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Apr-07-2008 15:55TweetFollow @OregonNews
Expose` - DHS Children`s Protective Services DivisionGuest Opinion by Jenifer Saroian for Salem-News.com
Incompetent and falsified psychiatric evaluations by DHS-CPD employed psychiatrists.
(SALEM, Ore.) - DHS often requests that clients bring in, or sign releases for their clients’ medical records. If the existing medical records do not support the allegations made by DHS, they routinely bring in their own psychiatrists.
These psychiatrists are paid an average of $2,000.00 by DHS (aka Oregon tax payers) for each psychiatric evaluation (psych eval). These evaluations do not include reviewing any of the existing medical documentation that the client has already paid for.
The DHS employed psychiatrists routinely return an assessment that is excessively negative, and often in direct conflict with all other existing client medical records. Worse, DHS requested psych evals are often fabricated to better support DHS allegations or agendas.
As incredible as this may seem, it is a documented fact, and a heinous offense by a State agency entrusted with enormous, life altering, life and death responsibilities. Of course, DHS will respond to this, citing "serious allegations", which is certainly intentional on my part, but their denials will not mean much in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Evidence printed on DHS letterhead, with case names and numbers belonging to DHS clients who are willing to make their private affairs public, in an effort to right what is so obviously wrong.
I will use my own personal experience as an example; A few years ago, I had a psych eval by a DHS hired psychiatrist. DHS had previously requested, and received, my medical records, for which I have paid thousands of dollars. This included a current assessment by my primary physician, specifically addressing allegations DHS had made against me. These documents were completely ignored by DHS. They wanted "their own guy" to do my assessment, so I complied with their demands at my daughter’s request (she had been told all charges would be dropped and the case closed if I complied with the eval, which was a deliberate and blatant lie.
Months later, when I received my copy of the completed DHS assessment, my first thought was that the doctor must have confused me with another client he had seen that same day. As I read on, I realized that was not the case. In his professional opinion, I have a pot smoking problem, a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and a few other personality disorders that were not familiar (or accurate). Perplexed, I decided to do some research regarding "Narcissistic Personality Disorder". Here are some excerpts from my findings:
* "NPD is a rare disorder, beginning in childhood. The cause is not understood, and there is some disagreement regarding environmental vs. biological causation.
* "99% of subjects clinically diagnosed with NPD are men, it is largely unknown in women"
* NNPD is often characterized by grandiose behavior, due to the subject’s belief that they are "special", or "favored by God". They lack empathy for others in general, creating difficult social interactions and the inability to bond appropriately in personal relationships. Treatment is difficult, and outcome statistics are poor, as subjects do not see themselves as having a problem."
* I have been "evaluated" by a number of very expensive doctors, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals who unanimously agree on my diagnosis: Major Depressive Disorder with Anxiety, and ADHD. All of these issues are hereditary, as in "it runs in my family". I passed the ADHD on to 2 of my children; one also has same diagnosis as I do. It is completely treatable, and we don’t think much about it. What I have described here is vastly different from a "personality disorder", which I have never been diagnosed as having.
* Unlike the description of NPD, I am absolutely certain that I have issues that I need help with from time to time, and I don’t hesitate to seek medical attention when I need it (mainly because I don’t want to become so narcissistic and grandiose that it interferes with my feelings of guilt and worthlessness).
* Another strange allegation in my DHS evaluation is that I have "a pot smoking problem". I have NEVER been a pot smoker, common knowledge in my circle. Why on earth would I tell the evaluator that I use an illegal drug, when in fact, I do not?
* When I brought this information to the attention of my DHS worker, she completely disregarded my concerns.
My own DHS evaluation is just one example of such glaring incompetence. I have several other documented DHS evaluations that are even more unbelievable. Read on for a few more samples: One woman brought me her DHS evaluation, wherein the evaluator wrote that she is "mentally retarded". Since I know this woman, I was just dumbfounded. In truth, she is severely ADHD, but does just fine when she takes her medication. However, she was afraid to take her medication, because it would show up as "amphetamine" in her mandatory urinalysis tests. My questions would be; what purpose was served here? Was the client helped by the $2,000.00 the tax payers paid out for the appalling lack of competency this nut job displayed?
Another woman needs medication for her ongoing depression (DHS has put this poor gal through absolute Hell!), but she is afraid to get medication because she says DHS will use her depression against her in their decision to return her child. I am familiar with her case, and she is right. They would use it against her. Her entire case will be reviewed and made available to the public in a few weeks. This one is really special.
Recently, a young man who has had a catastrophic onset of Multiple Sclerosis has been forced to move out of his home, where he lives with his family. DHS says his illness makes him "unsafe" to be around his own children, even though he has no history whatsoever to support such a claim…so he had to move out.
I wonder who will be taking care of him. I wonder how he must feel…to be seriously ill, and be thrown out like trash because DHS issued an ultimatum that he had to leave, or his wife would loose custody of their 2 and 3 year old daughters. I wonder if it is a good idea to teach our children that sick people are dangerous and undesirable. I wonder how long it will be until all parents who have ever been ill, in crisis, or have made any kind of serious mistake, will be required to turn over custody of their children to DHS.
Sound unbelievable? You bet! But I can back up every word I’ve written here…absolutely, positively.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. I put out some requests for personal experiences from people who would be willing to allow their case files to be reviewed, and possibly used in a public manner. When I got home later that night, my email had crashed and my internet service provider had flagged my account as "possible attack of service" due to the huge number of messages I received.
DHS has clearly inspired a deep, enduring passion in a lot of people. That kind of passion is exactly what is needed to clean up this "public service, family advocacy, child protection agency-gone-completely-berserk."
For years, I have been an enthusiastic participant in many heated discussions regarding the wrong doings by DHS. These discussions have always concluded with the unanimous agreement that "something has to be done" then shelved until the next impassioned bitch session.
But recently, I am hearing words and phrases like; "grassroots", "coalition", "fact gathering committees", "violations of civil rights", "public awareness raising", "lobbying", and so on…but the most encouraging new things I’m hearing…are whining, moaning, groaning, and heavy sighs.
Sounds that signify the weary acceptance of a rotten job that no body wants to do. Sounds made by women who comprehend the enormity of trying to change a system as mired in pomposity and arrogance as DHS, and that attracts employees with personality issues like a pedophile to Catholicism.
A commitment to this cause will require too much time and effort; and it will be funded solely by people who eat nothing but ramen for the last week of every month. Any expectations of compensation, courtesy, or respect are out of the question, but regular character assassinations are included in the package.
Lastly, and most importantly, we need a small group of good, strong, imperfect women. Card carrying members of the I-HAVE-NO-CREDIBILITY-CLUB. Previous experience marching into Hell preferred.
Jenifer Saroian thinks that when we see something we believe to be dangerously toxic growing and flourishing in our society, it is our moral responsibility to try to do something. We wouldn't let a stranger step on a downed power line if we knew it was there...this isn't any different. It's about pointing out a problem, examining it, and finding a solution. The issue with DHS has been of growing concern to Jenifer for years, but recently, shes says she has come to feel that it's her personal and social responsibility to speak for the people who can't speak for themselves on this issue.
Jenifer says "been there, done that" when it comes to her background. She has spent time working as a hairdresser, shop owner, landscaper, apartment manager, bar tender, state employee, and even has a little legal experience.
She says she is looking for an up and coming attorney, who has the brass to take on a State Agency on contingency. You can email Jenifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
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