Friday, November 30, 2007

Still No Freaking News

Our investigator didn't call our lawyer or return his messages (or mine, but she never returns mine), so we still have no idea what happened with the expert decision. She doesn't work on Mondays, but our lawyer is going to call her supervisor Monday morning to try to see what's going on.

I asked him about the 60-day limit for the investigation and he said that's just a DCFS internal regulation and they can grant themselves extensions if they want. That was depressing news. I still think we're done cooperating on Tuesday- at least as far as the Safety Plan goes. For that to be a problem they'd have to decide to indicate, decide to file a petition in court, and the ASA would have to decide to take the case. I just really don't think those things will happen at this point (and neither does our lawyer), especially since the Safety Plan actually expired two weeks ago and no one did anything about it. The ASA would consider the strength of DCFS's case against us as well as the agency's actions during the past 60 days- I don't think any attorney would be eager to defend a child abuse indication against us to a judge. But I hate taking any risks with them. Maybe that's why they take protective custody right away- after that parents are too scared to push them on anything. I put up with our investigator not calling us and taking forever to do anything because I'm terrified of her supervisor. I don't call often because I don't want to make anyone not like me. This is ridiculous, and I know it, but the part of me that knows we were lucky to get Landon back so early doesn't know what else to do. Yeah there's rules they're supposed to follow and yeah we don't have to agree to a lot of the things they "suggest", but you have your kid taken from you and see how much you protest the restrictions they put on you when you get him back. I'll probably be mad at myself later for letting them steamroll me, but in the moment, it hasn't felt like pushing back was a good idea.

So, we have nothing but continued doubt, worry, and horrible memories. It would be really nice to have a resolution so I can focus on things like finals, Christmas, and my family.


  1. I'm sorry they keep dragging things out. If nothing else at least it will make them less and less credible if they do try to take this to court. Someday maybe you will be the lawyer standing up for some parent being bullied by DCFS and you will be able to tell them you do know exactly how they feel. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. And from what I can tell you are strong. Just hang in there a little while longer.

  2. What complete shit. I can't believe they can just keep dragging this on.

    I can definitely understand your reluctance to push them too far, but maybe a little indignation/ outrage could work in your favor. Does this supervisor have a supervisor? Surely there's someone up the totem pole that can be repeatedly bitched at until this is resolved!

  3. Crap. Every day I come to your blog hoping for the post (which will come some day, sooner rather than later, I hope) saying that the whole thing is over. I'm so sorry this keeps going on and on and on for you and your family.

    I was in Chicago over the Thanksgiving weekend and thought of you.

    Keep the faith.

  4. I can't believe this is still going on. What crap.

  5. I just wish I had something helpful to say. I keep reading but not commenting because each post leaves me at more of a loss for words. Most people involved think you did nothing wrong...and yet even they can't push hard enough to make this all stop. If it's killing me this much to read what you're going through -- I can't even imagine how you feel. All I can do is hope and pray that this all ends very soon.

    (And I agree with the first commenter...I was thinking the other day that with this experience you could be a force to be reckoned with in family law and matters involving DCFS)

  6. There is somebody up the chain.

    Each DCFS (geographical) region--there are six of them--has a "regional child protection administrator". You can find out
    who this is by calling the ombuds office or calling the office where the caseworker is and asking for the name and phone number of this individual.

    RCPA's are higher-level employees who have administrative authority over investigations in their area.
    They might not intervene to change
    a recommended finding but they can quickly find out and give some indication as to why and how long the delay, especially as the 60 day s are almost up; you should emphasize that the investigation is coming up on 60 days and you haven't received a verbal notice of the finding. They can also help move things along.

    Caseworkers are by procedure supposed to provide a verbal notification to you of the recommending finding. However, many neglect to do this and parents find out via a letter from Springfield, sometimes weeks later. You should make it clear that you want the verbal notice.

    You could also consult with your attorney about filing a complaint with DCFS' Office of Inspector General (they have a website). Given the obvious problems with this investigation, you would certainly be justified in doing so.

    It doesn't sound as if DCFS is doing anything grossly illegal here. It sounds as if the investigative team
    (worker, supervisor, consultants)
    is inept or inexperienced or both. Your lawyer could best advise you on whether to make an issue of this, based on your best interests.

  7. F word. :( My only question is how many holes your apartment wall has from you banging your head against it. ARGH! I think you need a social worker voodoo doll to take your pain out on. Grrr.

  8. I can't believe this is still ongoing. It's just carzy.

    I understand about not wanting to push for fear of retribution...but I hope you make some noise once you're in the clear!