coming from your pocket. However, the court appointed ones that my daughter got sided with the agency and suggested that my induced drug addict daughter make that awful decision. May God grant me the lawyer that would have mercy and compassion and help us get our children back and sue the pants of DCF.

Ive been dealing wit DCF now for Alomst 10yrs . They removed my children( 3) and 18 months later gave back 2. Dcf will not return my son. Said theres no male figure in the home. I have so stuff on them. I want my son HOME WERE HE BELONGS. I NEED HELP PLEASE

DCF accused me of neglect towards my granddaughter whom I have been raising since birth (she is now 13). The original 51A was opened 2/21/17, I had a fair hearing 5/18/17. It is now 6/2/17 and nothing has been done. My granddaughter is still in my custody and no service has been given to my family. The only thing DCF has accomplish is to have my doctor discontinue my pain medicines because of false claims that I am selling them. I have been on the same medicine for at least 7 years and have gone from 80mg to 15mg. If I was selling them you would think I would want to keep getting the 80mg. I have Disc Degeneration Disease, fibromyalgia, no cartilage in both knees, and chronic myeliod leukemia. By not being able to manage pain has significantly reduce the quality and quantity time I can have with my granddaughter. This is the ninth report that has been brought against me for the same thing and all the other reports have been unsupported and unfounded. Every time one of my family members get mad at me they call DCF. It is no coincidence that the allegations were made at the same time I kicked my daughter out of my home. I have tried to cooperate to the fullest with all their request but enough is enough.. I don't want this case to go on for years just because they can do it. There is a real need to have DCF completely overhauled.

Submitted Sat, 01/27/2018 - 13:10

I will say I have been an attorney for 20 years helping parents fight against DCF. The system is totally unfair to parents. The system is broken and needs to be repaired. Families are being tortured by the State. The problem is parents generally do not want to speak out because the State has their children and they are in fear of retaliation. I have successfully won 90% of the Fair Hearings I have done against the Department. Most case workers (I call them case workers because they do no social work what so ever) have no idea of what the Department's policies and regulations say. So how can they abide by them? I could go on and write a book about DCF and the juvenile legal system. I am always up for a good legal battle against DCF. The issue is most parents can not afford an attorney. These cases can cost ten's of thousands of dollars. If you do not like the attorney appointed to you by the court ask for another one, you have the right to do so. There are some good ones out there. I have been a court appointed attorney for almost 20 years but I also do private work as well. Maureen Booker, Esq.

It took me months to learn about the Child Advocate, and State Auditor (The OSA), Susan Bump. For all who have been retaliated against by DCF, or who have lost your kids, or been subjected to their HORRIFIC abuses of Power, you MUST CONTACT THESE PEOPLE AND REPORT. DCF are the most corrupt State Agency in Massachusetts. I had the audacity to file for a "Fair Hearing," and they have done the most unlawful things humanly imaginable to me. Took my children, twice, had me section 12d, violated me, my husband's. My children's and my parents Civil, Constitutional, and Disability rights. So arrogantly that they documented what they did into their Family Net database. File complaints with OCA, OSA, MCAD, the US DOJ -Civil Rights department. File for Grievance Processes. You write a letter of wrong doings of your "Social Workers," and send it Priority mail to their Area Director and to the OCA in Boston, and ask to have them replaced. Area Director has 20 days to investigate and get back to u. That wont happen. DO NOT TRUST THE DCF OMBUDS OFFICE, DO NOT TRUST THE DCF COMMISSIONER, NOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS THEIR LAWYER! Communicate as much as possible by email. They are the scum of this EARTH. I have done everything possible to fight them, and now I am going after their licenses to practice Social Work. File complaints with the department of professional licensing Social Work Board. Fill out the form and submit the best evidence you have. There are no fees to do this, just always send certified mail or priority mail with return receipts.

DCF is responsible for the sexual abuse of our daughter and 4 yrs of emotional abuse, retaliation etc etc etc. in May 2013 I took an emergency placement of a preteen boy, no paperwork accompanied him, "bring later" I was told "relative died other relative needed to be cleared, short term placement". Never rec'd paperwork - many written requests, many emails requesting removal, the finally I delivered him bags and all to DCF (Lowell) office mid August. 2 weeks later on our daughters 5th Birthday - she disclosed to my husband - he was devastated. Reported to DCF - nothing happened. We then learned through other sources that he had been removed from previous placement for being a sexual predator. DCF told us because he was young it was "privileged info" couldn't share - they also placed him in a home with 3 young girls after us - I called and alerted her when I found out. I was reprimanded. I fostered over 30 yrs. we sued, we are appealing, last judgement by Judge LU "DCF not responsible for the actions of children placed in our home" MGL 258 section 10(j). Bullshit-sexual abuse by proxi - THEY (DCF) All new his history, they all lied to keep him in placement, they refused to relocate him. We will not rest til they are held accountable.

