Health Care & Rehabilitation Services Betrayed A Vulnerable Man
An LICSW, Julie Cunningham of Families First in Wilmington, VT asked my husband to attend an HCRS meeting called ACT 264 to assist us in getting help for our challenged teenaged son. My husband (who has cognitive disabilities and obviously needed accomodation) walked into the room trusting that these credentialed professionals would be knowlwdgeable and supportive. They greeted him with intimidating, daggering eye glares and interrogated him in a criminal suspect manner, bullying him fearsomely and duressing him for "consent" to take our son into state custody. This terrifying set-up was conducted by Bill Metcalfe of Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS)in Brattleboro, Vermont. Nobody had warned my husband that he would need an attorney. He had no opportunity to find or request an advocate of any kind, even though at least two people in that room knew that he was disabled. Worst of all, he was degraded and humiliated in front of his handicapped teenage son. As he was leaving the meeting, shaking from shell-shock, Julie Cunningham approached him and informed that this was not happening because he was a bad parent, but because of "funding" issues. Immediately my husband went back to his job, trembling with horror at what had just happened. But he was not left alone to concentrate on his work. HCRS Counselor Linda Heimerdinger called and demoralized him for "raising your voice" at a loud and defiant teenager. She proudly proclaimed that she never, ever raised her voice at her own teens. But she was never sneak tape recorded in the privacy of her own home, as we were. I was shocked that the state could take kids away simply for occasional yelling, particularly when caught by warrantless tape recordings planted in your home during stressful times. The Child Maltreatment allegation was dropped but my husband is still suffering from PTSD. He has been suffering for more than 2 years.
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