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Big Sister is Watching
April 30, 2006 permalink
Jackson Bortz was seized by Georgia child protectors after the death of his baby brother, and returned after public demonstrations in support of the family. Their account below shows how disruptive the surveillance after the son's return can be. Many families endure this ordeal daily, but few express the pain it causes as well as this bereaved family.
April 26, 2006
We have been so busy trying to get our life back in order after the past few months. To clarify, we were in court April 3rd/4th for our adjudicatory hearing. The Judge found “limited depravation” based on the fact “that as parents, you should know what is going on with your children.” He returned Jackson to us with a protective order, which means that DFCS checks in on us once a month until the Judge removes the order. DFCS wanted a psychological evaluation on Don, which the Judge ordered, and so we are currently working on this.
Our first home visit with the new CPS caseworker was last night. She came in and explained that her job is to do the visits, and to recommend services for the family. She began by asking us what services we thought we needed. She brought up that she felt we needed grief counseling. I told her we have someone who we talk to, and also have a HUGE support system.
She stated she needed to see where we sleep, and that she needed to see our refrigerator and cupboards to make sure we had food. We asked why she could not simply ask us, rather than snooping through everything. She stated that they treat everyone the same, and that it wouldn’t matter what we were referred for, that they have to make sure the children’s needs are being met. As she stated after seeing the fridge, ‘ no one would starve here.’
We then showed her where we sleep. She seemed horrified that we still have the crib up. I don’t understand this as if they are so concerned with our feelings, and it helps someone deal with grief, why not? I don’t believe this is any of their business, and wish that they would learn their boundaries. Ooh wait, that’s right. They don’t have any.
Finally she needed to speak with Jackson. She asked him questions such as “what did you have for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Then she informed me that she had to check him for bruises. She looked at his back and stomach. Then she looked at his legs, where he does have a bruise on either shin from tripping over a stool the day before yesterday. I told her I hoped that she would be honest in her recording, and that I did not trust their reporting as a scratch Jackson obtained from climbing under a chair while we were in the hospital with Dylan was reported as him having “ringworm.” Hopefully, she will be more accurate and honest than our previous caseworker.
Anyhow, Jackson is doing better. He is calming down and does seem to be less agitated. He still gets upset when he hears a police siren, telling me that we have to ‘go faster, and hide so they can’t get me.’ He saw a woman at Publix who looked liked his foster person, and we had to leave the store as he was convinced she was going to ‘keep him.’ I would say 90% of the time, you would not know how traumatized he was, but the little things just go to show how much he has been through. We are finally able to have our schedule back, and have been working on exercises from his speech and occupational therapists trying to catch up on everything. We are doing our “schoolwork” everyday and he is learning how to add and subtract single digits.