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When CYFS enable dysfunction – dysfunction triumphs.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on February 19, 2007

Monday, 19 February 2007

When CYFS enable dysfunction – dysfunction triumphs.

Another Father and Paternal Family bites the Dust.

When my brother finally left the family home he shared with his wife and 3 kids he came to stay with me.

His 2 youngest children came at weekends while his oldest daughter sided with her mother and refused to have anything to do with her father or paternal family. On occasions she would call to give her father instructions on behalf of her mother. She would snap his first name at me if I answered the phone – an approach I was expected to interpret as “can I speak to my Dad”.

The younger sister and her brother came with plenty of bullets to fire on each visit, Mum didn’t approve of anything I fed them etc. The oldest wrote to her father to tell him how glad she was that he was out of her life. It was a hateful letter littered with foul language and guilt tripping.

Some years later and having restored contact with his kids to an extent it became evident that their mother was not coping with the kids at all. She had enrolled in further education and was leaving her oldest to supervise the younger 2 from the age of 12.

Instead of looking after her siblings, this daughter was taking off into town and doing the nightclub circuit. She was allowed to move her boyfriend in at age 13 – something her father discovered on a visit when the puppy ran into the room with a used condom in his mouth and confirmed when my niece proudly announced to me aged almost 15 that she had been living with her boyfriend under her mother’s roof for nearly 2 years.

The second daughter was by then regularly running away from home. CYFS became involved when we realized that she had been missing for 2 weeks and her mother had not even called police.

At the family group conference I attended, the last of many but the first for me, I was left with the mother and her 2 daughters and a group of fellow members of the mother’s religious cult. As soon as the CYFS social workers left the room (a strange and irresponsible practice if you ask me) they sooled into me like a pack of dogs. My oldest niece told me that she didn’t even consider me part of her family – we used to have a great relationship, that had obviously been severely altered – the cult members demanded to know why my brother wasn’t present, why was I there and so on. My brother had given up on these conferences and now I knew why.

This was the most blatant case of parental alienation yet it was never addressed. Worse was to come when the younger daughter was placed in CYFS care up at Kaikohe with a woman called Erima. We were given only a mobile number but the reception was so poor that even if you could maintain a connection the quality was so bad as to make conversation almost impossible. My brother would call but this caregiver would not get my niece to come to the phone. She gave ridiculous reasons, for example “She doesn’t want to talk to you – she’s trying to find herself”.

When taken to task for failing to set appropriate boundaries for her behaviour and pulling her up for her abusive treatment of her father and paternal family members this care giver basically told us to get lost.

My niece could have stayed with me, and wanted to, but her mother preferred for her to go to Kaikohe saying “ooh good, she can stay with Erima for 2 years, get her 6th form certificate and then she’s old enough to leave home!” After a couple of months in Kaikohe and several visits with her mother my niece refused to talk to me at all.

Instead of going to school she spent nearly 2 years with no schooling and is today making ends meet as a telemarketer, living with her boyfriend.

My brother seldom hears from his kids at all these days. The rest of the paternal family never hears from them. They have no respect for their father or his family, to the extent that when their paternal grandmother kissed them hello two of them spat in her mouth.

When my niece stayed with me for a week before CYFS in their wisdom decided she was better off in ‘care’, the youth leader at her mother’s bizarre church – Jason – called and asked her to come out at 10:30pm. I said she couldn’t but he wouldn’t accept that and tried to insist. Finally, once it was obvious that reason wasn’t going to work I hung up on him, so he rang my home phone for 2 full hours before finally giving up as I hung up on him each time he called.

The following Sunday my niece called in distress from their church to say that she was being detained by the cult members and asking for rescue. She had to hide in the carpark until a safe ride arrived and she was brought back to me.

Her mother ran as much interference as she could, even refusing to bring my niece her glasses (without which she almost blind) or tooth brush. She had only the clothes she stood up in when she came to me. The phone didn’t stop with messages for my niece to call one or other of these religious extremists throughout that week, and the texts came thick and fast on her mobile. This is a closed religious order where the kids are not allowed to associate with anyone outside the group. I was the enemy, the work of the devil, and they wanted my niece out of my home by fair means or foul.

The abuses and causes for concern were reported back to CYFS yet at no time was any action taken to deal with the mother’s sabotage, her irresponsible conduct or the actions of her church members. My niece’s caseworker did speak to Jason and told him his behaviour was “not alright”, but that’s as close as we came to a serious response in handling this vindictive mother and her bullying friends.

So to Erima, who thinks it’s OK for kids to tell their father and his family to quote: f**k off, for kids to stay away from school, to supply 15 year olds with tobacco, and have a number of kids other people’s kids living where there is next to no phone coverage – you’ll be pleased to know that your interference in our family affairs has had the desired effect. Desired by a vindictive mother that is, society may hold other views of your suitability as a caregiver.

And to CYFS, what can I say.


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