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Advocating for Riley!
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51 Weeks running

My name is Shane and I am Riley's father. I was designated as Riley's custodial guardian in 2016 because I was able to provide her with stability, routine and consistency that her mother could not .

Since August of 2017 when Riley has returned from her mother's parenting time, she has returned to my home with head lice. On two separate occasions, Riley returned to my home after her mothers parenting time with what looked to be bite marks. My wife and I took pictures of these histamine reactions in December of 2017 as suggested by our attorney.  An October filing by me to suspend mother's parenting time was denied so our attorney suggested taking pictures as proof of a growing concern. My wife and I also wanted to show the pictures to Riley's dermatologist in order to see if she could identify the origin of the marks as we had an appointment with her in January of 2018.  Also in December, due to the  chronic lice issue, my wife and I made the decision to cut Riley's hair into a Pixie style haircut (a haircut which she had before in 2015). The lice treatments were taking about two hours, so in an effort to reduce the time spent combing, we made an appointment for Riley and gave her different options to choose from when it came time to cut her hair. She was sad that she had to cut her hair because it was down passed her shoulders but she was relieved that the combing and treatments were not taking as long.

Riley has been engaged in counseling since 2015 and when the lice began to become chronic, my wife and I requested that her play therapist see her on a weekly basis instead of bi-weekly.  Riley's Therapist praised my wife and I for the way in which we approached Riley's haircut. Me being a Social Worker and my wife a Mental Health Nurse, we have experience in promoting "felt safety." In October of 2017, Riley was asked by her mother what my wife and I were finding in her hair and the amount of ice we were finding. Riley reported that she had a twisting feeling in her stomach when her mother asked her these questions and that it made her uncomfortable. I confronted Riley's mother about not talking to Riley about adult worries and notified Riley's therapist about the incident. In a meeting with my wife, the therapist, and myself, we brainstormed ways in which to alleviate Riley's anxiety when in her mother's care. We decided that we would not discuss the lice in details.

However, in February 2018 after another filing to suspend mothers parenting time was denied by the court(s), a referral was made against my wife and I for emotional maltreatment. Children Services alleged that my wife and I were advised by Riley's therapist to not talk about the lice, but we were continuing to discuss the matter, that we cut Riley's hair off and it was emotionally traumatic and that we took almost nude photos of Riley that were potentially embarrassing and anxiety inducing.

Unfortunately, because Children Services has continued to remain involved, and there has been no resolution with my private custody matter regarding the lice and bug bites, my attorney's retainer has been exhausted and they have began charging an hourly rate of $150 dollars an hour and she has worked on our case now for a total of 40 hours. My wife and I have always looked out for the welfare of our daughter and to be a Social Worker and to work in child welfare and be accused of mistreating my daughter is an insult to my education, career, and good name. This investigation is reprehensible and is something that we can put an end to with your generosity and help.   

 

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