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"We took them away from their parents on the assumption that we as a society would do a better job of raising them," Mark Courtney, a social work researcher at the University of Washington.

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Misconduct by Larimer CO Officials

An open letter to the Larimer County Sheriff's Department

To: Larimer County Sheriff Dept.
2501 Midpoint Drive
Fort Collins, CO.

My family has been involved in a civil child custody battle that has involved the Larimer County Department of Human Services. My child spent over a year in a county foster care home located in Fort Collins before the court granted myself (the biological father) custody in July of 2004.

My child was returned to me in a disturbed condition. He has seen numerous mental health care professionals in Colorado. We have always suspected a major source of the child's disturbance was due to his stay at the foster care home, especially at such a young age. He was approximately five at the time.

Continued below...

This past Labor Day weekend our family met for the purpose filling out a series of "complaint forms" for a citizen review board for grievances about the Larimer County Department of Human Services employee conduct. In reviewing hundreds of pages of documents concerning the child and his caregivers, I have documentation by recognized professionals that indicate my child was sexually abused in this foster care in 2003. We have suspected this for years.

The foster home was operated by Jan and Bob Elshof, 4332 Seneca, in Fort Collins, Colorado. Documents also show that a child's therapist was so concerned about this she notified Larimer County DHS employee, Sue-Hoenshell-Brown (in 2003).

In a "family safety meeting" at the Larimer County hub in 2004, we questioned Ms. brown about this scenario at the foster care home. She informed us that if such events had taken place that, "It would have been reported."

Other documentation, personal knowledge of events and other information led us to the conclusion that the minor child, CWB (name of the minor child withheld for privacy) was sexually abused in the foster care home, and that at least one child protection worker (a county employee), was aware of this abuse and did nothing about it.

Ms. Brown maintained the child in the abusive home for months allowing further abuse to occur. My immediate concern and the reason for this letter to law enforcement is that it is our position that there have been crimes committed against the child.

  1. child abuse - by persons in trust
  2. failure of a mandated reported (DHS) to report and/or investigate the abuse to proper authorities (law enforcement).

I have enclosed copies of the initial reports (not provided to us) from the Larimer Center for Mental Health, labeled A & B. We would like to request the opportunity to review this and other evidence with the appropriate law enforcement agency and have an investigation conducted. We wish to press charges, and see to the prosecution of lawbreakers. We are currently in the process of presenting this information to the Department of Human Services, and opening a discussion, but we feel that the gravity of these circumstances is criminal, and is beyond the normal scope of "employee misconduct."

CC: Loveland Police,
       Ft. Collins Police,
       CBI,
       FBI

Darin W. Barrett
2814 W. 13th. St.
Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 613-9949