Once they leave foster care, these most troubled youths often have no reliable adults to advise them or provide emotional support, said Gary Stangler, director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.
Former Child Service Worker Falsely Accused
Posted May 14, 2006
Please pray for the mothers who are suffering the loss of their children at the
hands of zealous state workers and the children who are being put in harms way.
Daycare owner and former child services worker Sylvia Jovanna Vasquez stands falsely
accused of child cruelty and the media is having a field day. Numerous stories have
been written full of false allegations, fabrications and out-right lies, yet the media
continues to print these falsehoods and has not bothered to investigate the truth.
Sylvia Jovanna Vasquez was the adoptive mother of four children, three of which were
diagnosed with severe cases of Reactive Attachment Disorder, which requires
parents to be creative and use unconventional methods of child rearing to protect the children
from harm and from themselves. Children with RAD manipulate strangers with charm and even
inappropriate affection, but react aggressively as soon as an adult gets too close emotionally.
The report below has been published by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's department and put
online, it is nothing more than a witch hunt. Sources close to the case say that while the
police are asking for parents of the children served by the Daycare center owned by Vasquez,
they aren't interested in hearing from parents who have good things to say about the owner.
The story includes links to pictures of her spare room, used to protect her cats from the
children, not the children's rooms as they indicate. One story (see link) even claims the
courts were hearing testimony from housekeepers for Vasquez, yet the woman who testifies
was not hired by Vasquez because she has a felony record.
From all indications the charges against Vasquez are nothing but insideous lies that
could cause Ms. Vasquez to lose her home and everything she has worked for. Once the
charges are finally dropped against her, what will her children come home to? The state
will have drained her of all her resources and put her out of business.
Please pray that she and her children are reunited and that this and other witch hunts
like it around the country end. Families are being destroyed and, ironically, children
are being harmed in the name of saving them, from state workers greedily overstepping
Child Cruelty Arrest
January 10th, 2006
On January 5th, 2006, Santa Barbara Sheriff's Deputies responded to 2839 Foothill Road, to
check the welfare of four children. An anonymous person reported that the children at that
location were possible victims of cruelty. Deputies contacted the resident, 50 year old Sylvia
Jovanna Vasquez (7-3-55). Vasquez is a licensed child care provider who runs a day care service
out of her home. The four children suspected of being abused are her four adopted children.
Deputies were allowed into the residence and discovered evidence of child cruelty.
The home is described as a two story single family home with several bedrooms upstairs and
several downstairs. At the time the deputies checked the residence, all four of the children
were upstairs. Vasquez's adopted children are a 13 year old boy, a 9 year old girl, a 12 year
old girl and a 6 year old girl.
Deputies checked the residence and discovered that the 13 year old boy stayed in a room downstairs.
The room had a large bag of trash with rotting food items inside, a bed, toothbrush, bottle of water
and a bucket containing urine and feces. An external window in the room was locked only allowing
it to be opened one inch. The room had an external dead bolt allowing it to be locked from the outside.
The 9 year old girl allegedly stayed in another room downstairs. Evidence suggests that she
actually stayed in another room
built inside of a storage area. The room was a small plywood room approximately 5' x 4'. There
was a window in this room secured by wire mesh
and a door with an external lock. It
appeared that the door and window had been damaged as if someone had tried to escape this confined
space. There was a folded cushion and a pair of child's pajamas on the floor.
There was another room and hallway in the downstairs area that was littered with cat urine and
feces. The downstairs bathroom was filthy and the toilet was stopped up with feces.
The 6 year old girl had a bedroom upstairs, at the opposite end of the house from where the master
bedroom was located. There was a bed in the room, and a
3' x 5' cage mounted on the wall above
the bed. This cage contained a mattress. Inside the cage appeared to be drawings done by a child.
The 6 year old told child welfare services that she slept in the cage.
The 12 year old girl also stayed in a room upstairs. This room was very different than the others. It
appeared as if this girl was well cared for and given all of the necessary amenities.
Child Welfare Services (CWS) and Sheriff's Detectives responded to the house. CWS took all four
children into protective custody. Sheriff's Detectives executed a search warrant at the residence.
The search warrant revealed evidence that the children were locked in their room's or cages for
extended periods of time. The children were fed minimal diets of bread, water and peanut butter.
There was documentation from the children describing physical abuse. All of the doors in the
residence had external locks, giving the ability to lock the children inside of the rooms.
CWS has taken custody of all four children. The 13, 9 and 6 year olds appeared to be undernourished,
and had clothing that was soiled with urine and feces. The 12 year old appeared clean and healthy. The
adopted mother, Sylvia Jovanna Vasquez was taken into custody by Sheriff's deputies for 273a(a) PC,
Child Cruelty and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.
We are asking that anyone who currently uses or has used Vasquez as a child care provider contact
the Sheriff's Department. We are also asking that anyone with information that would assist this
investigation call the Sheriff's Department Detective Bureau at 681-4150, Detective Henebry or the
We Tip line at (888) 800-9100.
This is an ongoing investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available.