1.08.2011

Dia Sawyer "My hope is that one day every child in foster care will have a voice."

This is an account of my experience, that will hopefully clarify, why I questioned if Craighead County foster children received the gifts that were purchased specifically for them by members of our community.

In 2008 my husband and I decided to sponsor 20 Craighead County DCFS foster children for Christmas. My husband's office all rallied together to help us purchases gifts off Christmas wish lists provided by Craighead County DCFS in Jonesboro. DCFS asked that we spend approximately $100 per child. As DCFS also requested, we purchased and individually wrapped each gift and placed them in bags with the child's name and Christmas wishlist attached to the outside of the bag. We loaded them into my husband's truck and took our 5 children with us to deliver the gifts. We wanted our children to experience the joy of giving and sharing of blessings, especially at Christmas time. After we made many trips to the truck delivering the 20 bags of sorted gifts, we left DCFS without a 'thank you' of any kind. We finally dismissed it as a lack of professionalism and rudeness. We left DCFS with a sinking feeling that no one cared if we had sponsored these children or not.


The following Christmas we finalized our most recent adoption of a then 16 year old child. In his honor that Christmas we decided to sponsor 10 children. We listened as a family as DCFS employees made desperate pleas for volunteers to sponsor children because they were having a difficult time finding sponsors in the economic crisis. I took all 6 of my children shopping and my oldest and I wrapped and sorted all the gifts. After experiencing 4 years of foster care himself before moving into our home, he continually made the statement, "I can't believe you're buying all this stuff." We never got anything off our Christmas wish lists. Sometimes our gifts would be delivered 2 or 3 weeks after Christmas. It was always random stuff like a 'scooby doo hat' or 'lion t-shirt' or something weird. We never got anything like this." I put his statements out of my mind in hopes that maybe his gifts had just 'fallen through the cracks' or his wishlist not sponsored. We loaded all the kids and bags into the truck and delivered them to DCFS, all the while my oldest stating, "they don't care if you buy this stuff or not......they just take home what they want." I told him that, "there is no way that is true because why would they ask that the gifts be wrapped?" When we delivered our gifts we were told to just put them down in the hall. Again, no one said thank you or even asked our names. Again, we left with the sinking feeling that no one really cared if the gifts were ever donated or ever delivered to the needy children.

This Christmas I took only my oldest, now 17 years old, to shop for 2 children we had sponsored as a family, through Craighead County DCFS. I asked all my facebook friends and church members to sponsor a child as well. After calling DCFS to inquire if I needed to find more community members to donate, I was told that all the children had been sponsored this year. What a blessing that was to hear!

We had sponsored a 15 year old boy who resided in a foster home (per the info at the top of the Christmas wishlist provided by DCFS) and a 17 year old boy residing at CYS (Child Youth Services) facility in Jonesboro, AR. We shopped off of the boy's handwritten wishlists, filled out by them. I found it odd that a 15 year old boy, that could ask for anything he wanted, would ask for a jacket and comforter set for a full size bed. However, my oldest stated, "he's probably sharing a room and using a 'hand me down kiddie' bedspread. This brought back memories of shopping with my oldest when he was so excited to pick out decor and bedding for his own new room after he moved into our home. So we purchased a nice jacket, teen comforter set and remote control helicopter (all on his wish list) all from Kohl's in Jonesboro, AR.

We then went to TJ Maxx to shop for the 17 year old boy residing at CYS. He was the same age as my son and asked for everything my son had asked for Christmas. He wanted Ralph Lauren shirts. So I bought him the same things I had bought my own son. We picked out three nice Ralph Lauren pullovers in his size and two packages of Ralph Lauren socks. We also purchased another remote control helicopter at TJ Maxx for him as well to fly around on the CYS basketball courts.

After bringing the gifts home we wrapped and sorted the gifts and attached their names. My son again made the statement, "I NEVER got anything like this!" So I told him that I would take a picture of the gifts and receipts with my phone not sure what I would do with them at that time. We placed the receipts in the gifts, like we had always done in previous years, so that if the child or foster family needed to exchange/ return the gifts they would be able to do so.

That same afternoon I received a phone call from a person who had just dropped off donation items at the Craighead County DCFS offiice. She proceeded to tell me what she had witnessed.

She was dropping of her donations when she heard voices coming from the 'wrapping room.' She walked down and saw two DCFS employees sorting through gifts. After she stood and talked a while one employee began to unwrap gifts and exclaim, "Where is XXXX ever going to wear this? He's going to return to his biological family as soon as he turns 18 years old." Then she unwrapped another of his gifts and stated, "I don't think this is his color." And she then became excited when she realized the gifts also came with the receipt. She placed all his gifts into a pile to be returned. She then grabbed two brownish colored shirts and wrapped them and placed them into a carry bag to be delivered to him. She then grabbed a flash light and batteries, wrapping them and tossing them into the carry bag stating, "he'll need these." This child is a child I have known for many years. He had been placed on my Adoption Coalition Heart Gallery for several years in hopes of being adopted. He was never adopted and decided to enter the ILP (Independent Living Program) and I removed him from the Heart Gallery. I also knew that he resided at CYS and had no siblings there.

