This is an immediate call to action! I was recently contacted by a concerned foster parent regarding an infant girl who was returned to her biological parents, both of which have been deemed intellectually disabled and the father is a convicted sex offender. The concerned foster parent contacted me as they had nowhere else to turn. They sent numerous messages to the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), KVC Family Services, their local representatives, the police, and even the media. They received no response. Yet, one look at the information they sent me and I nearly lost my mind. You will too.
I am writing this article for three reasons: 1) To bring awareness to this situation; 2) To show that, unlike in other cases, we have the chance to save this little girl’s life; and 3) To encourage ALL of you to contact someone of influence to get this little girl removed from the filth she is living in and with.
The concerned foster parents are the type of people the foster care system needs. They are a young and educated family who felt it was their calling to become foster parents. Mandy and her husband have been married for nearly 11 years, have biological children of their own, have been a licensed foster family in Kansas for over a year, and they run a donation center for those in need of infant and children clothing and necessities. Additionally, they teach a 6-week parenting class geared towards birth families whose children are in state custody. Essentially, they are good people and they know what they are doing.
I will not use the names of the following: the children involved, the dysfunctional parents, or anyone else directly involved in this case (outside of Mandy). Mandy and her husband are living in fear of these pieces of trash. They fear for their life and the life of their children as both the mother and the sex offender father have criminal history. Moreover, the mother has previously been thrown in jail for stalking and has actually stalked Mandy. Keep reading; there is more on this.
Let’s now take a look at the story and then we will look into some of the extremely alarming details of this case. I will then end with names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for you all to contact immediately. We MUST help free this little girl from the hell she is living in.
Child Removed from Parents
Mandy received a phone call from KVC Family Services Coordinator asking her to pick up a six-day old baby girl from Kansas University Medical Center. A case manager informed her that the child’s father was a registered sex offender and the mother was believed to be mentally ill. Mandy discussed this conversation in further detail,
“At some point early in the case, I was told that the father possessed a court order stating that because his victim wasn’t his biological child, (The victim was his 10-year old step-daughter) he was allowed to parent any subsequent biological children. I have never seen this document.”
Essentially, because he raped a child who was not his own, he is fine to raise his own children. It’s not like he would rape them, after all… he is a stand-up guy.
“The case manager cautioned me that the mother also had a history of stalking and filing false reports against individuals involved in her prior cases in other states.”
This is just the beginning.
DCF initially informed Mandy that she was chosen as the foster family because she did not reside in the same town as the biological parents. She was told that her phone number, address, and last name would be removed from all documents the parents received. She was also informed that she would not be required to transport the child to and from visits with the parents. However, this did not last. Mandy commented,
“Within three months I was told by the case manager that the parents were different than what they expected… and much nicer.”
“I was told that I would be introduced to them and that I would begin assisting in transporting the child to them. I made it very clear to the employees at KVC that I would agree to transport as long as the parents were not able to see any of the other children in my car. They agreed, but the very next visit, the child’s mother stuck her head inside my car and looked around.”
Let me point out here that, at times, Mandy’s own children were in the vehicle.
“This continued to happen throughout the case without any reprimand. I was told by both the family support worker and the case manager that these parents were never allowed to lay eyes on their own children, but when I brought up my concerns for my children and the other foster children in my care I was told I could just lie to the parents and say that all the children in my car were foster children.”
So, not only did KVC fail to protect her biological children, but instructed her to lie and tell the parents they were random [foster] children that do not matter at all.
Mom of the Year!
The parents literally had no idea how to care for their children. “They would feed this infant girl until she puked,” Mandy remarked,
“From the very beginning of the case, I was told by the employees supervising the child visits that the mother would feed the child formula any time the child began to fuss or cry, even if the child had just been fed and did not exhibit signs of being hungry. It was the opinion of the KVC employee that the mother could not distinguish the baby’s needs and would not listen to advice on how to calm the baby. The child was frequently returned to me overstimulated, exhausted, and inconsolable. She would often vomit multiple times.”
So, what do you think KVCs response was? Do you think they intervened and tried to help? Not a chance… they actually let the mother remain alone with the child. The case manager continued to increase the length of the parent/child visitations. In fact, they moved the visitations from a KVC office to the parents’ home. Furthermore, they changed the visitations from supervised to monitored. This meant that KVC would only check in every once and a while.
Let’s take a look at the neglect that took place during these visits; visits which led to hospital visits and jeopardized the child’s health by feeding her food at just three months of age and giving her an entire bottle of Pedialyte, instead of formula as instructed.
The Pediatrician felt the Parents and KVC lacked basic parenting knowledge
Things got so bad with these visits that the child’s pediatrician refused to provide doctors notes to KVC. The pediatrician felt that neither the parents nor KVC possessed basic parenting skills.
In October 2016, DCF held a meeting with the KVC case management team. They determined that the parents were not able to care for the child and that the visits should be decreased. However, over the next four months KVC began to increase the number of visits again and they allowed unsupervised visits to the parents’ home.
