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CHANGED, THEN CHANGED AGAIN
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 15, 2013) — Late on Thursday night, The Post & Email received an email update from Erica Henderson, whose seven children have been in foster care for almost two years despite the parents’ commitment to regaining custody following their false arrest in May 2011.
After a TDM meeting with DCFS on March 4 and a contested hearing which concluded last Friday, the Hendersons understood that Mr. Henderson could move into the home his wife has rented and that visits with the children would be unmonitored. After two such visits the following Sunday and Wednesday, DCFS social worker Godwin Milner called Mrs. Henderson to advise her that Judge Marguerite Downing had changed the order to “monitored.” The Hendersons then wondered if DCFS had met with them in good faith, given that no attorneys were allowed to be present at the TDM meeting.
The Post & Email contacted DCFS Public Affairs Director earlier this week and published his responses to our questions. Because of privacy laws, Mr. Montiel is not able to confirm or deny that the Henderson family is receiving DCFS services.
Mrs. Henderson’s message reads:
Social worker just called. He said on the message machine that our visits are unmonitored and will take place this Sunday!!!
In an off-the-record comment, Judge Downing had suggested that Mr. and Mrs. Henderson separate in order for the children to be returned to Mrs. Henderson. It is The Post & Email’s understanding that federal funding for the children’s foster care placements ends in July, and Downing had ordered the children to remain in their foster homes until then.
On March 9, The Post & Email wrote a letter to Presiding Judge Michael Nash asking for an explanation of Judge Downing’s decisions in the Henderson case and a transcript from March 8 but has not yet received a response.
In regard to the proposition that the Henderson parents separate, Mr. Henderson wrote:
Why? Because it will help her get the kids? Really? the reason we dont have our kids is because the court wants up to do something?! Because when we finished our counseling and parenting classes they came flying back to us? or when they said just do the 730 evaluation and we can send them home? or when they said just submit to these attorneys to speak for you and you be quiet? yeah. the fact is this court has given nothing and they have proven to be liars and the supporters of lies. they seem to be someone I would NOT listen to. I love my wife. my wife loves me. why is the government involved with ending marriages? mamas better sound the alarm.