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Foster Parents Stand Accused of Abuse
It's pretty common place for parents to see their beloved children removed due to nothing more that a false word from a "professional" social worker. Poor little Tylor doesn't stand a chance. He has not only been removed from his natural mother, but now his foster parents stand falsely accused of abuse. Who is looking out for this child? Who will speak for him?
My name is Pamela.
I became involved with CPS when a young girl I had met years before showed up at my house during the time of Hurricane Rita. She had been evacuated from Mississippi. She was 5 months pregnant and had a drug problem. Knowing her situation; that she had been molested while growing up, by her biological father, I felt badly for the situation she found herself in. She had been in drug rehab for her drug habit 5 times previously.
CPS took her first child while she was living with her mother. She looked at the situation as a new beginning. She didn't quit using drugs though. My husband and I told her we could not help her until she was ready to quit drugging. We fed her when she stopped by and provided her with transportation to the doctor. At 8-months pregnant she failed 2 drug tests at University of Texas Medical Branch. She came to us and said she was ready to stop. We allowed her to move into our extra room. She tried hard and managed to quit everything. We were very proud of her.
January 15, 2006 - Baby Tylor is Born
Baby Tylor was born 1-15-2006. The mother and baby both tested clean for drugs at the time of birth. It was an experience for my husband and myself. I named Tylor and was right there when he arrived. A beautiful baby boy!
Tylor went into withdrawals shortly after birth and had to be monitored by a nurse around the clock. I felt so sorry for that little man. It broke my heart. Jefferson County CPS stepped into the picture and after Tylor was released from the hospital they placed him into foster care. The mother asked my husband and I if Tylor could be placed with us. We were not prepared for this and were not sure how a baby would fit into our lives. My husband's children are grown and we have 6 grandchildren. We said yes we would take care of him.
Two weeks later at the court hearing the judge placed Tylor with us. We had to be drug tested first which was no problem. The baby's mother, Amanda, was ordered to move out of our home. We hated to see this, knowing how well she had progressed. Our intention was to help them both.
Tylor came home with us. He was so precious. He came with 2 cases of formula and a diaper bag. We went out and bought everything you could imagine you would need for a baby, new, for him, and didn't mind a bit. I can't begin to explain how much our lives changed. We didn't know we had so much love to give him.
We spent tons of time just watching him in awe. The neighbors, our friends, our grandchildren, Tylor's biological grandmother and brother all visited him very frequently and were very fond of him. We smothered him with love.
Although the judge had given the mother visitation at my discretion, she would sometimes go days without seeing him. I told my husband in the beginning that we had to try not to be too attached to him. That was impossible. The little man became a part of us all. Our rule was never to let Tylor cry. His doctor says there was nothing wrong with that. A Jefferson County worker visited Tylor the next day to take a picture of him. The case was being switched over to Chambers County; they were supposed to follow through with the required home study.
CPS Service Plan Neglected
Three months went by and we were never once visited by a caseworker like Tylor's Service Plan required. We felt it was odd no one ever checked on him. We wondered if they just placed babies everywhere and not check back on them, but just continued to love and nurture him. I had even requested his Medicaid card several times, from Debbie Leonard, his worker at that time but she would never get back to me with it so we bought his formula ourselves.
Tylor got sick and our pediatrician didn't make us pay for the visit because she was aware of the problems we were going through getting the Medicaid. We spoiled him, and cuddled him and loved him all of the time. He was so much fun.
Amanda had started coming around although she was still hanging around the wrong people. I allowed her supervised visits but only if she was sober. She started building her bond with Tylor.
April 18, 2006 a CPS investigator, Cheryl Bourda, showed at my back door along with two police officers. She explained that CPS had received a call and some allegations had been made against us and asked if she could come in. I welcomed her in. Tylor was sleeping.
The baby's mom was here. She was preparing to go into drug rehab and was frightened because where she was staying people might take her things. So I allowed her to store some things in the middle bedroom. I did allow her to stay for a good part of the day sometimes to visit Tylor. I didn't see anything wrong with that, I was always right there to supervise.
Easter morning I allowed her to come at 7 a.m. to help get Tylor ready for church and we all attended church together with my husband's mother and went out to eat afterwards.
False Allegations are Made
Ms. Bourda began to tell me about allegations that my husband had abused pain medications, that we were using drugs, and that Amanda was living with us. I explained to her they were lies. I offered to submit to drug testing as I had done in the past. She asked me to wake up baby. I did and showed her he was okay. I allowed her to look throughout the house, and provided her with my husband's medication bottles. She gave me her card asked me to be in her office Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. and left with the police.
Several hours later Sarah Cindy Osburn called and informed Amanda the baby was being removed from my home. She said she had run a background check again on my husband and I, and that something had come up on one of them but would not tell anymore than that. Ms. Osburn asked Amanda if there was any place else they could place Tylor and Amanda suggested maybe her mother and gave her the work number.
We cried so hard but knew we had to do as told so we began packing the things Tylor needs. I also made a list explaining Tylor's routine, amount of formula he ate, how I put him to sleep, etc... I wanted his move to be as smooth as possible for his sake. Amanda's mother called and said Sarah Cindy Osburn called her at work and said all of us were cursing her in the background when she called my home, and she also told Ms. Robinson that drug use was the reason Tylor was being removed.
That hurt us. We do not do drugs - have taken drug tests to prove it and there is no proof to the allegations made. Why is Ms. Osburn permitted to spread these lies and slander my name like that? Don't I have any rights? Can't the benefit of the doubt be given to me?