I know what has happened to your family was (and continues to be) devastating, but finding your story has been a Godsend to me. My family is going through a very similar situation. I am wondering if you would be willing to email me or speak with me over the phone? Perhaps the outcome of your situation or anything that you've learned along the way could help my family navigate the nightmare we've been living in. Here's a little bit about our story...

My husband and I have 4 children. We are both licensed educators. My husband is a Post 9/11 U.S. Army Veteran. DCF's actions destroyed our business, a state licensed early childhood program - a work of heart that we have devoted our lives to build throughout the past 8 years. Prior to DCFs involvement, we had spotless records as educators. Our personal & professional reputations have been ruined, as has the reputation of our business, from a state to a local level. I went to school for 10 years to be a teacher, while being a mom and, in an instant, DCF took it all away. Our business qualifies to be a non- profit. We never could have been prepared to sustain such a devastating financial loss. DCF took away our livelihood (our ability to support our family) and robbed our community of an exceptional early childhood program. With a background in Psychology & Education, we have been entrusted to care for some of our communities most vulnerable children - the children that other early childhood programs "expel", "kick out", or otherwise don't want to deal with.

DCF interfered with every aspect of our lives, violated their own policies, went against M.G.L. (Mass. General Law) & even manipulated our local school district into filing a 51A AND court papers for the educational neglect of our 8 year old son, even though he was being homeschooled and was exempt from the MA attendance law due to complications regarding his disability.

We made the last minute decision to homeschool him in Sept. 2017 because the school refused to provide him with the OT services he needs to manage his Pediatric Tic Disorder (similar to Tourette's) in school - even though he has: (1) a formal diagnosis from a pediatric neurologist; (2) a documented medical history of Lyme disease, which lead to the development of the Tic Disorder; (3) a medical form that says that he was supposed to be under our constant supervision at that time; (4) his IEP papers, which include the OT evaluation performed by the school & proof that he was denied of services...the list goes on, if you can believe it.

The DCF investigator that came to our home to investigate declined to see ALL of the paperwork previously mentioned, as well as his schoolwork, curriculum materials, and our professional licenses & certificates as state licensed educators. Evidence suggests that the investigator & the principal had no knowledge of the law they were entrusted to enforce. A clerk magistrate understood our situation within a few minutes after our hearing began, yet the DCF investigator somehow "supported" the allegation of educational neglect/truancy when she never even looked at any of our paperwork! That's simply RIDICULOUS. Nevermind the fact that our son grew up in a SCHOOL! The investigator walked into our School Room the moment she entered our home. He could read before he even entered kindergarten. The first thing he noticed when he walked into his kindergarten classroom was that there was an island missing off the coast of Japan on his teachers world map!

Evidence also suggests that DCF discriminated against our family due to my husband's service connected disability & somehow convinced our local school district to file court papers & the 51A in order to justify their involvement in our lives.

Our clients were taken out of our Program with no warning. Moms were crying on their way out the door & did not understand what was happening & because we had no knowledge of the law or of DCF policy at the time, we could not provide them with a reasonable explanation as to why.

With our business in ruins & our professional reputations destroyed, we were forced into poverty & left without the ability to provide our family with the basic necessities of life. We were forced to turn to community assistance programs that we were not previously reliant upon.

DCF brought inexcusable harm upon our family. I wanted to go public with our story from the beginning (back in Jan 2018 when our business was shut down) but I didn't. We remained quiet...until now. I've been battling with the reasons as to why that is ever since. Here are a few...

1. Survival/Financial Hardship. With four children, a house & a small farm (which was/is part of our education program) & little to no income to support them, much of our time and energy was devoted towards trying to meet our families basic needs each day...We hoped to live on our 2017 Tax Return throughout the appeals process, but the MA Dept of Revenue decided to do a Desk Audit on us this year. (I thought, "Are you kidding me?! Is DOR seriously going to waste hours & hours of time calculating how many glue sticks & packages of construction paper we bought last year? Good grief!") Since we've been unable to afford the ink & paper we need to photocopy last year's receipts & bank statements and mail them to the DOR as requested, we have yet to receive our 2017 tax refund...Did I fail to mention that our home has gone into foreclosure because of this? So now, I'm not only burning the midnight oil studying DCF Law & Education Law, but Mortgage Law, too... All of our Student Loans (about $100,000 worth) have defaulted, which means there's a slim chance of us being approved to rent a place if we do lose our home & NO chance of us being approved for a car loan in the near future, which is not so good, cuz our current vehicle is falling apart...My life insurance policy was also cancelled, so if I die unexpectedly my husband will have nothing in which to raise our 4 children...Our son's Cord Blood is about to be disposed of due to non-payment, he needs it - it could help treat his neurological problems. As a former pre-med student, I know just how precious & life saving stem cells can be... Our phones are shutoff half the time due to non payment (not good if our 2 oldest children's schools need to contact us). You get the idea. To be faced with such hardship is both crippling & HUMILIATING, regardless of how you got there.You don't exactly feel confident enough to go stand on a soapbox & proclaim how great you are, especially when you're up against one of the most powerful & most deceptive & most trusted of gov't organizations when you have no clue about the very few laws and policies that were put in place to protect you.

