GUILTY FL - Dwayne & Pamela Hardy for child abuse, Seminole County, 2010

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by tlcya, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    http://www.wesh.com/r/24615815/detail.html

    Poor kids, home was bad enough to be removed and THIS is where they landed, out of the frying pan into the fire.

    snipped from above linked article

    A report from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said the little girl was spanked until she started to bleed.

    According to the report, the boy told investigators, "If his 'butt' starts to bleed from being paddled, his mom would scrape the blood off his leg with the paddle, put it back on his butt, and continue to spank him."

    According to an incident report, the boy said he had been caught sneaking food, and the consequences of that would be a few days without eating.

    DCF said the siblings had been placed in the Hardy's home as a foster family last fall. To officially adopt them in February, the couple had to pass a background check and home inspection.

    The state looked into their references, financial records and even the stability of their marriage. Officials said it's an extensive process turned up no red flags.
     
  2. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Sadists.
     
  3. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    just so sad for these kids. As if life hadn't thrown enough at them to need seperated from their families but to then find themselves with these freaks. My heart just breaks for them. How will these kids ever be able to respect authorities or trust anyone again?! These kids have been let down again and again.
     
  4. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    I am really curious to know who the anonymous tip came from. It s sounds as if the Hardy's had the rest of the community completely hoodwinked as to their true nature. I wish I could hug whoever that anonymous tipster is. I wonder if it was actually one of the kids.
     
  5. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    How can you beat a child until they bleed and then keep beating them? What kind of monster does that take? Why did they adopt these children? Why adopt children and then abuse them? These poor kids have never caught a break. My heart hurts for them. They need to start doing follow-ups on adoptions. Once the adoption goes through, they never check on them. This is so disturbing.
     
  6. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Totally unacceptable. Any fost/adopt parent goes through extensive training on alternative discipline methods and has access to behavior therapists. Families must also sign a contract that they will NEVER use corporal punishment with a foster child. One also may not use isolation, humiliation, emotional battering, cold showers, or the withholding of food. There is no flicking, pinching, thunking, or yelling.

    This couple would have had that training and agreed to these parameters--admittedly tough to follow for the most challenging kids. But necessary to assure children's safety. Sadly, they did not ask for help with their children's behavior. If it wasn't readily available, DHS must address this critical issue.

    I'm very sad that these little ones endured even more abuse. I pray that their next parents will be loving and supportive.

    If you've read my posts for long, you'll know that I have very strong opinions of the issue of food for any child in an out of home placement. IMO, far more training and support needs to be given to this flashpoint. I am not defending these people's horrid crimes but I know from experience how food can incite passion and violence. Adoptive and/or foster parents can feel that they are doing all they can for a challenging child with strange acting out behaviors. They can serve well-balanced meals and offer healthy snacks. When they catch a child sneaking food it can set off a cascade of emotions. It's usually not a cookie or a banana, either, but a pound of peanut butter, a whole loaf of bread, or a case of cookies. Often the parent is then left to deal with a sick child who has no idea why they just ate to the point of vomiting. Parents can feel great remorse even as they become rageful at the child. They take the child's behavior personally and see it as ungratefulness. The reality is that no child is grateful and no parent should ever expect a child to experience or falsely exhibit that emotion.

    I can't say that I've been pushed over the edge but I've seen that edge a few times--when, after a delicious dinner, I watched a son bury two large bags of bagels in our backyard (for later) or when another son ate an entire birthday cake belonging to someone else while we took photos on the front porch.

    Food is love is food. When that part of the brain acts out due to early trauma, bad things can happen. My prayer is that these children are placed with far calmer and more experienced parents who grasp the boundaries of discipline and guidance.
     
  7. RoseWhite

    RoseWhite Member

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    Why do people become foster parents just to become abusive parents??? What the h*ll is wrong with people???
     
  8. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    These people wanted these kids. My concern is, for what? I want to know if they were experienced fosters or if fostering these particualr kids was their first foster placement. I want to know why go to the next step of adopting them only to treat them thus? Were they new to foster/adoptive parent scene? Did they bite off more than they could chew (no excuse) and find out they weren't cut out for this?

