From the ALCFC discussion group, I
understand that you are looking for
DHR horror stories. There are more
actors than just DHR in the story
I am about to tell, but their needed
On May 6, 1998 my three year old son
was the victim of a horrific attack.
He was beaten and shaken by his mother.
I cannot describe the my feelings
when I rushed into the ER and saw
my boy covered in bruises writhing
in seizure. A set of four bruises
were very disturbing, they appeared
to form a handprint on my son's face.
A major portion of my son's brain
was removed to save his life. Still,
we were told he would not survive,
but he did survive.
When my son was released from the
hospital, DHR authorized his release
to his mother. When asked why DHR
allowed my son to be placed with his
mother, the response was "because
she asked". So, in this state,
it appears that if the abuser ASKS
that the child be placed with her,
it will happen.
Well, a week after refusing the mother's
request to obstruct the investigation,
I was hit with supervised visitations,
supervised by the mother at her convenience.
The mother claimed that since I was
not from Enterprise, Alabama I would
take the child and run.
When we went to court, the judge rolled
his eyes when I stated explicitly
that my son's injuries were due to
abuse and the mother was THE primary
suspect. Fourteen months after the
final hearing, the judge ruled.
He identified the mother as the perpetrator
of the abuse, yet STILL GAVE HER CUSTODY.
I received "standard" visitation,
for the first time unsupervised.
My son has suffered numerous injuries,
broken bones, finger bruising, etc.
The mother historically has pointed
the finger at the school. A hemiplegic
child has a broken arm and a broken
leg within 8 weeks time. Both cases,
the mother states it happened at school.
In both cases, DHR responds with,
"if the mother says he broke
it at school, there is no need for
There have been numerous times the
child has had finger bruises on arms,
legs, chest, shoulders, and face.
The one time DHR responded to complaint
(filed through the police department),
they concluded that my son's bruises
were due to his sitting on blocks.
How anyone can obtain bruises on the
top of one's shoulder by sitting on
blocks is beyond me. The county director
of DHR as well as the CPS supervisor
have told me repeatedly that "it
is not DHR's job to protect children,
it is the father's job."
I have taken the mother to court for
custody because she was NOT following
the physician or therapist treatment
instructions, canceling many, many
appointments, etc. In court she admitted
to not following the treatment instructions,
stated her intention that she will
never follow the physician or therapist
instructions. To quote, "I will
only do what I think is important".
The result, the judge stated that
proper medical care is not important
to my son's well-being, however I
am ordered to make sure he gets appropriate
care when he is with me (he does and
he will, it is just the obvious inconsistency
in the orders).
I have concluded that it is the official
state policy to maximize the abuse.
In this way the cycle of violence
is continued if it already existed
or initiated if it did not. The cycle
will grow exponentially and under
the current US laws, the state will
receive more money. However, the long
term social problems will be devastating.
I think county directors need to be
removed. There needs to be accountability.
The caseworkers and their supervisors
held accountable. If accountability
was applied at the county level, I
think THEN there would be changes.
I recommend that you read the speech
by Canadian Senator Anne Cools from
1996. From the detailed history she
describes, you will learn nothing
has changed in more than a hundred
years. I have attached her speech
in text format.
To end, my son's (and daughter's)
ordeal is not over. Their mother has
moved 300 miles away (yes, even with
the Child-Parent Relationship Protection
Law, the court allowed the move).
My son has gotten better over the
years, not as far as he could have.
He can walk with assistance, but at
close to 150 pounds, that assistance
is becoming more and more difficult.
Toilet use is spotty. Mentally, emotionally
he is still a 3 year old.
Sadly, everyday I expect to receive
that final phone call.
Dr. James J. Stagliano, Jr.
--- End forwarded message ---