Story Created: Jul 11, 2008 at 5:01 PM CDT
Story Updated: Jul 11, 2008 at 6:01 PM CDT
WICHTIA, Kansas, July 11, 2008 – While a Wichita mother is facing charges that she put her son in a dog cage; her boyfriend is fighting for his child after SRS removed everyone from the home including his three-month-old baby.
For Delane Hastings, it is unthinkable.
“Totally caught off guard by this whole situation,” Hastings said.
He recently learned the mother of his three-month-old baby had been arrested on charges of child abuse. Angela Facarro is accused of putting her three-year-old son in a cage to control him.
Police arrested her and took the kids into protective custody, including Hasting’s daughter, Kaylee.
Now, more than a week later, the state refused to release Kaylee to her father.
"They're saying that I am unfit for her to be with,” Hastings said. “That I failed to intervene in her protection. The allegations are that I had knowledge of the abuse in the house."
An SRS spokesperson says the child is in protective custody due to a judge's order, but Hastings says that order is based on false and misleading information provided by an SRS caseworker.
“Had I had any reason to believe that there was abuse in that house, or that my child was in danger, I would have removed her myself,” Hastings said.
"We have to remember that the allegations are against the mother not the father,” said child advocate Donna Roberts. “Nowhere is it stated that he has committed abuse by Kansas statute."
Roberts points out that Hastings did not live with the mother, has a stable job and owns his own home. She says SRS’s lack of a proper investigation is just another example of the agency’s abuse of power.
For Hastings, it is a lesson he says everyone should heed.
“As far as your children go, be careful,” he said. “They will take them, even when there is no reason."
[Repeatedly we hear stories where biological parents are not contacted when a child is placed in foster care. If Agencies are truly concerned about the best interest of a child, the agency needs to locate and place children with their biological families when appropriate.]
Emphasis added by H4K Editor