At this point, the other DCFS employee in the room, was sorting through gifts on a table and scanning them with her iphone 'tag scanning application' and placing them into piles. After scanning items that had come from TJ Maxx she asked if they should go into the return pile as well. The other employee said, "no just find a child's bag to put them in."

At this point an unknown woman entered the room and the employees were very excited to see her. She carried an empty Bed, Bath and Beyond bag and a gift card wrapped in a return receipt. They asked her how much she got and she said five hundred and something dollars. The employees were very excited and exclaimed, "great!"

Another unknown woman from the community entered the room to deliver her donated gifts. She carried three bags filled with gifts with a child's Christmas wish list attached to the outside of each bag. After the woman left, she witnessed the employees open each gift inside the bag and continue to sort the items and place them into piles. She then realized that there was a Wal Mart box overflowing with what she understood to be return items. At which point she said her goodbyes and left. She then called me from her vehicle crying as she headed home.

The next day I couldn't get the thought out of my mind of our former Heart Gallery child not having what he wanted for his last Christmas in foster care. He would soon turn 18 and be on his own trying to navigate life. I went to Wal Mart and purchased a $193.32 digital camera. I placed the receipt inside the digital camera box and wrapped the gift. I attached his name and CYS to the outside of the gift. I took another photo of my receipt and hoped and prayed that he would receive the gift. I hoped that if he didn't want the digital camera he could return it for an ipod or something else he wanted.

All the gifts were delivered on Monday afternoon, December 20th. On Tuesday, December 28th, I called Walmart to track the TC# (transaction control number) located at the bottom of my original receipt. They then faxed me a copy of a return receipt that had been signed by the same employee unwrapping gifts on December 17th. She had received $193.32 cash for the digital camera return on Wednesday, December 22nd, two days after I had dropped the gifts off at DCFS.

I then called Kohl's to track the number at the bottom of the receipt. I had purchased the Kohl's items for the 15 year old who requested the comforter, jacket and R/C Helicopter. They gave me copies of a return receipt signed by the same employee that had signed for the return at Wal Mart. The return had been made at 6pm on the December 20th, the same day I dropped the gifts off at DCFS. She had been given a gift card for $221.37 since the purchase had been made on a credit card that she couldn't provide. They then gave me copies of the itemized list of what she had purchased with the gift card.
Approximately 1 hour after the return she purchased:
clothing
decorative art
photo frame
2 decorative pillows
boxed calendars

She returned on December 27th and used the remainder of the giftcard to purchase accent furniture.

I then called TJ Maxx to check the number at the bottom of that receipt. The 3 Ralph Lauren shirts, 2 packages of Ralph Lauren socks and R/C helicopter had all been returned on Wednesday, December 22nd by a DCFS caseworker who had signed for the return. She was issued a gift card because again, I had used my credit card and she couldn't provide it for the return. TJ Maxx was able to track the giftcard to show that she had used a portion of the funds 30 minutes after the return. The remainder of the giftcard was spent that evening around 6pm.

On the same day that I discovered that every single item for every single child I had sponsored had been returned I called the police. The next day, Wednesday December 29th, I took my receipts and return receipts with me and gave my account of events to detectives at the police department.

The investigation is currently ongoing and no charges have been made. As is standard practice in my dealings with Arkansas DCFS, they are allowed to operate in a 'shade of gray' and hide behind their 'confidentiality policy and procedures' which usually places them above the law and under the radar of public knoweledge. Never have I known of an agency, person or business that is allowed to use it's 'policy and procedure' manual to operate in this fashion on an as needed basis. I do not expect charges to be made in this case. I expect DCFS to continue to work under their guise of 'confidentiality' until someone can hold them accountable for their actions, departmentally and personally. The statement they have given, "we were trying to 'level the playing field' for siblings does not justify why my three sponsored children didn't receive their appropriate gifts. They had no siblings placed with them, both being at CYS.

I hope that others will take a stand when they see injustice occurring, not turning a blind eye. I have placed myself in the public eye for scrutiny only in hopes that one day every child in foster care will finally have a voice.

Dia Sawyer
1/8/11

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to post this. This breaks my heart, but it needed to be said. DHS needs to be held accountable NOW.

Angie H said...

Dia..I am so very proud of what you are doing. They have to be stopped from doing this. I think that this needs to be made more public than it is. I hope that they press charges againt these people and this office. This needs to be told to the law makers of Arkansas. Something has to be done. This is not the first year of this that is very clear..To me that is stealing..No other way around it. You will truly be blessed..

Anonymous said...

This is horrifying... The employees were stealing. No other excuse is possible. One bought FURNITURE with the returned credit!?!?

No wonder your older son was incredulous at what you were buying..... I'm really glad that he was part of uncovering the truth!

To steal from children = lower than low. Thank you for working to fix this.... ~Michelle from Memphis

Amy Barrett said...

