I'm not so sure I'm even going to post this...I really just need to get some stuff off my chest. Something happened at work today that just brought up so many emotions, and I dont know what to do with them.
A while back, I was working with a family in an attempt to avoid putting the children in foster care. There were two little girls and a boy. The mother was a hoarder, but more of the lazy sort. She had no attachment to the trash in her house, she was just too lazy to clean it up. She was perfectly happy to have others do it for her. There were bugs, fleas (which I had posted about my allergic reaction to over the summer), rodents, and mold. It was horrible. The year that I worked with the family, I had two in-home counselors coming, and offered numerous resources to help her get and stay on her feet. Even her homeowner's insurance company thought the house unfit as they cancelled her policy. Whilst this was going on, she met a man and moved him into her house. Within a few weeks, she had the kids calling him dad. Ok, red flags everywhere, but I had no proof of anything.
This man...he was very creepy...a weasley sort. I wouldnt have trusted him with my dog, let alone my children. I did not understand what he saw in this woman as she was hygenically challenged in every way possible, lazy as all get-out, manipulative, and...well...straight cray cray.
Today, I found out why he was interested in her little family. A few months ago, there was so little progress with the mother, that the children had to be removed. The house was deplorable and the boyfriend had started beating the children with belts. Enough was enough. Shortly afterward, someone found child indescretions on his computer (I am NOT going to put what it is actually called on this blog because I do not want any perverts doing a search term and ending up here)...which then led to an investigation of his cell phone. Where pictures of this woman's children were found. I am horrified that for an entire year, I couldn't prove this pervert was living there. For a year these children suffered because I could not prove what he was doing. We ALL had our suspicions, but ultimately we were trying to get the mother to straighten up her life. I think all in all, there are over 1000 pictures.
Now mom...we have suspicion that she knew all along what he was doing....just as sick. Since her children were removed, she has moved in with another man, and has posted online how happy and carefree her life is. WTF?? What kind of mother is this? I just DONT UNDERSTAND.
So, I feel like I failed these children. I should have known, should have dug deeper. When you see things online and on tv about how social services fails children...please know that MOST of us try SO hard to protect them, but the families don't give us what we need. They are SO good at covering things up. We are bound by laws and statutes and can't just investigate things on a whim. I just wish he had given me something along the way that I could have used to dive into it. I am so very sad for these kids. So so so sad. NO child should ever have to experience this.