Sunday, July 04, 2010

Connecticut DCF Abuse

The below re-posted from:
http://www.hope4kidz.org/stories/briana.html




Terri and Briana's Abuse by DCF, Connecticut


Terri Bailey and her husband, as a biracial couple, wanted to adopt a biracial child and after completing the training classes required of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, three week-old Briana came to live with them.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Waterbury, Connecticut (CT) considered Briana as "hard to place." Terri considered Briana an absolute joy and blessing and the baby blossomed and thrived in her care.

As the adoption dragged on for almost two years, the once helpless, drugged addicted infant developed into a beautiful little girl who greeted everyone with a smile. Strangers would often approach Terri and ask if the baby was always that happy. The answer was, "Yes .....ALWAYS."

According to Briana's pediatrician, she was happy, healthy, and developmentally on-target.

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All of this changed on Oct. 21, 1998, one month before Briana's second birthday. The Connecticut Department of Children and Families suddenly and without notice removed Briana from Terri's care with just the clothes the baby was wearing.

CT DCF did not allow Briana to have anything she was accustomed to, including her favorite blanket, toys, or any of her clothes.

While visiting the DCF office, Terri was informed of their decision to remove Briana. Terri asked them to please consider the emotional harm they would be inflicting on Briana. DCF replied, "Children are resilient. SOME even go on to live successful lives!" "SOME" should not be the acceptable standard when it comes to children's lives.

According to the Departments' regulations the definition of an emergency removal (as they treated this removal) requires that the child MUST be in "imminent danger." Not only did a danger NOT exist, but specific grounds for removing Briana were never documented.

As a licensed foster parent, Terri was entitled to notice and the opportunity to have an Administrative Review before the Department removed Briana from her care. Terri had received rave reviews from the Department about her care of Briana.

Terri retained an attorney who filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus, to prove that NO "imminent danger" existed. The Writ was filed in the Hartford Superior Court, which Terri and the attorney thought would be a neutral arena. At the urging of DCF, the judge returned the case to Waterbury's Juvenile Court -- and they found themselves pleading the case to the same judge who had originally rubber-stamped the removal request for DCF.

The Writ was limited in scope -- a simple matter of deciding whether "imminent danger" existed. If the agency had been made to adhere to the law, they would have had to present evidence to support imminent danger or return Briana to her preadoptive mother while she pursued the lengthy DCF Administration "Removal" Hearing Process.

Instead, the Writ proceeding was allowed to drag into 5 1/2 months, with weeks and sometimes months between hearings. Ultimately, the judge denied the Writ, stating that Terri had "neglected to meet the burden of proof ..and that it was not in Briana's best interest to be returned." The decision also read, "DCF is vested with the power to determine the custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child."

In other words.... DCF knows best. The judge relied solely on the word of staff in the Waterbury DCF Office for his information in this case.

Briana suffered severe trauma due to her removal. She regressed to taking a bottle, not talking, and not being able to eat. Briana was no longer the bright, bubbly baby she had been for the previous two years. According to records, Briana was enrolled in a school for mentally retarded children and was so afraid of being abandoned, the new foster mother had to stay at the school.

Briana was put in therapy to help her deal with the emotional upheaval that DCF had created. Although the DCF caseworkers could see Briana suffering and had documented the struggle she was going through, the best interest of Briana was not what motivated their actions.

Initially, Terri was granted visitation with Briana in the therapist's office. At each visit, Briana appeared to be heavily medicated, was unresponsive, and asleep in the DCF Foster Parent's lap. Terri knew something was wrong and asked the Foster Parent if Briana was ill or taking medication and was told, by the foster mother, "DCF told me not to tell you anything."

During the 2nd visit, Terri offered Briana her favorite valentine candy. The foster mother said, "She can't chew." Terri became increasingly concerned due to Briana's unusual and abnormal behavior and Terri knew Briana better than anyone; Terri had been Briana's only mommy for almost two years, exactly 23 months.

Two days before being taken This picture was taken two days before the CT DCF took Briana. When the bright, bubbly, smiling face Terri had known became solemn, too tired to hold her head up, unresponsive to her favorite candy and toy, could not talk, and was unable to chew, Terri became extremely concerned for Briana's health and safety and began to ask anyone and everyone to help her to protect Briana.

No one else on this earth loved Briana as much as Terri Bailey loved her, and was willing to sacrifice everything in order to get justice and a fair hearing on what was best for Briana!

At the second visit on February 6, 1999, Terri took the following photo of Briana.Briana Drugged To Sleep

Immediately, a motion to terminate visitation was filed. This photo depicts Briana as she was presented at ALL visitations. The woman, who was introduced as her "current foster mother," was allowed to remain in the room, holding Briana in a straddling position, facing her (as you can see in the photograph) during ALL visitations -- which certainly must have created an emotional quandary for Briana.

At the third visit, Briana was already asleep and could not be awakened.

