Human Rights/Constitution

Kidnapping in Venice

The baby cried and cried and cried. The baby and her sister had been swept up by Children’s Services – so her mother had been declared “unfit” – “accused of neglect” because, while she had gotten a restraining order, she hadn’t gotten it as quick as they thought she should. She had missed some appointments with the social workers – so they came blasting into their house early in the morning. They brought two cops with guns out. They drove away with the baby and a four year old little girl. They are currently in the home of a very good friend, who applied for and got the title “foster mother.”
I am the mother of the “foster mother.” I pitched in and spent eleven hour days and night with the baby. The baby was so upset. She knew her mother was gone and she cried and cried and cried. Poor baby. I held her a lot, fed her, changed her diapers – she only wanted my daughter. My daughter could soothe and calm her. Eventually she calmed down. I love this baby. All the children and the adults in this article will remain nameless as the case is still pending. This situation is happening every day in America. I was so proud of my daughter and my daughter’s boyfriend for taking the girls.
All you have to do is make a phone call, “snitch someone out”, accuse them of hurting a child, and by law they have to come out and investigate. My friend’s daughter is a victim of domestic violence. Her ex-boyfriend is the one who called the cops on her – for maintaining an “un-safe” environment. He was hitting her. One time he was holding the baby in one hand and throwing rocks at her car, while she was in it, and broke the windows of her car. Imagine how sacred she must have been! Her baby in the arms of a crazed maniac, drunk and way past reasoning with.
So, did they even file charges on the drunken dad? Yes, they were pled out on a lesser charge. But Children’s Services charge her with neglect and providing an “unsafe environment.”
Her twelve year old boy had been having problems in school and started cutting scratches on his arm. The school got involved and tried to have the mother come in for a meeting, which she didn’t go to. The mother has problems with dealing with people and is easily overwhelmed by the Department of Children’s Services. So that was the main problem that Children’s Services had with the mother – getting her to come in for an interview. Because that was difficult, they ordered the removal of an eleven year old boy, a four year old girl, and a nine month old baby girl. The boy went to his paternal grandfather and the two girls ended up at my daughter’s house, after spending thirteen hours in a Children’s Services room, while the social workers tried to find a home they could place the girls in. I had called my daughter and told her and she went right down there and volunteered to be the foster parent. This happened on July 9. Now it is October 22 and they still haven’t gotten the kids back.
This is another example of how the state of California makes money. Straight-out. It’s a kiddie version of mass incarceration. After arresting your mom or dad then the kids get arrested, because no one is home to take care of them – they’re in jail. Once kids are in the system, it becomes really hard to get them back.
My friend, the mother of the woman accused of neglect, offered right away to take the kids back, or make any arrangement to get the kids back. But the ex-boyfriend had made allegations about her – that she was actively using heroin. So they discounted her and regarded her as a “flight risk.” When social services came to get the kids, my friend slammed the door in their faces and told her grandson to run up the road to his grandfather’s house. That way, he wouldn’t have to be taken in a police car. Then she yelled at the social worker and the policemen, who came into the house with guns drawn. Came into the house where only women and children lived, one who was really upset and angry, and one who was crying hysterically, and one who was relatively calm.
The social worker talked to the “calm one” and told her they were taking the kids because the house was an “unsafe environment.” She gave her a card with her number on it and they left. The calm one called me and let me know. Why am I involved? Why is my daughter involved? Because we are family – we created this family when our kids were young. We met at a N.A. (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting and we have been friends ever since. I have loved all of the children over the years. I have babysat all of the babies of the house. So, when my friend’s daughter called me and told me, I burst into tears. Just so you know, this story is written in a totally biased manner. I AM totally PISSED that this shit is going on. This agency is difficult to deal with and dangerous. Anyone can make any allegation and you are considered guilty. Just the fact of being declared an unfit mother brings an onus of shame upon you. When you go to the agency’s office, it is a cold and sterile place, and frightening.
My friend of twenty-five years was falsely accused by the boyfriend of actively using heroin and a danger to the children. She has been sober since the day I met her, so that’s going on twenty-five years now. She has devoted herself to her grandchildren and works really hard at multiple jobs so the mortgage will be paid, bills paid, food in the refrigerator and a roof over their heads. This is someone with “ties to the community” and is not a “flight risk,” OK?
I am not using anyone’s name, because I don’t want to piss off the social workers. I don’t like them and I don’t trust them. They charged the mother, who is the domestic violence victim, and dropped charges on the father. He can visit the baby at the agency office, with a huge security guard standing there, which he has never done.