    They obviously knew it was wrong else they would have displayed this behavior in front of friends, neighbors and others in the community. They did not, telling me they knew full well their abuse was just that - abuse.

    I just don't get it. Why take some already abused, possibly emotionally screwed up kids and do this to them?? What was going on with these people? DId they have natural children in the home as well? If so were those children subjected to the same treatment? If they had previous foster children was this their technique with them as well? Frightening.
     
  9. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Belinda, I respectfully but whole-heartedly disagree. Once an adoption is final, the child and parent relationship is EXACTLY the same legally as that of a biological child. There is no oversight allowed by law other than what is permitted for any child through the regular channels. To offer any less is disrespectful of the adoptive family. The Child Welfare Act of 1980 set out the federal mandate that children placed in their adopted homes would cease to be under the purview of the state.

    What we DO need, however, is better training and vetting of foster and adoptive families. We need workers to stop overestimating parents' abilities and to stop straining the families taking the toughest kids. Because our social service system is broken and is bending under the pressure of too many children and not enough parents, families are often offered children which are a poor fit for their level of experience. This is a recipe for disaster. It's like sending a wild and rowdy Rottweiler to a frail elder for a pet. Something bad is bound to happen, whether there was initial malice or not.

    If anyone wants to know what they can do to help or if you are interested in the issues on the foster care and adoption front, please check the website of the organization I dedicated 20 years of my life to, The North Amercian Council on Adoptable Children.

    www.nacac.org

    There are nearly 400,000 children waiting for permanency in the US. Foster and adoptive families need pertinent and readily available training. More and more training videos or live-feeds are available on the web and that is great. We also need 24 hour help lines for difficult behaviors, safe and timely respite, appropriate funding and emotional support.

    Many people, even seasoned biological parents honestly have no earthly idea concerning the outrageous behaviors which are common in the traumatized child. Abandonment, fear, past abuse and neglect create life long negative and harmful behaviors that require parents with incredibly strong support systems, creativity, and a good deal of good humor. The crimes we typically see in foster and adoptive families are often the result of parents being overwhelmed and failing to seek help IMO. I feel that very few people actually set out to adopt children to traumatize and abuse them. Most start out with wonderful intentions and the situation worsens and implodes.

    Parenting a fostered or adopted child is one of the most rewarding avocations in the world but it will bring you to your knees. Then you have to get up the next morning and do it all over again.
     
  10. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    Thank you button is not enought Missizzy. I know the patience and love it takes to do justice by a foster child. I have a great deal of respect for you and others like you.
     
  11. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    I'm not advocating continuous oversight, but a check-in at some specific point post-adoption to ensure the safety of the children. I wonder how long they fostered these children before adoption? Was none of the abuse pre-adoption? I find that hard to believe. To me, there was clearly a failure at some point in time. These post-adoption nightmares happen too often, so I feel some sort of check is in order.
     
  12. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    The article also wasn't very specific. Was the boy sneaking food because he was starving or because he has food issues? Either way, how can the response be to not allow the child to eat for 3 days? We don't really know what, if any, behavioral issues may have exacerbated this situation. Nonetheless, the parents are serious abusers.
     
  13. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Belinda--ITA. On a certain level it makes sense and I know where your heart is. But consider for a minute how biological families--even ones with a risk factor ie illness, divorce, a death, an arrest, poverty, a new marriage, etc--would feel about a "check in". There would me massive gnashing of teeth. An adoption is a legally binding agreement and the child and parent have the the same rights as biological families. A great idea on the surface and one that has been looked at occasionally by legislators but it simply is not legal.

    According to studies, adoptive families have a lower tendancy to abuse when all the facts are looked at. You must remember that there's great sensationalism in reporting child abuse (as there should be) but other studies have shown that adoptive and foster families are far more likely to have their abuse reports followed by the media. The irony is that these families are also far more likely to be parenting challenging children. Think about what would happen if I abused a child. All hell would break loose!! I have a pretty stellar reputation but I imagine I'd find myself on the front page of the newspaper.

