In working with abuse cases, government systems, and foster care, there are many obstacles & tragedies on a daily basis.
We fight a system enormously large by comparison (to a single mom on aol) who has the money, resources, and capabilities to win, much moreso than the mom on aol. In the nastiness of red tape, lies, cover-ups, confidentiality excuses, conspiracies, money driven mistakes that cost lives & much more insanity than one would ever expect out of our own government systems
( particularly one in place to “protect children”.)
We see very few rewards.
Many advocates burn out.
By August of 2004 they finally, after much pressure, told me 3 of the medications they put him on. I had requested, demanded, and begged to know what they were giving my son who was coming to visitations acting different.
One visit he would be hyper and non-stop talking – rambling, so fast his mind would be thinking ten thoughts ahead, and he’d get stuck in a stutter from not being able to keep up. The next visit he’d be so groggy and sleepy, despondent, falling asleep mid-sentence, and unable to communicate or think clearly.
I knew it was drugs he was receiving by the foster care system he was thrown into… but which ones? and why? He’d never been on medications prior to foster care (and hasn’t since – to my knowledge).
I began writing letters. I wrote letters to everyone.
I wrote to the news station, the inspector general’s office, the local media, the CCHR, the medical board, the courts, etc., etc.,
Anyone and everyone received a letter from me. I wrote, last time I recall, approximately 1500 letters in the first couple months, begging for help with my fight for my son. But I kept getting no response. I kept seeing this happening to my child, and other children, and my pleas for help falling on deaf ears.
Except for Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. She listened. I just didn’t know it … yet. I had written her, among the masses, and she actually wrote me back, herself. I was so proud of that letter, and valued it as it was the only effort I saw return to me. As time went by, and I saw little results of my efforts, my hope dwindled, and my case closing and not in my favor.
I had put up a webpage in November/December accusing the Texas county & cps of medicaid fraud and overdrugging our children; and by the end of my case, my son’s name was changed, I was placed under a gag order (now lifted) and I haven’t seen him nor talked to him in over 3 years.
Needless to say I fell … headfirst… into a deep despair & desperation. I had to figure out life without my son, and I’ve never succeeded in that. I doubt I will. The pain is as fresh when I let it come out to the surface as it was then, only difference is I’ve learned how to numb my emotions by separating my memories from myself, and it doesn’t really work, only helps.
Then I look at a page and I read one more article I run across about the work the Comptroller’s done in Forgotten Children, from April 2004, the time my son was taken from me. Although I run this blog and a few others, I do not dive headfirst into the work as I did before – I burnt out. Sometimes I read another CPS case, and I get sick, literally, and throw up.
The trauma its cause my family, my daughter and our relationship, and my entire life and that of my children’s’ is unimaginable. IT cannot ever be repaired; ever. So when I read the Medicaid Fraud investigation concerning psychotropic medications given needlessly to foster children for profit, launched December 16th, 2004 – it hits me hard – considering it was that time when I was writing to Carole Strayhorn begging for help.
Foster Children: Texas Health Care Claims Study — Special Report is available as a PDF file (3.8 MB). If you do not already have it, you will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the PDF file.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart Grandma Strayhorn!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You made me realise that everything does, in fact, happen for a reason, and that our pain may not have been in vain…. for the 2008 implementation of the changes in the system for providing health care to foster children is proof that something changed. Something.
I just pray we made a difference for the children.
I fought and fought & because I had gone into despair so tragically after losing a losing battle, I left the state of Texas for a long while, and never turned on ews, internet re: cps, or anything related. It was far too painful. Now, nearly 4 years since this nightmare I lived through was written by my fingers on this very same keyboard I type on today, my letters reached – and were read…. and I am reaping the feelings of that one little reward in my work, and it is good. It is real good. So good I cried and laughed at the same time.
I only pray we made a difference and continue to make a difference for the forgotten children I’ll always remember – because one of them was mine.
Again, thank you, to everyone who read. We needed you & you listened.