Many years ago when the FCVFC was just finding our voice, we found that we were encountering issues related to multiple levels of fraud driven by greed. Federal funds were being manipulated, driven by contracted services by such government agencies as CPS, foster care agencies such as “Mercy First,” and adoption assessment services engaged in by agencies that could approve adoption, diverting children to CPS local agency foster care or foster care administered via such agencies as Mercy First. It was a racket involving agency institutionalization from the cradle to adulthood.
The agency would begin an adoption assessment of children removed from documented terrible abuse and place those children with what appeared to be an approved family.
A pattern emerged.
The assessment would go on for months, and then as approval seemed imminent – there would be a sudden interruption and removal of the children who were looking to adoption. Suddenly they would find inexplicably removed from the home they were settling into and suddenly placed back with the parents from whom they had been removed. Or suddenly there was a new prospective family that appeared from no place.
Clearly the specter of undue influence was present.
At one point a CPS caseworker decided to create a website. She featured photographs of thousands of children whose “mysterious” deaths in CPS foster care placement were not reported, not investigated, and documented under “Case Closed.”
She wrote about each child, reason for removal, statement of disappearance – and “Case Closed.” Ultimately, her excellent website was shut down and she disappeared, but not before the FCVFC took each picture, each story, and encased the last references to each child’s existence.
Yes, literally encased. Each picture and story was encased in a small clear plastic egg. The speaking engagement series was during the Easter season, and the symbolic casket seemed fitting.
In our earliest stages of exploration of victim scenarios, each child’s little face photographed with their pictures and life story peered up from the table that featured material describing the work of the FCVFC. Hundreds of images silently covered that huge table.
The website that had simply disappeared still made its impression.
In one situation in Tennessee, three children had been removed from parents who scalded their children’s tongues with a hot metal knife. The abuse was fully documented in photos and reports.
Another black hole occurred where there was not a clear picture as to why children were placed by the Family Court with a family member of a deceased parent where there was a custodial parent who was theoretically a candidate for custody as a blood relative / parent / surviving spouse, yet an assortment of siblings was awarded to an alternative relative but some custodial rights were sustained . . .
Inexplicable child deaths, failure to allow children to find permanent homes via adoption when the process seemed about to be successfully completed, custodial placement of children to third party relatives where there was a death of a custodial parent……the presence of a parent with theoretical rights but the children were not placed with that parent . . .
We kept seeking answers, when whatever did not make sense and questions went unanswered.
The unanswered questions, when explored, provided insight into institutional bias, abuse, cover -ups that point to fundamental issues of institutional bias related to heinous abuse never prosecuted and intergenerational cover up of incest. Power, payoffs and clear refusal to address a critical issue of biblical proportions remain unaddressed.
Client cases emerged that defined who were the victims – who were the lost children for whom we needed to find answers. How could we work with children, families, and courts to try to seek fair and equitable outcomes. Children and families were in turmoil created by a sudden, tragic death that caused a crisis of custody.
These clients allowed us to participate in their lives for many years, to interact with generations of family, medical, police and legal records. We were able to follow family tragedy from literally beginning to end of lives of multiple family members, core siblings and their children, wives and extended relatives. We were able to peel away buried secrets of child rape by a grandfather whose crimes against his own children and grandchildren were buried in threats that if anyone divulged secrets the sisters would be separated – sent to Catholic orphanages, never to see each other again. The trove of male and female child victims scattered within this large family as adults detailed stories at family gatherings, holiday picnics and dinners, how the grandfather would remove child after child to a bathroom and then return them to the throng.
As teens and young adults each family member sustained terrible psychiatric illnesses, dysfunctional relationships, addiction and ultimately, premature deaths. Each family member–parents, siblings, children of siblings–were seen intensively over years. Each family member was devoted to parents, siblings, children. They were smart, attractive, insightful, and so terribly broken even as they fought to save themselves and their children, four of five siblings died of premature deaths related to suicide.
The backdrop of intergenerational incest, the very clear symptoms of the consequences of incest, were present for the informed expert to immediately recognize. There was no mystery, there was no known cure for the trauma and the tragedy suffered by what we referred to as generation #2, but generation #3 saw daylight.
But all these murder/suicide statistics are smothered in smoke and mirrors. Heinous crimes are denied, shielded by a cloak of immunity, and the chilling effect of fear—fear of the abuser family members, fear of authority figures, and fear of isolation and abandonment.
This must end.