    I am not defending criminal actions nor abuse AT ALL. There is no excuse for abuse. I'm just putting out there my response to an oft debated subject. This is one of those slippery slopes which is similar to curtailing the child bearing rights of those who have offended or who have disabilities. Sounds like a great idea at first blush but follow it through and really examine the implications. We must follow the law and respect the rights and entitlements set forth.

    If I can answer specific questions concerning the general "whys", I would be happy to. Obviously, I can't know what went on in this specific family but I've worked with foster and adoptive families parenting both healthy and tremendously challenged children for over two decades. I've conducted 100s of hours in training families, prospective social workers and CASAs as to the management and modification of challenging and frightening behaviors and written extensively on these issues.

    Even with my disability, I still am a supportive contact for over 100 families. Plus, my husband and I raised 13 children (10 adopted) to adulthood and currently foster a daughter. I certainly have observations on these issues and might be able to shed some light on the inner workings of the adoptive or foster family. I would welcome educating any of you on these perplexing questions. Trust me, no question is too strange or offensive.
     
  14. newone

    newone 2nd mouse gets the cheese

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    From listening to the interview it became apparent that there was another child in the home and that child was not subjected to abuse. It would be interesting to determine if that child was a bio child or another foster child.
     
  15. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    The children have been placed back with their original foster family.
    http://www.wesh.com/r/24615815/detail.html

    I hope that is a good move, but at least it does show that the state is acknowledging their need for as much stability as possible right now.

    A Seminole County couple is accused of withholding food to the point where a child was eating from a trash can.
    and
    But authorities said instead the children, ages 6 and 9, were locked in their rooms and not allowed to eat. If they were caught sneaking food from the garbage, they were paddled with wooden spoons or a belt.
    Also
    The younger child is also adopted and has been removed per this article
    http://www.cfnews13.com/article/new...Parents-accused-of-starving,-beating-children

    Some questions answered right there, in my opinion.
     
  16. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    The fact of the matter is these are not biological children. I don't think it is a slippery slope to be sure the children placed in these homes are not abused. Especially considering these are often children with challenges that can cause stress. I'm sorry, I just don't believe there should be an absolute cut-off at time of adoption. Maybe if the foster system was stronger and able to catch these things before an adoption takes place, I would feel more comfortable. But they aren't catching these things and a definitive cut-off, in my opinion, is inappropriate.
     
  17. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Belinda, you certainly are entitled to your opinion and I might have sided with you if I hadn't lived this life for 26 years (the amount of time we've been adoptive parents).

    Please remember that adopted children and biological children all share the protection of the state and local law enforcement (spotty as that might be) and all require us, as community members, to report suspicious behavior, abuse or neglect. A DHS report is that same, whether a child is adopted, fostered, biological, or simply visiting. Each allegation is considered on its own merit. If it gets past the screener, a committee discusses the possible options and best practice.

    I'll see if I can find some studies, links, and statistics for you. I fully understand that you are considering the best interest of the child. I'm merely pointing out why a "check-in", after the adoption is formally legalized (usually after a supervisory period of 6-18 months), is neither legal nor practical.
     
  18. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    A few links:

    http://faq.acf.hhs.gov/cgi-bin/acfrightnow.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=70

    "According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System's most current report, Child Maltreatment 2008, of the approximately 772,000 child abuse and neglect victims in 2008, the largest percentage of perpetrators, nearly 80 percent (80.1) were parents of the victim, including birth parents, adoptive parents, and stepparents. Of the parents who were perpetrators, more than 90 percent (90.9) were biological parents, about 4 percent (4.4) were stepparents, and about 1 percent (0.7) were adoptive parents. Other relatives accounted for an additional 6.5 percent, and an unmarried partner of a parent accounted for 4.4 percent of perpetrators."


    http://encyclopedia.adoption.com/entry/abuse/3/1.html

    "Do adoptive parents ever abuse children? Experts believe that the rate of abuse among adoptive parents is extremely low. For example, the American Humane Association and also Richard Barth, in his essay in Adoption Policy and Special Needs Children, have estimated that abuse occurs in about 1% of adoptive families.