Every two months there is another court appearance and the mother has to go to battered-women support groups, parenting classes and therapy. Well, when they take your kids away, guess what happens? You fall into this deep dark depression and it’s hard to pull yourself out of it. Depression is like being stuck in the mud, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get moving. You have to meet with the social workers and they make you feel like an idiot.
I became a monitor, which means taking a fingerprint test to see if you have a criminal past. So if you pass that test, you can be a monitor. A monitor goes with the mother, or the father or the grandmother while they are on their visits. A monitor is supposed to shadow the mother and the child and spy on them in case the mother is saying “weird stuff” to the child.
(Give me a break!) The social workers told us a visit is supposed to last two hours, two times a week. Well, right away I had a problem with that. We are talking little kids here. They need their mother. They need to sit with their mothers, have their mothers hold them so they can smell their mother’s scent. Mothers are the most powerful force for the child that there is. They need to be reminded that their mothers love them and this is not their fault.
In World War II, in England, they had a program where they took the children out of London and sent them to the countryside, away from the bombings. After the war they compared the two groups of children and found the group that had stayed in London, with their mothers, came through the war with less psychological damage than the ones that were separated from their mothers. Those children spent a lot of time worrying about their mothers and cried easily and basically fell apart. They were sent to live with strangers, which is what is happening today in the foster care program.
The child who is coming through this with flying colors is the baby. She is happy, loving and doesn’t understand what is going on. She beams when she sees her mother, sleeps through the night and is happy happy happy to see her mother, in the way that little babies are.
The four year old is very sensitive and misses her mother and father a lot. She has blended into her foster family. My daughter is also the mother of two children, aged eight and six, boy and girl. It has been hard on the four year old because she can’t possibly understand what is going on. She just wants this all to be over, as do I. This whole situation has brought out a lot of horrible memories for me.
Famous foster children? Charlie Manson and Marilyn Monroe. You see the deterioration of personality – read “White Oleander” by Janet Fitch. It’s an excellent novel describing the foster “care” system and how the kids are affected. They don’t talk to the kids with any knowledge of what kids are like. No sensitivity, no training in child development or how to talk to a child.
The twelve year old is having problems in school. Wouldn’t you? The four year old cries hysterically when the visit is over. The twelve year old started out saying he liked living with his grandfather, but now he just wants to come home. He misses his family and his mother and his grandmother. The Department of Children’s Services is now getting ready to threaten the mother with adoption.
They changed the laws to make it a lot easier to steal your kids and turn them over to adoption – “lovely families” who are waiting to adopt a child. The mother has been slow about going to all these meetings and because of that, they are now going to threaten her with adoption. Wow, what a “caring, sensitive” agency. They are the mass incarceration of little kids. They can come into your life, based on a single phone call by a crazed drunk and drug addict, and because of that take your kids away.
The kids are left with strangers. They turn the monitors into spies and the parents into criminals. The grandmother is just trying to raise these kids with love and understanding. She has been “clean” from drugs and alcohol since 1988 and has never gone back to drugs. We have been friends for twenty-five years. Our kids were five and six when they met and now they are twenty-nine and thirty-one. They were born and raised in Venice and will love Venice all their lives. The unsung hero in all of this is my daughter’s boyfriend who has had his life and his children’s life turned upside down. We thank you – my unnamed daughter and her unnamed boyfriend – we thank you so much.
The next court date is December 10. If everyone reading this article could take a minute and pray the kids get home on that day. What a great day that would be, to send these innocent children home. They are being punished for something that wasn’t even a crime. The iron system of the Children’s Services Department wreaks people’s lives and leaves the children tortured and bleeding from wounds they can’t even describe.
The mother is a powerful force in the life of a child. Don’t break that bond, don’t send those children through an evil and corrupt system. This is being done to poor U.S. Citizens – just like what happened to Native American children. Those children went home wearing “white” clothes, their hair cut off, forbidden to practice their religion, forced to speak English or get beaten. Is it any wonder that most Native Americans ended up alcoholics?
These children just want to go home. The social workers get a bonus for adoption. They told my daughter: “We try to adopt out the babies as fast as we can because they forget their parents and their families and make an easier transition.”
Hey, maybe their birth parents want to raise their own children. Why not give them back? Every family is different: some families have gay mothers and fathers, some families are headed by grandparents because the birth mothers or fathers can’t assume the role. Whatever – you know what I’m talking about.
This is Venice, where children are loved. Right? Return these children to their families. Thank you.
– An Unnamed Writer on the Beachhead