Child Abuse: Questioning the System
by Name Undisclosed
Why Doesn't The System Work Anymore????
I am married to a wonderful man that has a five-year-old son. Almost 2 years ago he received temporary custody of his son after he was removed by CPS from his mother's care. Basically, for neglect and living arrangements. She lives in a different state than we do. The judge then awarded him temporary custody and said that she would like to give him permanent custody but since he was paying child support in his home state that he would have to seek that there. We first went to court there about 3 months later.
The judge ordered that the child stay with us for the moment and each party get a home study done. Finally after about a year, the mother got a home study done. I thought more than anything the study was a waste of time. She got busted the first time for a trashed house and no food in the cabinets. However, they set up an appointment 3 weeks before they come out to do the study. Hello, anyone can clean up their house top to bottom in 3 weeks.
A few months later we went back to court to fight for custody. The judge gave the child back to his mother since he felt that she learned her lesson and cleaned up her house all nice and pretty. It didn't matter that she would not keep a job and did not have the means to take care of a child. She had told the judge in court that she was in the process of buying a house and was going to enroll him in public school.
My husband's son came down to stay with us this summer. He cried to me for 3 straight days before he had to go back. He begged and promised that he would be good if we didn't make him go back. What can you tell a five-year-old child when you have no control over the situation? He cried and worried almost to the point he made himself sick. He complained that he was getting beat up by her girlfriend's older kids in the household. He told me and other relatives that his mother's girlfriend had washed his mouth out with soap for not calling her "mother". He cried that he stayed hungry.
Now a few months later, my stepson is living in a hotel room with 6 other people. He is not enrolled in school. She states that she is
home-schooling. But, I would be willing to bet that she has not filed anything with the state to do so. She will not tell my husband or any of her other family members where she is. It is a rare occasion that she even lets my husband talk to him on the phone. My husband has detected concern and worry in his son's voice the few times she has let him talk to him. He will not tell us what is wrong. We are not stupid. We know his mother is standing right beside the phone making sure he doesn't slip up. She knows that if she has a place to live or the children are enrolled in a public school she can be found or the school will report any signs of neglect.
We have contacted CPS in that state and the abuse hotline. They say there is not much they can do to check it out if they can't find her. For the love of Pete, those child support payments and welfare checks she is cashing have to be going somewhere.
We are trying to hire another lawyer.
Basically, since she won't tell anybody where she is, there is not a lot we can do. I guess we just have to wait around for something bad to happen before anybody will do anything, like before. Is it fair to this child that his life is being ruined because we have a system that doesn't care squat about what happens to him? He has a father and stepmother that love him very much. Two people that wouldn't be asking where their check was 5 days after getting custody of him back. Which is what his mother asked.
How can we have system so broken???????????????Note from Darlene:
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