    This low rate of abuse may be due to the fact that adoptive parents intensely desired to become parents and were also screened before they were able to achieve this goal. The home study process almost invariably includes a complete report from one's physician. A person with a serious problem, such as drug abuse or alcohol abuse, is likely to be detected. Individuals with a history of abuse or violence would also not be allowed to adopt a child."


    http://www.nacac.org/adoptalk/wholetruth.html (an excellent overview of the issue)

    http://www.nacac.org/adoptalk/pasarticle01.html (what adoptive families in crisis need)

    http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/statistics/can.cfm (a great resource!!)
     
  19. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    Missizzy - I know you are very experienced with these things and know in my heart that you are perfectly correct. My mind just screams when I hear of abused children being further abused within the system. It just makes me crazy. I also realize that an adopted child is far less likely to be abused than a biological child. An abused child is an abused child, whether biological, fostered or adopted. I don't know what the answer is. I do think we have a duty to ensure that children who have already been abused, not be further abused. How we accomplish that I haven't the faintest idea. To hear of abused children being subsequently abused just pushes me over the edge.
     
  20. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Belinda, you always floor me with your graciousness. I know you hurt for children and I do too. I'm sure we are on the same page 99% of the time. I just happened to debate this one a little more voraciously than most issues as I've spent so long fighting for adoptive family rights.

    I'm no math whiz as you are and so I ran those numbers by my husband last night and he told me I was missing a piece of the equation. He said I needed to determine the percentage of children in the US who are adopted or the facts I presented mean nothing. I got busy and found the number--2% of all American children are adopted.

    http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/FactOverview.html

    So, the number of children who are adopted and who have been abused by their adoptive parents is far lower than the rate of abuse by biological parents. I wonder if some of this tends to be the homestudies and doctor reports which are required which eliminates those with long term drug, alcohol and anger management problems.

    Where I see the biggest problem is with the dearth of families willing to adopt. States and counties will often highly encourage (and even bend some rules) to place children in kinship care. Often times these families were not actively seeking to take in a sibling group of three behaviorally disordered and prenatally exposed children but they were "talked into it" by a desperate worker and by the monthly stipend which was promised (often far less than they are actually entitled to). That to me is the perfect set up.

    Adoption is not about altruism. It is NOT about filling a need or doing a duty. One should only adopt a child because they want another child and are tremendously excited by a particular child. And trust me, there's no rhyme or reason as to why a couple or a single parent falls for a specific child. I can't tell you how many couples go in looking for a 2-6 year old healthy little girl and fall in love with a 12 year old special needs boy or vice versa!! Last time we went "looking", we were hoping for a 16-18 year old boy. Who did we fall in love with? A 13 year old girl. Yep. Light of our lives.

    IMO, rules should not be bent (no matter what the worker OR the family say) concerning the number of visits families have before a placement. Because we currently have federal mandates which removed barriers to inter-jurisdictional placements, children can be placed 3000 miles away from where they currently live. That's wonderful, IF the family can spend adequate time with the child and the foster family getting to know the child and his/her ways. There are federal funds in the coffers to cover these trips and they should be accessed.

    It's all about proactive planning, training and ongoing support. Adoptive families, especially those with unique children, have to be prepared for transparency. DHS feels far more comfortable with families who live in neighborhoods, have social and/or church contacts, and send their children to school. That way they know that many eyes are watching the children.

    Adoptive families are wise to be proactive in reporting problems and asking for support. Each state has adoptive family support groups and there are also funds available to help. This is not to say that many fine families live 20 miles out and homeschool--many do. I'm just stating the obvious. Transparency and "eyes on" help assure everyone about safety.

    Thank you so much for being willing to learn about adoption issues. It's really refreshing to debate someone with an open mind. You really force me to dig deep and explain my point of view.

    (((hugs)))
     

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