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Child Wanders Off

I am in dire need of information that concerns my grandbaby Ambrosia (age 2 1/2) and daughter Natasha (age 20). I am located here in Oregon and have not been able to find resources thus far that concerns our situation. 

Child Wanders Off

Approximately, on March 1, 2010 the baby got out the house while my daughter was at her boyfriend house (around 5:30 pm). The roommate was watching her, and thought that Ambrosia was with my daughter. Ambrosia was found by a lady, who took baby to a market and then called the police. 

Allen, (my daughters boyfriend) first discovered the baby missing and went looking for her, not to long afterwards both Allen and my daughter Natasha called the police. The police told Natasha that the baby was at the station. When Natasha arrived, they handcuffed her and threw her in jail. The bail was set at $150.00. The court, police station, and DHS have not attempted to contact any family, before putting the baby in foster care. The court left it up to the DA and Natasha’s DHS worker to decide what to do. 

It took a week before they set up a safety plan, which included monitoring Natasha; a neighbor was to monitor her and in the meantime, no one was allowed in Natasha’s house including me. The Baby was finally home with her mother. 

About a week passed and the worker called and requested that I stay with Natasha while the worker went on vacation otherwise they would take baby. I let the worker know that I want the baby opposed to putting her in foster care. I live about a 2 1/2 hour drive (no vehicle) from my daughter and have limited income. 

The worker then decided that I could go in the house but Allen could not. While there, Sky the neighbor who is on the safety plan would continually call the worker. She moved out of town that weekend (a Sunday). I mentioned to the worker the previous Tuesday that Sky was moving. The worker was to return the next Tuesday and that is when I went home. 

The next day they took baby away because they said the safety plan was no longer valid because Sky had moved. Two weeks later a court hearing was held, the worker stated that she did not know that Sky was moving until the day before she moved — she knew a week ahead of time. 

The next week DHS decided that Natasha would have a new worker and scheduled a meeting with all involved. The old worker canceled the meeting and another week went by. Finally, a new worker and still no valid safety plan. The new workers name is Gail Carr, (541) 726-6644 ext. #2250. Gail then went on a two-week vacation and the baby is still in foster care. 

I have left messages for Gail stating that I want the baby. Natasha is still finishing high school (she has dyslexia and has a hard time reading) and is on assistance. The state gave her money this month even though baby was not there. Now they are saying that she will have to pay child support. 

The new worker has requested that Natasha move to a place that has on-site management before the baby has a chance of being returned (now they are saying that she needs to move to a sort of halfway house that will only let her stay for a short while). We had court on Tuesday, the court appointed lawyer for the juvenile case (Natasha’s lawyer) contacted her other lawyer and convinced him to postpone court for the criminal charges (so that is not until the first week of July now, he is new to the area). 

Juvenile court for the baby was held last Tuesday. Her lawyer wanted her to plead guilty of four different charges including criminal charges (there really are none, Natasha has no criminal or drug/alcohol history). My daughter is 20 years old and was really devastated by the whole thing. 

DHS kept telling her that she would get the baby back sooner if she pleads guilty. A new form was made up that removed all of the other charges, except for the child neglect charge, as well as stating that she gave up all rights to further hearings. 

By the time we made it back into the court room the judge was not in a good disposition. Natasha did end up pleading not guilty. Natasha’s lawyer was not happy and tried to postpone court but the judge proceeded. The judge put the baby into foster care. All the while DHS has known that I wanted baby until this is straightened out for Natasha. 

Never has there been any contact on DHS’s part nor have they asked for my address and phone number, until last week, when I gave it to them. Most of the time they pretend that I am not there until April 27, at court when I went in with Natasha and her lawyer. 

Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that her lawyer is good friends with DHS and talks about her case; they have had private meetings as well with Natasha there. Her court appointed lawyer wanted her to plead guilty with not only neglect on the charges but also four other charges including criminal. 

Please, if you have any input or resources it would be well appreciated. 

Thank you for taking the time to hear our sad story. 

Mary Cheshier

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