Letter: Legal kidnapping?

Posted
Editor of the Reformer:



There is just so much information that I want to share about the policies of the Vermont Department of Children, Youth and Families that I don't know where to start. So I'm guess I will start with close friends of mine that are trying to save their grand-daughter from the foster care system. They have cared for their grand-daughter every day almost since birth. The mother of the child has an addiction and is now in rehab.

The grandparents have followed all the rules and regulations that DCYF have put in in place, but they cannot get a court date because DCYF and the state's attorney are somehow stopping them from being heard by the judge. The agencies did their background checks and were fine until the grandfather did his fingerprint check and now they are holding things against him from more 35 years ago. The rules state that because the charges that he has are more than five years old, they should not count against him as far as being a kinship foster parent. This young child has already been pretty much raised by the grandparents and has never been in harm's way during their care of her.

The grandfather has called everywhere for help and now has hit a wall; no one is returning his calls. He should be able to plead his case in front of the judge as well. His lawyer has filed several motions and still they have not been allowed in the court to be heard. This little girl is being traumatized by these people.

We need to get this story out because there are quite a few different families that are in the same predicament and yet, they are getting nowhere. How can we get through to the system when they don't even let us have a chance?

It's basically legal kidnapping. They take a child into custody with the State Police as backup, but it's only a policy that they are enforcing. Those policies need to change.



Kelly Lawrence,

Baltimore, Sept. 10


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