This therapist did not know anything about Terri or Briana and was chosen by the current foster family, whom he had known and worked with for several years. Although hand-picked by the foster family, he diagnosed Briana as being "severely traumatized due to her removal." He said Briana lost her communication skills when she was taken and that one of the few words he and her foster family could understand was "gear," which he said was her word for "afraid."

Briana never had a word for "afraid" when she was with Terri because she didn't need one...nor did she need therapy! A few weeks prior to Briana's removal, she was evaluated by a child psychiatrist HIRED BY DCF who reported that she was happy and developmentally on target, and that Terri had done a commendable job at protecting Briana from the stress of the divorce Terri and her husband had gone through the previous year.

He recommended that Briana remain in Terri's care, and that they were extremely well-bonded. DCF ignored this report, as well as other reports from professionals, DCF hired, which all strongly recommended Briana not be separated from Terri.

Terri later learned that DCF had also withheld these reports from Briana's current therapist and other service providers.

Since Oct. 21, 1998, Briana has required multiple therapies -- psychotherapy [to deal with her "abandonment issues," per DCF], physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and the list goes on.

If Briana had been left alone in the only home she had ever known, it is highly unlikely that she would have required these therapies. She would not have developed such severe developmental delays that would she be labeled as a "special needs child." Briana would not be attending a "special needs pre-school" with children who suffer from emotional, mental, and physical disabilities.

For over a year Terri has appealed to officials, asking for an investigation into Briana's case; however, all of her requests have either been ignored or denied.

She also requested a meetings with Governor Rowland, Commissioner Ragaglia, Atty. Linda Prestley (the CT Child Advocate), Senator Dodd, Senator Lieberman, and many others, hoping to present her documentation and resolve this matter.

The CT Child Advocate's Office who were supposed to be unbiased and fair from the beginning, contacted the Department of Children and Family and alerted them to Terri Bailey's concerns for her pre-adoptive child.

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This began a downward spiral that ended up with a judge being taken to federal court, and there is more to report than will end up in this report. (More documentation will be added.)

Terri Bailey remained honest and forthright throughout years of legal mayhem, the abuse her entire family has suffered cannot be counted in dollars and cents; although, they poured plenty of money into the "justice" system!

When Terri wrote to her state representatives and Senator Lieberman, DCF representatives were contacted. On the senator's email from Terri, asking for his assistance, is a handwritten notation, "mentally unstable."

Without prior history or proof of mental instability, someone in the senator's office contacted DCF and was told that Terri was mentally unstable.

That is all that is required for the Department of Children and Families to prevent tax paying, law abiding, citizens from having a voice in this government that is FOR the people.

This is the sort of situation that should be easily remedied with an actual review of the evidence contained in the court records.

Judges were rogue in their judicial role, preventing this preadoptive mother from discussing the court processes that were going on with a reporter. The reporter, along with the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, CCLU, sued Judge Damiani in Federal Court. Brown v. Damiani

Andy Thibault, reporter for the CT Law Tribune, came down hard on judge Richard Damiani. Among other things, calling him a "Bully on the Playground."

Real people's lives were unnecessarily destroyed. Our entire society pays a huge price when one person's life is intentionally destroyed. When a life is destroyed by incompetent and illegal behavior by the very Agency whose job it is to make certain this does not happen, the people should have some form of redress.

This family spent well over $250,000 in order to protect their preadoptive daughter from state sanctioned abuse, removal from Terri Bailey without cause, and placed into another adoptive home, causing irreparable harm to Briana and everyone who loved her. Briana and Nana Briana's Nana has said this experience left the entire family devastated.

When Child Protective Services Agents do not even make a lame attempt to do their job, they must be removed.

The director of Hope4KidZ was quoted saying, "Judge Damiani had ordered Terri Bailey to remove all information from Hope4KidZ web site, although every picture and word was given to Hope4KidZ by Briana's Nana, from California, or Terri would be sentenced to six months in jail. Not only would it be illegal for Terri to remove anything on Hope4KidZ web site, she did not have the skills or ability to access H4K's server.

Attorney Horrowitz, GAL, requested Judge Damiani gag me from speaking about the court proceeding of that day. Judge Damiani stated, "I do not have jurisdiction over Ms. Wright, but I have absolute jurisdiction over Ms. Bailey and if the web site is not removed I will send her to jail for six months. Going to Connecticut and their closed court rooms, where Terri was shackled and handcuffed by a flippant and absolutely brazen judge, was like stepping backward in time."

Since this time, Commissioner Ragaglia is no longer the Commissioner, the state of Connecticut has been under Federal Review according to Children's Rights of Washington, D.C.



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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That is absolutely horrible! Furthermore, I believe every word about how the state acted. DISGUSTING :(

Tue Jul 20, 08:31:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Igt is just as bad in Fl, my grandchildren are in state custody, and horible things too for them, sick etc. DCF runs every aspect of the courts mot of it is hear say.

Fri Mar 14, 10:01:00 PM 2014  

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