They came with the police, which was not necessary. Upon arrival we asked Ms. Osburn why the baby was being removed. She looked at my husband and asked if he gave her permission to speak. It seems a charge, which was dismissed, came up on his record. We explained the misunderstanding and Ms. Osburn told my husband to get proof it was dropped and fax it to them so Tylor could be placed with us again. He did that the very next morning. We called and called Ms. Osburn and Ms. Vein finally we were told Tylor would not be returning home to us. They said even though the charge was dropped it still counted against his criminal background.
CPS Covers their Behinds?
We were hurt and felt like CPS only took Tylor to cover themselves because they had not come and checked on him like they were supposed to and now we had to pay for it. I wrote a letter to everyone concerned, caseworkers, attorneys, etc. Begging them to let us see Tylor and questioning the way we had been treated. We opened our home to a baby in need and thought we deserved more respect than we received. The next day I received a call saying we were allowed to visit Tylor.
It had been two weeks. Tylor was so happy to see us. He had the biggest smile I had ever seen on his face. Amanda showed up to visitation using and Ms. Chris Vein was upset saying if I didn't stay in the room with her she could not visit Tylor, which I totally understand.
That was the last time we saw him. I made a complaint to Internal Affairs about the way I was being treated and everything has gone downhill since then. I waited 8-weeks for an investigation on me to be completed and Ms. Boudra says she believes I neglected and abused Tylor. She says it is because Eldon is short seven pills in one of his bottles of medication prescribed to him. She said she believes Eldon abuses his medication. She told me there were several other little things but that she would not discuss them with me.
After ending conversation I telephoned Eldon's doctor and told him situation he said in his professional opinion based on the facts, Eldon does not abuse his medication.
It is a constant battle dealing with CPS. Eldon does not abuse his medication; even so, why am I also labeled with neglect charges because of his medication? Why is any of this happening? Why won't they just drug test me, instead of constantly accusing me and ruining my name with lies. It is nothing but a constant battle when all we want is to love Tylor and be a part of his life.
That'll teach me for complaining about the way I am treated. This situation is very painful. We are very much attached to him. With this neglect charge we have no chance of that. Ms. Boudra says it will be awhile before I can get the forms to even file for an administrative hearing - don't ask me why. Tylor's mom hasn't followed through with her plan. His grandmother isn't able to care for him. His daddy is in prison. His Nana and Paw Paw love him very much and would do anything in the world to be able to take care of him, but now we have a neglect charge to fight and we're running out of time. We have hired an Attorney. CPS in Chambers County won't even return his calls. I've tried to reach Ms. Vein but have only had one out of at least 50 calls returned. They have other plans for Tylor: that is obvious. This is not all my imagination.
I dealt with Jefferson County CPS also and it was totally different. They were helpful and pleasant and really seemed to genuinely care. I got along with them and they were very professional. Is it normal for CPS to act this way?
If so, no wonder there are so many broken homes. If you could do anything to help this situation for Tylor we would appreciate it.
Nobody checked on us for 3-months when we had him. How can we be sure he is even checked on now? Or that the proper background checks have been done? Or that proper home studies have been completed? These people don't even have time to answer a phone call how can they keep a good watch on all the babies?
I was a foster parent in Norman, Oklahoma for my 2 nieces and their procedure was nothing like this either. There must be something fishy going on with these babies in Chambers and Liberty Counties. Lately I have met a lot of persons with the same concerns as mine.
Why won't they let me prove to them I am not on drugs?
Everyone will tell you I never neglected Tylor. I love him - that's all I am guilty of, and I do not to intend to give up my fight for him. However, this is a long hard road and anything you could do to perhaps ease this situation would greatly be appreciated. Thank you very much for your valuable time and if nothing else could you please check in on Tylor.
His medicaid card was finally mailed to me at the beginning of the month and I only hope the persons taking care of him are able to get his formula and medical visits. Perhaps you could refer me to a web site or booklet that explains my rights, and how the system works.
Posted June 27, 2006
I have a comment concerning the story written by Pamela Cheek.
First off she has make several false allegations against caseworkers and failed to tell the truth about herself and her husband. I too will be consulting an attorney for her using my name with false allegations. I am a very upstanding citizen in the community and would never do anything to hurt a child.
Caseworkers do not make decisions about the children on there caseloads. The supervisors make the decisions. I am no longer with CPS in Liberty/Chambers County but I can tell you that office has the best loving, caring and professional workers that work hard and forego their own personal lives to help children and for someone like that person to be putting people down that actually are law-abiding professionals with outstanding backgrounds is just ridiculous jabber.
I am sure that no one will see this email since I am defending CPS caseworkers but you should know the truth. Not all caseworkers are bad people the workers from Liberty/Chambers County are the best of the best! Cheryl Bourda is the most hard working CPS worker I know with a great skill of investigating and finding the truth.
I have no doubt someone is lying and I know that Mrs. Bourda is a very truthful person with a great love to help others. Thank you for your careful reading and god bless you!!Cindy Osburn
Posted January 18, 2007
While I agree that there are some very good professionals working at CPS offices. I have also been contacted by other prior caseworkers who tell an entirely different story; one of fraud, deceit and false accusations. Many children and their families have been harmed to the point of destruction.
Thank you for your comments. I have not only read them, but posted them for the world to see.
~Annette M. Hall
Posted January 18, 2007