Tuesday, July 28, 2015

September 25, 2014 Abuse Incident at Springbrook Behavioral Health in South Carolina



One of my children was a patient at Springbrook Behavioral Health from 05/29/14-10/19/14. Springbrook Behavioral Health is located at 1 Havenwood Lane Traveler’s Rest, SC.
I received a call from Shannon Childress, my child’s therapist, and my daughter for a family therapy session on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 3:17pm. I was glad to hear from my daughter because she had not made her regular phone calls that week. It was quickly clear why she had not.
My daughter first informed me that I would be very proud of her because she handled “it” well and used her coping skills. The sad truth is my child is known to lie, exaggerate, and attention seek so I normally simply listen and reflect back what my child has said rather than believe ad act on what she says. The therapist, Shannon Childress, knew this and interrupted long enough to tell me that what my daughter was going to tell me was the truth. My daughter proceeded to tell me the following:
·      A peer spit on staff
·      One staff got angry and was kicking and punching the peer
·      The staff had rings on and made her peers neck bleed
·      Another staff was helping beat up the peer.
·      The peer was lying on the floor while the staff kicked her.
·      A staff got thrown onto my daughter in the process
·      The staff members responsible for the assault were Ms. Benita and Ms. Amanda.
·      The staff members can’t work there anymore.
·      There were multiple other adolescent clients and staff in the gym at the time of the assault.
I immediately ended the family therapy session and asked for details from Shannon. The incident happened on Tuesday. This was not reported to me, nor the police or other governing authorities in a timely manner. I was told they “were going to call the police but I had already done so, so they didn’t.” I was not aware of the incident and did not call the police until two days later. The only positive out of this whole situation is that there is a video of the entire incident.
After explaining to my daughter that I was not upset with her but needed to end the phone call early, I called the Police Department at 864-834-9029 to report the incident. The police department is located at 6711 State Park Rd. Travelers Rest, SC 29690. I was told that an officer would call me back shortly.
At 4:42 pm I called the Greeneville Department of DSS at 864-467-7750 and left a message for a worker to call me back.
At 4:49 pm I received a call back from Officer Tice who stated he had gone to the facility and viewed a video of the incident, that my child was not hurt, though a staff was thrown on her. He stated two staff did assault a client after the client became aggressive. He also stated that he could not give me any more details.
At 5:15 pm a worker from South Carolina Child Protective Services called me back from 864-467-7700 and stated that I could not file a report because it was not my child who was harmed.
At 5:45 I received a phone call from Shannon Childress apologizing for the incident and telling me how great my daughter was handling it. I do not want my child handling another peer being assaulted by adults well. She should not be calm or ok under those circumstances.
Officer Tice, multiple Springbrook staff, and South Carolina Child Protective services told me that the judges in the area were not very considerate of mental illness and that everyone was trying to help the patient who was assaulted by not pursuing it legally since she assaulted staff first.
My child was in a facility to have treatment for mental health issues caused witnessing and experiencing abuse and neglect in her past. Rather than get treatment, my child witnessed more abuse and experienced abuse and neglect by the staff’s failure to report and handle the situation properly. In what way is she not harmed?
What about me? I live with the everyday heartache of having a child who is too sick to live at home. I am forced to trust other’s to provide the care that I can’t. Living with the knowledge that I handed my child to people who would only repeat the very abuse and neglect situations that led to her hospitalization in the first place is overwhelming.
I lay awake at night wondering about the peer who was assaulted in front of my child. The only thing I know about her is that she is in state custody without any parent involvement. I know that like my daughter, she suffers from mental illness. How is she? Who is speaking for her? Why did the South Carolina Department of Children’s Services choose not to press assault charges on the two staff despite there being video evidence? How is it helping a patient to let two staff who brutally assaulted her go free?  Yes, they were fired, but without any legal action or record they may go work in another facility and abuse another patient. This is not a he said/she said incident; there is a video. Even if the video is somehow lost, there is a police officer that saw the video, and a police report (Tice-14-13331).
This story has now made the news. Please keep sharing. With knowledge comes change! Warehousing Our Children

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ninety Six Reports of Abuse at Springbook Behavioral Health and I was Clueless!!!!

