I know a lot of people have issues with custody battles these days, but when I heard about this, it really makes my blood boil. Below is a letter from a guy I know from high school. We keep in touch on Facebook and this is what he's been going through recently:
Please allow me to express my concern with the way the Child Protective Services has been handling the case involving my 14 year old daughter Katty.
On April 8th, 2011, my daughter was taken by Texas CPS from her mother, my ex wife, for a variety of reasons. These reasons I do agree with.
Everything else from that point on I have many concerns with.
First, I was NEVER notified by the state that this had happened. After a month of not being able to reach my daughter on her cell phone that I was paying for, I finally got a hold of her mother who filled me in on what had happened.
I am not a hard man to reach. I am on numerous social networking sites, and a simple google search of my name would provide enough results to find me. I also was paying child support, so I would be easily found through them. One of the papers i recieved after i made contact with CPS which i believe was the "motion" stated clearly that " with due diligance, the natural father will be searched for and notified with in 24 hours". This clearly did not happen. I could have been on the next flight to Texas and this whole next 4-5 months could have been avoided. Granted, her mother also should have called me right away, but being she is deemed and unfit mother, I can not put all the blame on her when there is a system in place by our great goverment that should be followed to the T.
After finding out about my daughter being in protective custody, I immediately began my own google search to contact Texas CPS.
This was June 6th.
I learned of a hearing regarding my daughters placement to be held on July 7th in Houston.
I drove to Texas from SW Florida for this hearing and attended it, pleading for my daughter to be placed into my custody. I am a family man, with a new wife of 4 years and another daughter, Kattys half sister, I have a clean criminal record, I own my own business and am respected amongst my peers, professional and personal. I came to this hearing prepared with bank statements, photos of the inside and outside of my single family 3 bedroom home. letters of character from local law enforcement and professional peers, none of which the court was interested in looking at.
I was told that with in 2 months, Katty should be in my custody.
It has now been more than 3 months since this hearing, and my daughter is still in foster care.
I used to talk with my daughter on the phone a couple times a week, since she has been taken I have only been allowed to speak with her 3 times.
Since this has happened, my daughter has been admitted into a mental hospital twice for manic depression, for a week at a time. She never had any mental issues until all of this had happened.
A few weeks ago the case worker actually allowed my daughter to contact me while she was in the hospital. While speaking to my daughter, i was asking her about her feelings and explaining mine to her, as to do with her violent thoughts she was having. At this time, the case worker took the phone from Katty and began to BERATE me over the phone, telling me I was not allowed to speak the way I was speaking. We began a shouting match for more than 5 minutes, when all i wanted to do was try to understand what was wrong with my daughter. Completely unacceptable and unprofessional.
My daughter and I are being treated like we have done something wrong. All I want is whats best for my daughter, and her living with me, her biological father, is what is best for her.
I do not understand why this has been going on for so long. Her 15th birthday is the 31st of this month, and it seems like she will be spending it in foster care.
I love my daughter very much, and miss her terribly. I have spoken with supervisors and other people at CPS, writing you this letter is my last resort.
Everyone at CPS has passed the buck as to why this is taking so long. Ive been told that I had provided a bad address, or a bad phone number, yet the paperwork i recieved from the courts on July 7th had my correct address.
When i changed my phone number, I immediately called and left a voice mail for the case worker, which she claimed never happened. I changed my cell phone number in late July, but my old phone was not shut off until September 1st, and NEVER once recieved a voice mail on it from CPS, so the case workers point is moot, being she never tried to contact me on either phone about my daughters status, for over a month and a half.
I dont know if there is anything you can do about what is going on, I know you are a busy man and really am not sure if you will even get this letter.
Please, my daughter and I are at your mercy, if there is ANYTHING you can do about any of this, please, please help us.
Now, the reason this makes me so angry is that there are fathers out there that don't give a damn and don't pay child support and act like they don't even have a kid. They have no consequences to face. But here is a man trying like hell to take care of his daughter and can't get a hold of her? How is this fair?
Just this week, he finally received a call from the police regarding a home check. If any of you out there have any advice for my friend, please let me know. And I hope you'll share this post with others, please. Maybe someone out there can share some advice. Thank you!