I’m not sure how unique my situation is, but feel compelled to share my experience with others out there….and I know that this will strike a chord with some.
My daughter (adopted) was unhappy about some things on the home front (having to do chores for pocket money, having to eat everything on the dinner plate for dessert, and not getting an iPhone for her birthday, etc…), standard gripes for a preteen…. As a matter of fact she was so disappointed that she went to a counsellor at her school and reported that I was beating her. Needless to say CPS were right on the case with a Notice of Concern.
Child then went back on her claims and acknowledged the beatings never happened in the first place. OK. CPS happy to go away… Wife and I reached out to the DHB and then to CYFs to see what support we could get re these behaviours and were told that the only way to access services was to go to CPS. We were reluctant to at first but then “the behaviours” escalated to the point where it was inevitable that more allegations were to be made, so during one particularly bad episode we took her to the local Police Station so both she could make a statement…and so we could too. Next thing we find is that she goes into protective custody and this is where she is to this day – nearly a year later.
Now, here’s where the sexual abuse side of things start. Since she was first taken into custody she has been having weekly “therapy” sessions with someone by the name of Morgan Libeau. OK – fine. Morgan presented herself as a therapist and everyone at CYFs indicate that she was wonderful…and could make a difference. Well she did.
By Xmas last year my daughter, during an access visit, explained to me that she had enough and wanted to come back home. By New Years eve, she completed about-faced and we had a disastrous access. Afterwards, CYFS advised us that she never wanted to see us again and that she was far too distressed to even contemplate coming “home”. Where did this come from?
Enter Morgan. She had somehow being given the brief to “prepare” the child for the loss of her adopted family. WTF? Brief from who? Morgan had been presented as a “Therapist” who was supposed to conduct a “Therapeutic Needs Assessment”… and all the\ while CYFs assuring us that the child was to receive a “Psychological assessment” component. The problem was that she was not then, and still not now, a “Therapist”. She is actually an “Arts Therapist” – yes an overinflated finger painter (no disrespect to well intentioned ones) – who is not even registered to practice in Australia or New Zealand. She cannot even legally call herself a Therapist, Arts Therapist nor even a counsellor. So how did this cretin get anywhere near my child you ask? I still am not entirely sure but do have a hunch, after a bit of burning the midnight oil…
Morgan Libeau is actually Lynda Morgan, who featured prominently, and controversially, in the landmark Peter Ellis Christchurch Civic Creche debacle in the 1990s, in the role of a forensic interviewer of the children involved. She used dubious and completely unethical means in “extracting memories” from kids, using suggestive and leading questions, perhaps outright fabrication of evidence by formulating images in the children’s heads of sexual abuse scenarios. There’s plenty on the web about her and her colleagues devious methods, and if you do research her background a bit note that she and her colleagues managed to affect something like a 360% increase in sexual abuse cases that required investigating. Great little earner….at the tragic expense of all the broken children and families left in the wake.
So why the name change? I suppose with all that bad publicity how better to resurrect a dead career than to up-stakes and move to the other side of the country and change one’s name to escape the past she’s so proud of. Well, if she’s not proud of it then CYFs most certainly are, because she continues to work for MSD/CYFs today. So why is she still working anywhere near kids, as a unregistered (Arts) Therapist? Well, I have two theories. First, she’s likely to be working unregistered because her chequered past and modus operandi cannot be condoned by ANZATA, so her registration would not even be accepted. Second, there were suggestions at the time one of the two forensic interviewers was having a fling with one of the key figures for the prosecution (I will not name). Of course, at the time it seemed like everyone involved was having a fling with everyone else, so it’s probably not fair singling out any particular person. Anyway, enough of this rubbish, as this only happens on TV…, right?
So, fast-forward. I am now getting reports that my daughter has past filled with sexually abuse. Well with Ms Libeau, Morgan, Lynda or whatever the hell she want’s to call herself, I’m somehow not surprised this has surfaced. I can certainly defend myself that I have not been a part of this, however what I cannot accept is that my daughter is now a complete psychotic mess. She is in the midst of Narcissistic Decompensation and is now psychologically obliterated. I have since been advised by psychology professionals (not CYFs) involved that she cannot come home, cannot go to any other home, and may likely not even survive to see her teens. In short, in CYFs care my beautiful daughter has been killed off… and all they are saying is they rescued her from an abusive environment….PC blah blah blah blah…
There is a final chapter to this story that is about to pan out, but I can’t go into that until certain things happen first.
****NOTE to those about to get shafted- DO NOT engage CYFs without a voice recorder, take notes and DO NOT tell them you are recording the meetings. You have the legal right to do this and CYFs DO NOT have the right to stop you, but if you say you are recording they will clam up. We knew they were video taping every meeting, but they also let slip that there were audio recordings as well. They can say anything they want (and will) unless you can protect yourself and produce counter supporting recordings. They have on several occasions done this and every time they have had the eat their words because we have recorded EVERYTHING. Watch this space.
What I have found is that CYFs do not care about you, your child(ren) or family. All they care about is extracting as much money from the “estranged” family as they legally can in the form of child support….chargeable from the point at which CYFs begin to pay board for the child. They will endeavour the claim as much as they can and only pass on a fraction of that to the child, in the form of pocket money, and to the carers for food and board. The rest goes into a central fund to support other families. Does it pay for them to resolve issues? Of course not. Especially if the family has a reasonable income which ensures that the 18% of gross is more than they pay child and carers. And remember, if fines result from late payments, IRD keep the fines. Sort of like wheel clampers. Well, at least IRD and CYFs keep appropriate company! The picture I get is that it’s much better (for CYFs) to secure long-term funding (until child turns 19) from families rather than to work to resolve issues and to facilitate a return of children to their real families. Get the picture?
This is a high profile case going through CYFs/MSD right now (or maybe 10 years ago? I forget:P) so the only identifying information here is that the same cycle continues, with so many cases that start differently but end up the same old story in the end. CYFs continue to say they are not perfect because they’re so overworked, blah blah blah….well don’t take it out on the kids and their families!!!!
Here’s a bit of advice, should a Social Worker read this….. If your time was spent doing the right thing, being honest and trying to help families, rather than focusing on destroying families and spending far too much time (and money) in damage limitation mode and securing funding for this and that, you might, just might, be awarded with a better rap than you get now. No wonder CYFs are continuously bagged in the press! When my daughter was trying to come home, she wrote to me that her social worker had been repeatedly telling her that her family did not want her anymore…and that she would be going to a “better” family!!! Further, when my other children were interviewed, they too were asked, behind closed doors (on more than one occasion), if they wanted to go to a “better” family, because clearly mum and dad were bad people. Believe me, I would believe my children any day over that of social workers.
To be fair, I do spare a thought for social workers. I have liaised with a few “good” Social Workers, but they appear to be a rare breed indeed. A couple I have dealt with “get it” but they have indicated that their jobs are on the line if they press too hard to advocate for, or do, the right thing. Unfortunately (sigh), I suppose they get cleared out of the system pretty quickly, leaving failed school hallway monitors to wreak their power monger havoc….and become more and more experienced in doing so.
I hope I am the only one out there who has this perspective????
Keep the faith