After over a year of phone calls, letters, tears, and complaints filed, here we are! I'm begging you to share this and keep sharing! Our most vulnerable children do not deserve the way they are treated by the agencies paid millions of dollars to "help" them or the governments continued efforts to hide behind privacy laws and loop holes to protect institutional child abusers.

When I agreed to allow my child to be placed at Springbrook Behavioral Health in Travelers Rest, SC I had no idea that in recent years they had 96 reports of abuse

I agreed to toss out privacy for the sake of safety for my girls and the many children who require out of home treatment in group homes or residential placements or who due to no fault of their own end up in foster care.

I am so honored and humbled that Lauren Sausser of the Post and Courier decided to be a megaphone for my voice! Thank you so much Lauren!!!! You can read the story here.




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sexual Sin...Now that you have finally showed up...I have something to say



The post below was written in 2015, but with the Coalition of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood "Nashville Statement" on biblical sexuality that was released today, my heart screamed it needed to be shared again. 

In 2015 my news feed and inbox were flooded with comments and messages from my Christian friends and acquaintances over the Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage. I must say that in all my years of being their friend, I had never heard sexual sin more talked, worried, prayed, and stressed about. Most seemed certain that because of the SCOUS approval of what they deemed sexual sin; the United States, and many who I love and care for, are doomed. Their lament and public admonishment of this sexual sin has continued to be passionate, loud, and nothing short of zealous. 

While despite the fact that I do not agree that those within the LGBTQIA community are in the wrong, I suppose, that on some level, I can appreciate the excitement about exposing and ending sexual sin. You see,  I have spent years trying to get people to pay attention to the devastation caused by sexual sin with almost no response.

With each new post, part of me, honestly, most of me, feels nothing but rage. Post after post has been made about consenting adults getting married, the transgender community, or about how awful the sexual sin of homosexuality is. It is apparently so awful that God might destroy our entire nation and damn both those who are LGBTQ+ and those who support them straight to hell.

The problem is this…

Where have you been? More importantly however, what about this sexual sin, as you call it, consensual sex between two adults who love one another, is so important that after years of ignoring other sexual sins, you have shown up now?

I have spent my lifetime in churches. I have lived a lifetime of sexual abuse, at the hands of many. I have parented child after child through the foster care system who has experienced sexual abuse. I spent twenty years sitting in church every single Sunday and no one ever mentioned sexual abuse or rape, not once.

Why is two adults having consensual sex more terrible than a father holding his child down and having sex with her? Why is two adults getting married more awful than young girls being sold into sexual slavery? Why does no one care about that? Why does no one see me? Why does no one see my girls? Why does no one see or care about the one in three women who experience those things before the age of 18? Why is homosexuality the worst sexual sin? Why is it so much worse that it is the only one you want to talk about?  I just can't make sense of it. 

I’m disgusted by your apathy to the least of these and your hatred of those who are choosing to love because that love does not look like yours. It is nothing short of hatefulness based on biblical passages enmeshed between others you choose to ignore. We never got to choose, and you never said a word. Where was our protest? Where was our sermon? Where was our prayer vigil? Where was our statement? Where were you?


Every single post about same sex marriage, the transgender community, or homosexuality feels like a violation of everything I am because it is a reminder of the nothing that was ever done to protect me and the many many people I have encountered over the years who are longing for the church to step up and say something. Not to "the gays" but to the rapists, to the child molesters, to the sex offenders, to those really committing sexual sin. 

You Want Her Whole

You want her whole. Trust me. For when she finds her muchness; when she gathers all the pieces of herself, all the pieces you have broke...