2. A BIG one for me... Grief. When something like this happens to good people who have integrity and who have worked hard to do the best they can for all the right reasons, something happens to their souls. They grieve. They grieve the loss of something meaningful & precious in their lives. We didn't just lose our income & our business, we lost our credibility, we lost respect, people no longer believed in us & that cuts DEEP. I was so crushed and in so much disbelief that I began to question everything I ever thought to be true about myself (the seed of doubt). I began to wonder, "Am I bad like they say I am? Is there something about myself that I'm not seeing?" We both fell into a hole of despair and it, undoubtedly, trickled down to our children and affected the overall health of each person within our family.

3. Lack of Information. We didn't know the law. We didn't know our rights. We knew nothing about DCF policy. Very little information was ever provided to us & its kept well hidden from the general public. We just kept letting the DCF workers in time and time again. We were cooperative and respectful. We put our faith in a system that we'd been trained to believe was put in place to protect us - a system that ended up destroying us in the end. Thankfully, I'm a resourceful human being & eventually found the information that we needed to support our case thanks to the internet & knowing the right quedtions to ask, but what about the people who aren't as resourceful , or who are so caught up in the day-to-day struggle to survive, that they simply do not have the time, or the energy, or the mental focus or the resources they need to conduct that type of research? My heart aches for them the most.

3. Death/Cancer/Illness. My husband was still grieving over the loss of his father who died 6 months prior (around the same time as one of my cousins); and then his brother died one month after our business was shutdown (Feb. 2018); and then TWO of my cousins (both young women in their early 30s) were diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer 2 months after my brother in law died (April 2018); and then my husband developed a dehabilitating head infection throughout the 2 weeks that I was supposed to be preparing our written argument & evidence for our DCF Fair Hearing (which doesnt seem too fair at all). To top it off, our pig (she was part of our children's program) DIED because of all of this nonsense. She became suddenly ill & we could not afford the vet services she needed. Try carrying a 260+ lb. dead pig up hill & breaking ground to bury her in winter conditions. I believe that is what lead to my husband and oldest son developing serious infections shortly thereafter.

Basically, DCF's actions destroyed our family's stability in every way possible..accept our faith, hope & love - cuz those are the 3 things that remain in the end, right?

Unable to afford a lawyer, or any type of Support Services for that matter (which, ironically enough, DCF is supposed to provide for a family in need) I had no other choice than to study law for hours each night after my family falls asleep, which (ironically enough) has prevented me from effectively homeschooling our 2 youngest children. I'll need to school them throughout the summer once this legal nightmare is resolved in order for them to pass to the next grade.

The good news is, all of my studying has paid off, cuz now I fully understand the laws and policies that were broken when it came to how DCF handled our case, all of which youd think would prepare us to have this legally overturned, but the appeals process is beyond lengthy & has a few low success rate. Besides, the damage has ALREADY BEEN DONE.

Our DCF Fair Hearing date already passed. We were unable to attend because (this sounds SO pathetic) we didn't have the gas money to drive ourselves there, nor to purchase the ink and paper that we needed to prepare our evidence. I appealled to the Ombudsman's Office in Boston and was granted permission to submit our evidence via written review. That means that we will submit our evidence through the mail so that we do not have to be physically present at a hearing. I'm grateful to have that opportunity, although am not entirely sure that we can trust that process, as all of our paperwork must be mailed to the DCF office where the corrupted social worker that handled our case is employed. He's conveniently left all pieces of information out that could justify the health and well being of our family OUT of our case file. Our case file is full of lies. But guess what? Lies are built with straw & this Little Piggy's house is made of bricks!

It's utterly sad and beyond disappointing that our legal system is designed in a way that gave his lies so much power.

The Ombudsman's Office agreed to ga ve us 2 weeks to submit our written argument and supporting evidence, but guess what? That's when my husband got his dehabilitating head infection & when our oldest son got his mysterious infection in his lungs (he and my husband are the only 2 people who moved and buried the pig.