“I continued to express my concerns after every visit that the child was not being fed properly, was not clean or changed properly, or allowed adequate rest. The parents were required to include a note after each visit detailing what occurred during the visit. When I continued to express my concerns that the parents did not possess basic parenting skills and the notes supported my claims, the case manager advised the parents to stop providing the notes.”
Great problem-solving skills… after all, the main problem was the annoying notes.
“In January, after an unsupervised visit in her parents’ home, the child was returned to me and the child’s mother told me that she had included a new tube of diaper cream in the child’s bag. When I changed that child’s diaper, there was not any diaper cream on her skin. Moments later, the child had a bowel movement, so I began to change her diaper again. This time, I noticed diaper cream mixed in with her stool.”
“I brought my concerns to the family support worker who forwarded them to the case supervisor. The supervisor asked me many questions about the incident and the determination was made that I was to immediately check the child’s diaper area after the child was returned to me from each visit. Two weeks later, the child was returned to me from her parents and she smelled strongly of diaper cream. When I opened her diaper, the entire area was completely covered in diaper cream. I wondered why such an excessive amount of diaper cream had been used as the child didn’t have any diaper rash prior to the visit.”
This is where it gets really bad.
“When I examined the child further, I saw diaper cream in her vagina and the area appeared very red. I called the child’s worker and she requested that I have the child examined by a professional. I took the child to Stormont-Vail Hospital and requested an examination from a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. I was required to first speak to a police officer and then the child was able to be examined by the nurse. After the examination, the nurse spoke to me in the presence of the police officer.”
Here is what the nurse told her.
“She told me that she was unable to find any physical evidence of abuse, but she believed that the parents were exhibiting “grooming” behaviors towards the child. Because of the lack of evidence, no DCF report was filed.”
Essentially, the parents were preparing the child for a life of sexual assault.
What did the state think the best option was… reintegrate the child her sex offender father
So, after the diaper incident, what do you think the state thought should be done?
“We were told that at the child’s Child In Need of Care court hearing, the judge in Wyandotte County had determined that this child met the criteria to be placed in the state’s custody. However, the child’s parents appealed the judge’s ruling and a new trial would be set for DCF to prove that the child should have been removed from the care of her parents. The trial continued to be pushed back until February, when it was determined that DCF was unable to provide enough evidence to prove that the child should have been removed.”
Not sure what additional evidence you need here people… This should have went like this:
Is the father a sex offender? Yes
Are you suspicious of the parents? Yes
Do you have a concern for the well-being of this child? Yes!
Case closed. Keep this child as far away from these people as possible.
“However, because of the concerns that were raised about the parents’ ability to properly care for the child during visitation times as well as the concerns about the “grooming behaviors” the child was still not adjudicated, but parents were granted Informal Visitation and the child was given 180 days in care, with a review of the case in 90 days. The court instructed KVC to create a “fast-tracked” visitation schedule and the child would begin spending more time with her parents.”
Why would a system advocate and enforce the child’s return in her biological parent’s custody?
“For three weeks, the child spent eight hours, twice a week in her parents’ home. She then spent one night a week in their home for three weeks, and then two nights, etc. In addition to the visitation schedule, DCF put guidelines in place that parents were required to follow during visits: Parents were not allowed to use diaper cream on the child unless they could document a diaper rash on the child. Parents were to feed the child only at approved times and an approved amount as provided by me. The child’s father was not allowed to participate in diaper changes or change the child’s clothing at any time.”
Sounds like a rock-solid, long term solution to ensure this child is nurtured and developed.
“On the first overnight visit with the parents, the child was taken to the emergency room for a head injury. The story of the incident that the child’s mother told to the child’s family support worker, myself, and the hospital staff was inconsistent. I was told that the child was trying to walk and hit her head on the edge of the couch in the parents’ home.”
This story is hardly convincing to me.
“When I brought that to the attention of the case management team at KVC, I was told that the parents were probably lying because they were scared of being in trouble with the agency. The child was taken the next week during a visit to the emergency room again because the child had a viral infection and the parents did not know how to lower her fever. The child’s temperature was documented as 99.7° and she was sent home with ibuprofen.”
When a foster parent speaks out…
“My husband and I decided to speak to an attorney about what we could do to best keep this child safe. The attorney’s advice was to find documentation from the parents’ prior case in Nebraska detailing signs of sexual abuse in their other two children, along with documentation from the SANE nurse who examined the child in our care, stating she believes the child is being groomed. I contacted the adoptive mother of the two children removed from these parents in Nebraska who agreed to send me some documents. She then put me in touch her children’s guardian ad-litem (GAL) who provided her with four psychological evaluations performed on the parents and their children in Nebraska in 2014. The adoptive mother then emailed these documents to me. The SANE nurse who examined this child was unwilling to document what was said to me on the night the child was examined and further, the police officer refused to document what was said as well. Because I was not able to obtain both documents, the attorney was not willing to represent us in court but suggested we send the documents to the case management team at KVC. I sent them to the case manager and to the child’s guardian ad-litem, also.”
“In April, I spoke to the KVC Director about my concerns with the way this child’s case was being handled by the case manager. The director asked to meet with me and my husband, along with the case manager to talk about our concerns. We spoke about how we did not believe enough was being done to ensure that this child was being kept safe and that these parents continued to lack the basic understanding of how to properly care for a child. The director agreed with us and assured us we had valid concerns and that the case management team at KVC and DCF both shared these same concerns.”
