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“THE HENDERSONS WERE 9 STRONG”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 16, 2013) — We have not been able to reach either of the Henderson parents this week, but we can report that all seven children were brought to visit this past Sunday and the children played happily in the presence of their parents.
The children have been in foster care for nearly two years following the false arrest and jailing of their parents in May 2011. After the case was transferred to a different Department of Children and Families (DCFS) office approximately six weeks ago, visits with the parents were interrupted for several weeks. Last Sunday, the three eldest children were not brought to the visit as required by the care plan.
Jeffrey Henderson, the father, stated that the reason they were given was simply that the foster parents did not want to transport them. On that day, he posted on Facebook:
Visit today with wife and kids is a bitter sweet event. The wonderful XXXX is here and so are the youngest children. The three oldest are not here. My wife and I have seen them only twice in two months. We called the foster monsters Francisco and Maria XXXXXX who barely speak English and through their daughter always have an excuse why the kids cant be transported like their car is in the shop, they mother died, or that they had to go to the hospital. This time when we called there was no excuse. They merely stated that will not bring them. It is not only total disrespect to us as parents, but it is totally against the court order that not only that the visits in the future not be canceled but that the ones that were missed be made up. I am very angry. I am asking you to call the foster agency. The number is (213) 342 0100. Please help us get our visit today.
The public Facebook page set up to support the family now bears the statement, “The Hendersons were 9 strong.”
Visits have been scheduled for two hours on Wednesdays and 6-7 hours each Sunday for several weeks, after which the new social worker is expected to “liberalize” visitation. The Hendersons hope to reunite their family despite Judge Marguerite Downing’s threats to place the elder six children in the “adoptable” category. DCFS Public Affairs Director Armand Montiel told The Post & Email that reunification was the goal of the agency provided that the children were “safe.”
Last month, the parents filed a federal lawsuit alleging deprivation of constitutional and civil rights against DCFS and county officials in the case of the removal of their then-five-week-old infant, who was seized from Mrs. Henderson’s arms during an unsupervised visit with the other children at her home because she had refused to sign a “Voluntary Care Plan.”
The monitor who volunteered her services for the Hendersons on Sundays reported that she will be able to supervise one more visit, after which a replacement will be needed so that visitation can continue. Anyone living in the Los Angeles area who can pass a background check and would like to help is urged to contact the parents through the Facebook page.