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Virginia Parent Seeks Advice!

Could any of you help me? I have a 16 year old in foster care. Up until 10 months ago I would have won an award for my parenting. My kids were well mannered and good and loving until my 16 year old got involved with a young girl. We were planning on moving and when it came to the fact he would be leaving his girlfriend he began to act out and long story short he allowed people to believe I created a bruise on his face (which I did not).

In jumps department of social services and my son was taken into the system. I was found not guilty of abuse and the charges against me were dismissed but they will not release my child. Are there any attorneys I can contact? Is there any parental support groups.

When ever I talk to social services they just treat me like a criminal they are rude and dismisive. We went to court and they had the story incorrect and when I went to point this out the judge siilenced me. This is so scary and I feel so powerless. Please help me.

Mary Lou,
Norfolk, VA


  1. Robin Clemens

    Hi Virginia mom,

    I feel your pain. My son is 15 and currently trapped in the system as well. Firstly you need to get a really good family law attorney. If you can afford it interview a few different ones until you find a really good one. Not all attorneys are created equal.

    Ask for references from the attorney and access their experience in handling CPS cases. A divorce attorney is NOT necessarily the right one to deal with CPS.

    From my experience here in Massachusetts CPS is brutal. They will do all in the power to keep your child in their Orwellian system. Hopefully in VA things are better than they are up here.

    I’ve been fighting DCF (Dept of Children & Families) for 5 long years.

    Secondly, find a good therapist. One who’s empathetic and is willing to help you. A therapist who’s willing to talk to your attorney and verify that you are in counseling. They don’t divulge details – that’s completely confidential. But willing to help you in your fight against CPS.

    My prayers go out to you and your son. Stay strong and keep the faith.
    Lastly, when your son is 17 1/2 or 18 CPS can’t keep him in the system anymore.

  2. Robin Clemens

    My heart goes out to you. My son is in foster care too.

    First, get a good lawyer. Interview them and ask for references. Find out if they have experience handling CPS cases. Not all attorneys do.

    Secondly, find a good therapist. One you feel really comfortable talking to and feel you can trust.

    Explain that your child was taken by CPS and let the therapist know you have a legal case regarding it. I had a great doctor that helped me with therapy and she even went to court and IEP meeting with me! She really helped me cope through the trauma of having my son taken.

    It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to feel really mad and confused.

    I’ll say a prayer for you and your son. Hang tough and have faith.

  3. Debora

    My daughter just had her kids taken away, because her boyfriend was found to be abusing them. A lady from the system told my daughter that it could take up to 2 years to get the kids back, and that she should take this as a blessing to take care of herself. I am in DC, and my daughter is in michigan, and I can’t get there fast enough to help either of us feel better. I found this website while trying to find some concrete facts that the “system” is supposed to use as guidelines. I am really scared.

  4. nikki huffman

    i have posted your story on the prostest of the childrens division its on facebook.. im trying to start a petition against how the fostercare system work

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