No kidding - you have valid concerns!
“I was encouraged to write a foster parent report to submit to the judge. I was also assured that the case manager would be documenting her concerns in her court report and submitting it as well. I also spoke to the DCF liaison assigned to the child’s case who informed me that because we as foster parents are mandated reporters, I should be reporting any safety concerns for the child to DCF rather than just informing the employees at KVC. I made a report to DCF in May that included 7 pictures of the child improperly buckled in her car seat, the details of the child’s head injury and the inconsistent stories told by her parents, examples of parents not following the DCF mandated feeding schedule, and the SANE nurse examination. DCF opened an investigation on the parents but I was later told by the investigator that the case had been closed after speaking to the case manager, and I was given no further explanation.”
Don’t worry, DCF probably did a very thorough investigation…
“At the 90-day review of the child’s case (in May), the case manager and the child’s GAL did not oppose the opinion of the parents’ lawyers that the child should continue to be reintegrated into her parents’ home. The case manager submitted a court report that was supportive of reintegration as well as two additional reports from the educators assigned to the case, which were also supportive of reintegration. The parents’ attorneys told the judge that the child should be immediately removed from our home and if she wasn’t, they would be filing a motion to have DCF immediately close our home and revoke our foster care license.”
What! This is where it gets crazy. Essentially, DCF is the KGB and you must never speak bad of them.
“The attorneys told the court that it is inappropriate for foster parents to research the history of the parents of the children in our care. They believed we had violated the HIPAA rights of the parents and that we were leading a criminal enterprise.”
Are you kidding me? Did you forget that there was a convicted sex offender in the seat next to you?
“The judge granted the child 180 more days in care (with which the District Attorney agreed) and told the parents’ attorneys that they could have their concerns heard at the 90-day case review in August, but that no action would be taken that day. Three days after the court date, the parents’ attorneys and the child’s GAL filed a motion to have the child sent home immediately. KVC agreed to a 14-day removal plan and included extra services for the parents (Family Preservation services and individual counseling for the father). On the 14th day, DCF decided that more services should be put in place before the child was released from custody, so the child was sent back to our home without a reintegration date. KVC sent us a 30-day notice to have the child removed from our home and placed in another foster home that would remain "neutral" in the case. We filed a grievance with the court and were given a court date. The very next day, we were sent another 14-day notice that the child would again be returning home instead. The court date remained on the docket and was changed to a case review. In the court room on July 13th, we had to listen to each party tell the judge that the best interest of the child was for her to be returned home to her parents' care.”
“A parenting evaluation was performed on the parents during the course of the case and it was determined that the parents would be able to parent the child as long as they received support services.”
Yeah, because as long as they receive support services the father won’t sexually assault another child.
“I asked the case manager who decides which services are appropriate and she told me it was at the discretion of KVC. I also asked her if the parents chose to withdraw from these services at any time, would the child be removed? Her answer was no.”
Mentally Retarded and a Sex Offender
Mandy shared some of her documents with me. Here is a list of what she uncovered:
The parents combined have had 14 children. Stop having children!!!
The mother has a history with child services in multiple states since 2006.
A doctor commented over concerns for “Daddy Play” after another little girl informed the doctor while rubbing a teddy bear between the legs. This girls’ brother commented that they weren’t supposed to talk about that.
The parents were assessed to be intellectually retarded. Their assessment read Mentally Retarded. They tested their IQ and found the following: the father scored a 68 and the mother a 61.
The mother and father met in a homeless shelter after the father was released from prison after serving a prison sentence for raping a 10 year-old-child. How romantic.
The parents once received the following assessment: “There is severe, readily observable dysfunction in the family which would be expected to put the children at risk for maltreatment and/or neglect. Additionally, due to their mental retardation, the children were found to likely be at risk for developmental issues living with the parents.”
The mother was previously thrown in jail for stalking a case worker.
At one point, the mother created a new Facebook account using Mandy’s name (the same foster mother discussed here) with the intention to stalk and intimidate her.
The mother also posted on Facebook that they took her children away and they will pay.
What can you do?
Hopefully, by now you have come to the same realization we have… this child cannot live with these people. Her life is truly in danger. The only reason no one is talking about this case is because the child is still alive... don't wait until it is too late.
It is time to take action. Here is what you can do: call the following people and DEMAND the child is removed from the mentally retarded sex offender, demand answers, and demand a better system for the children in Kansas!
DCF Hotline # 800-922-5330
KVC Kansas HQ # 913-499-8100
Rep. Linda Gallagher
Sen. Vicki Schmidt
Phone # 785-267-4686
Sen. Rob Olson
Phone # 913-302-3135
Sen. Julia Lynn
Phone # 913-832-5311
Rep. Ken Rahjes
Phone # 785-296-7676
Rep. Jarrod Ousley
Phone # 785-296-7366
Rep. Mary Martha Good
Phone # 785-296-7660
Meg Wingerter @MegWingerter
Kansas Public Radio