There is a story here in Vermont involving the Department for Children and Families. They are victimizing children and parents and defrauding the federal government to get federal funds.

My knowledge is of this happening in Addison County, which is extremely financially depressed and many depend on DCF money. Please read "Bending the Curve to Improve our Child Protection System Report." In a nutshell, DCF is using whatever means to "get their foot in the door," take children into custody and once they have the children, they work with the foster parent to ensure that the parents have no chance of getting them back.

Last year, DCF was able to terminate the rights of over 450 parents, against the will of parents and children. DCF has their system of achieving this down pat. Mothers of color and low-income mothers are hit the hardest. Parents who do everything to cooperate and follow all recommendations, most of which did not need DCF intervention in the first place, never have a chance to bring their children home, and they are adopted out.

In our case, the mother was allowed to see the children 14 times in a year and the court then said she did not do enough to form a relationship. All of this brings DCF, foster parents and the community, federal and state money. Please send us your story. We need a day of action at the capital.

Joann Ernst


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