A submission from a reader:
My letter to Social Services
Tricia Smith, MSW, MPA
Program Manager I
SSA/Children and Family Services
This email is being sent to you as a formal complaint against the agencies practices regarding my niece Amber Ellis and nephew Robert Ellis.
I have cared for these children along with their grandmother for approximately 8yrs. Calls were made to the agency for suspected child abuse while they were living in Chino Hills CA. Sharon Collins contacted me and requested that I bring Amber Ellis to her office to be interviewed. During this phone conversation she informed me that the father placed the call to the agency and was accusing the mother and not me of child abuse.
The father who only is allowed visitation through divorce proceedings picked up Robert Ellis after his admission on a social networking site that he had taken medication with a goal of overdosing. Robert stayed with his paternal grandmother once his father picked him up. Robert was later returned to their mother after the court of Long Beach denied his request to amend the orders of visitation.
Shortly thereafter both children were living with their mother and emailed cries for help, made phone calls to authorities and complaints to school counselor regarding abuse. Sharon Collins received a photograph of Amber’s bloody arm and request for help. Documents provided by the court reveal a summary where Sharon Collins states that there were no visible scars on the child which is false. Another false statement was made where Sharon Collins implied that I give monthly updates regarding the children. Sharon and I have not been in contact. I have sent emails of concern or dissatisfaction regarding the handling of the case but never were we in communication at that time.
Statements made to the paternal grandmother by the social worker are of concern. There was a threat made that if the children were returned to their mother that she would put them in the system and instructed the paternal grandmother that from there she could attempt custody. On one occasion Sharon Collins told me that if the children were not in my care that she would take them into custody but at a later date she denied making the statement.
Approximately 7 months ago when Robert tried to overdose Sharon told me that the case wwas closed and there was no evidence of abuse but now that guardianship proceedings are in effect, the summary from Social Services states that the neglect was substantiated in the case of Robert. This conflict is of concern because during the 7month period he continued in his mothers care and social services was aware that he was not enrolled in school for that 7 month period.
If steps were taken to secure his safety he would not be sitting in a mental facility where his constitutional rights have been stripped. He is in a facility that has a history of neglect and abuse. I have spoken to several families and survivors who were detained there and am working with PR for media attention.
Today the family, along with the paternal father is denied communication with Robert and Amber is now missing. It is possible that their mother also sent Amber to the facility in Utah. A separate complaint with dates and recordings will be constructed within the following weeks.
All calls made to Marty Lawrence and supervisors have been ignored. All calls and email sent to Sharon Collins have been ignored. The case regarding Amber and Robert was closed as unsubstantiated abuse allegations but today we learn neglect was determined. Sadly he remained in the home and our calls to social services were ignored.