[Our family] was dealt an injustice by the Dept of Youth and Family, Associate Justice Michael Forte and the Family Court System in December 1999. I was involved in a relationship and was a victim of domestic abuse. The man I was with had abused one of "his" biological daughters in my home while I was at work and my children were in daycare.
I was mistreated by the Providence Police in the investigation of "his" actions. Due to the fact he resided in my home when this incident occurred the Department Of Children, Youth And Families (DCYF) removed my children from my home for fear he would return and impose physical harm to them and myself. I was assured by a representative from the Department Of Children, Youth And Families (DCYF) the children would be returned as soon as they had the accused in custody. He was remanded into custody at the ACI the next day. My children were not returned. I had to fight for their return for 3 months.
The DCYF had no negative finding regarding myself or how I treated my children. There was no Plan set forth by their department for me to complete. Each time we went to court hearing was continued to the tune of 3 long months. My case worker assigned by DCYF stated many times there was no problem with me and that I was an excellent mother and the next time we went to court I would have my children back. There were never any charges filed against me for wrong doing. No evidence was ever provided to the court supporting any claim of such.
After 3 months and another appearance in court I was lucky enough to run into Attn. Dena Paolino Raimundo whom I briefed about these proceedings. It took her all of 5 minutes to prove to the judge I was dealt an injustice and my children should not have been removed and still being kept away me. The judge agreed with Attny. Paolino Raimundo lectured the Atty representing DCYF and the case workers for mishandling my case and apologized to me. I was instructed to leave the court room at once and go get my children and bring them home. I was advised by the Attny that represented me that I had a clear cut case for a Civil Law Suit.
The emotional damage this Dept inflicted on my children and myself no words can express. I have even had my eldest son in counseling. My daughter has separation anxiety because of it. This from a Dept that's goal is to help families and children......a job they failed at doing for me and my children. All this and then being threatened by the Providence Police Department. I was needed as a witness in order to convict the accused and was told if I do not cooperate they will take my children away from me again.