Having no time to prepare due to their illness and having to run our household/farm all by myself with 3 young children, 2 of which have mild to mod. special needs, so I researched the law AGAIN and learned that Appellants have the right to request more time to prepare. I appealed to the Ombudsman's office one more time & was granted an additional 2 weeks.

All our paperwork is due by next Wed (5 days from now) and guess what? A puke virus has been going around our house! It's as if we've been plagued by demons, for real! But I'm not worried about that anymore cuz the light washes away the darkness. No matter how you look at it, that paperwork's getting submitted, even if I have to walk it there myself - 40 or so miles in my $5 Walmart shoes with puke stains all over the pages! Lol!

Anyway, I certainly didn't intend on writing so much. If you've made it to this point, I thank you & sincerely wish the best for you and your family & for anyone else who may be going through something something similar.

As a parent and an educator, I truly understand why there is a need for DCF - my husband and I are Mandated Reporters ourselves - but the fact that a state dept that was entrusted to protect the children and families within the Commonwealth knowingly brought so harm upon our family & the families that our education program served is unfathomable to me.

Furthermore, there was no commonsense practice when it came to handling our case in regards to how the Dept. of Ed. & DCF communicated with oneanother. The Dept. of Ed. was/is responsible for the licensing of our Program. As soon as DCF supported the 51A that was filed by the school district, we were presumed guilty & The Dept. of Ed. shut us down - they even sent an investigator to search our home to make sure that we didn't have any of our PreK students hiding in our basement! I know we had the right to refuse but thought that being cooperative would show that we had nothing to hide & would hopefully resolve things more quickly. It didn't. As if that wasn't humiliating enough, she had me sign a form that said that I understand that
I/we will be fined thousands of dollars per child if we continue to provide services to families.

I'd like to end with this because I think it's the root of it all. Somewhere along the way when I was very upset & very frazzled, after listening to me vent, my husband scribbled something on a piece of paper for me & put it on my desk. It said, "WE THE PEOPLE". I wasn't sure what he meant by that at the time, but shortly thereafter I happened to stumble upon the Massachusetts Constitution (something I didn't even know existed & that I'd encourage all MA residents to read).

The MA Constitution defines our rights as citizens - our right to the pursuit of happiness and to live naturalky and freely, among other wonderful things. It also says that the law is written in a way so that it can be argued, so that it can be used to support all citizens within their individual circumstances, so that it can protect us from harm & preserve our freedom.

Article 7 says, "In order to prevent those, who are vested with authority, from becoming oppressors, the people have a right, at such periods and in such manner as they shall establish by their frame of government, to cause their public officers to return to private life..."

The govt is supposed to represent the will of the People. It was created by the People & for the People. Those who are vested with authority are public servants, not the other way around, and they're supposed to have earned that privelage. Anyone that has the power to take someone's children away, to tear apart a family, to shut down a business (the accumulation of a person('s) life's work), and/or the change the course f a persons life without any evidence, etc. - that's like having more power than the president!

DCF is granted an obtuse amount of power that, based on my experience & research, is consistently abused. It's a sad day when a system that was established to protect children and support families has been more successful at tearing them apart than at keeping them together.

I would love to learn about any new developments in your case or about what you have learned since you shared your story here, as I truly believe that together we are stronger.

Thank you for your time!
(link to the MA Constitution)

Serious about pursuing law suit. Not licensed in MA need legal help.

why on earth is dcf / dss/ cps or whatever they are called in your area not yet closed down? i had one social worker cherry pick every person he had work with me because he was under the impression that when he went to court and lied that they would back him up in his lie (didn't happen) i had another tell me i had no right to feel anything but pure joy because i was a mother im currently being told that if i don't put my special needs child into a residential home they will remove him from my custody (he will be 18 in 8 months) i was once accused of sexually abusing my 2 eldest sons not because they were sexually abused but because i was when i was a child. i have so had enough for 30 years of my life these people have literally terrorized myself and my family as well as other people i have known i read these stories and i know them all to be true because i have seen first hand the outright lies they write in reports the omitted facts that do not support the case they are trying to build the constant breaking of their own rules and many many other things i have seen people myself included destroyed by accusations that are not true lied about in reports and court i really thought this was just the area i am from but i see now it's everywhere i really want to cry why are these people still allowed to forcibly remove children from homes where it is unneccessary why are they allowed to say you did things you didnt do to twist the truth and omit facts based on what? a belief system they hold a regualtion of law and why for half a story that is either not true or not accurate and these poor kids how can they be allowed to continue doing this to people?????

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