I have a open case with Division of Social Services (DSS). I have been fighting to get my little girl back for over a year now. I have done everything they have asked me to do.. I have done all the classes that have been required of me, plus some. I have passed every drug screen that they have given me, and I haven’t given them any reason to keep my baby. I get over night visits and they are suppose to be increased to 2 over night visits. I go back to court in April, and hopefully they will do a trial home placement with her.
At first, I tried to buck the system.. I read all their rules and regulations, I read state laws, I did everything that I could to make sure that I knew what I was dealing with and what they could and couldn’t do to me. DSS can do anything they want, it is all a case by case basis and most people think that they have to have a reason to take your kid, and that isn’t true. They can take your kid and then find a reason to keep your kid. That’s how our wonderful system works. It isn’t right but there isn’t anyone doing anything about it. They can legally kidnap children. Before I started dealing with DSS I was a person that thought that they were there to help families and get children out of bad situations, but going through it, it feels like they are there to keep your kid, not help you. Going through the system your not allowed to make mistakes, there is no room for error. If you get a flat tire on the way to one of your visits, they will report that in court and it will be held against you. If you are a addict and you have a relapse you loose everything and start completely over. You can’t call your caseworker and talk to them when your having a problem. You can’t go to them for any kind of help at all, otherwise it they will make it look like your doing something wrong, can’t support your child, or can’t care for your child. There have been many of times going through this that I just wanted to be able to turn to them for help, but I can’t because I loose my child and everything that I have worked for. It feels like you can’t make mistakes, life can’t happen, its not allowed and if life happens when your going through DSS, you loose your kid. Everything is centered around you loosing your child. Everyday, I live in fear, even though I am not doing anything wrong. I am trying to get my life together and make it better, and they make it almost impossible. Instead of being there to help you they are there to test you, to see how much they can put on you, to see if you will crack or not. They waste taxpayers money by keeping children in foster care, even when there is no need to. They waste taxpayers money by requiring children to be in state paid childcare, even though they have a stay at home parent.
I have a baby that I have missed out on so much of, because I haven’t been allowed to be there. Being through it I personally think that if the parent(s) are doing well, they should have their child back in their home. Why keep a child in foster care while you monitor the parents, and make sure that they are going to keep doing what they need to be doing. I think a child should stay out of the parents home for the least amount of time possible. As long as the parent is working with the system, and they can provide a safe home for the child, why keep the child out of the home for a year or more. How is that fair to the parents or the child? How is that best for the child?
Why take a baby from someone, who didn’t do anything wrong. Why take a baby from someone that didn’t test positive for drugs through out the pregnancy, didn’t test positive for drugs when the baby was born, the baby didn’t test positive for drugs, the parents had everything that they need for the baby when the baby was born, and the parents had a stable home environment for the child when the baby was born. The only reason that they took my baby was because of my past and what they thought I was doing, even though I had passed hair follicle test and UA’s for them. The only reason they had to take my child was my past.. Because two years before I had the baby I had another child removed from my care, and he had lived with my grandparents.. for several reasons I had decided it was best mostly for them, but him to that he stay living with them. They wanted to adopt him, so I gave him to them, and decided not to “work” with DSS, with him. I still did hair follicle testing every three months though, I figured that way they would know that I was staying clean.
My daughters foster parents, are the best of the best. I couldn’t of asked for better people to care for my child, while DSS decides to keep her out of my home. They are just really great people.. They are down to earth, they aren’t fake and they love her. The love her part can get some what sticky, loving her to the point that they feel that they are loosing a child when she gets placed back in my home can cause the issues. It makes it easy to look for things wrong to report. It makes it easy to not want to give her back and to try and find reasons to keep her. Even though the foster parents and I get along great, they weren’t in the foster care system, to take care of kids and give them back. They were in the system to keep them. They never hid this fact, so why was my daughter placed with them? Why was she placed in a pre adoptive foster placement? A good part of me believes whole heartily that they were told not to worry, that we wouldn’t get her back and they would get to keep her, in order for them to take her. A big part of me believes that they are still being told that she is not going to be taken from them and that they are going to be able to keep her. Its like they don’t want me to have her back. The sad thing is that her foster parents have suffered emotionally too, because of DSS. I am sure that they feel like they are being punished for something, and I am sure that when she is placed back with us, it is going to hurt them horribly. They are going to have to feel the loss of losing a child. How is that fair to anyone? I don’t understand most days how a very important system like DSS, is so flawed and so over looked. Most people don’t know that DSS (family court) is civil court and there isn’t a whole lot of rules and regulations to make it fair like criminal courts. Everything goes in civil court there aren’t any guide lines in civil court to protect the individuals going through it. When it comes to something this important should it be very well regulated to make it fair?
I didn’t deserve to go through this, and everything is all wrong about what I have been through and my case, but in a positive light it has made me see and understand things I didn’t understand before. It has taught me how to be strong and to stick with things and not to give up. It has taught me how to fight, without fighting. It was taught me to stay on my toes, and that comfort in life isn’t any good. When you get comfortable in like, that’s when most of your mistakes are made, (big and small) and it seems like that’s then things seem to go wrong. We are suppose to stay always looking among us, stay on our toes, ready to act, (not react), ready to handle the things that we need to handle, not letting things sneak up on us and surprise us.