Dia, I am so proud of you for doing this. So proud!!

Jenny said...

So gald you are standing up for those who don't have a voice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing and for being so driven to expose the truth. It is so sad that these children have been victimized by the people who are supposed to be helping them. I really hope that the local media is also made aware of this situation to open the eyes of the people that your blog does not reach. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing and for being so driven to expose the truth. It is so sad that these children have been victimized by the people who are supposed to be helping them. I really hope that the local media is also made aware of this situation to open the eyes of the people that your blog does not reach. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

This is such a shame. You're trying to teach your kids the joy of giving, but they're learning a completely different lesson thanks to the DHS workers. I'm glad you were clever enough track the TC# on the receipts. Hopefully the police take this seriously. Good luck.

Carin McClung said...

My husband and I adopted our children through foster care and to think the people who are supposed to be looking out for them are stealing for them infuriates me. I am so glad you made your story known, these children have so few people looking out for them.

K. Harvey said...

Dia, I beleve you have uncovered only the tip of what goes on at the office on McLellan Dr. I've tried calling caseworkers cell phones, that are paid for by US..I got voice mails not set up, no return calls, ect. I have written directly to Little Rock concerning DCFS employees lack of professionalism and committment to the children WE pay them to protect. Let's try to keep this in the public eye!

Anonymous said...

Some where in the middle of reading this my emotion went from tears to anger. Accolades to you Ms. Sawyer for voicing such travesty which has probably occurred for years and years.

From my very novice knowledge this is a federal offense being the employee stole over $500. Meaning not only should the County's eyes be on DCFS and it's employees but the states and the Federal Level will and should have their eyes on Craighead County's choice in action taken to resolve and keep this from happening in the future.

Prosecuting is tricky being your gifts/donations were gave to DCFS; so in actuality the employees have stole from DCFS. However, if DCFS chooses not to take action, then the spotlight & responsibility for the thievery is on Craighead County DCFS as the ones stealing from the children which they are sworn to protect and from the Craighead County Community. I hope that you filed your report with an investigator to get this in front of the District Attorney for eyes to be opened wide. I also hope you took your story to the Jonesboro Sun & Arkansas Democrat for the story to be ran to rally the masses of the community and stir awareness that change needs to occur. There is power in numbers and power in public awareness.

However, my micro-level hope is all that read this blog & the comments, take a stand to not stand for such horrible thievery and make their voices heard to the Craighead County Communities Leadership.

There are many things on this earth & in our communities which are out of our control to make a positive impact of change on individually; however, this is not one of them. Please all who are reading this blog SPEAK UP! Let your voices be heard so this is not sweep under the rug and change occurs for the better :)

Jill said...

Unbelievable!!!!! There are some shady people working there. I admire your courage and your generosity!!! We need more people like you. I hope these shady characters do get caught and justice is served. The kids are the ones suffering....as usual. Where do they find these people???
Very proud of you Dia!!! You are my kind of woman!!!
God Bless

Anonymous said...

Dia, I thank you for bringing this to our attention. I want to post this on my facebook page so many others can be aware. I will do my part to see this exposed publically in the Jonesboro Sun. Thanks for loving with the love of the Lord.

misty said...

As a former DCFS employee, my hope is that those of you who read this, see the news stories and read any articles about this are able to remember that there are some good, honest & devoted DCFS workers. I spent many unpaid hours & countless non-reimbursed dollars to meet the needs of the parents & childrens that I worked for. I personally know workers in the Craighead office & there are devoted workers there who would never "steal" or take advantage of any foster child. I pray this will work out in the best interest of the children.

Anonymous said...

Ms.Sawyer,can you contact Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office,also,the Mike Beebe's office about this? I think I'd take it all the way to the White House,if necessary.They would not cover this up!

Anonymous said...

God bless you Sawyer family. Take this to the DCFS agency head, governor, White House...whoever can stop these heartless people.

Loretta said...

I am so mad!! How could anyone do such a low down thing? What can we do to help you get some thing done about this terrible thing? Write letters? Make calls? Surely there is something.



Loretta Gilbert

Anonymous said...

Your post has been blasting its way around the facebooks of many of us working in the private sector of the human services field in Craighead County. I know that, like myself, we are astounded to hear this and yet, it kind of makes sense when the pieces are put together. I have worked with several youths in foster care placement and distinctly remember hearing complaints after Christmas that they had not received their wishlist gifts or that their presents were received very late after Christmas.

I can almost understand the reasoning behind unwrapping and evenly distributing gifts, maybe even returning a few extravagant items to pay for a greater number of gifts, although it is definitely a gray area, especially since they are saying that every single child was sponsored this year. It almost seems possible that what could have started out as a well-intentioned practice was taken advantage of by unseemly characters, and for so many years, that now it is the accepted practice of the agency to just return everything. I do think that it should be disclosed to the donating public exactly what is being done with the gifts.

It does seem like at least the person who purchased clearly adult items (furniture, accent pillows, etc)should be prosecuted, if not the entire department investigated. I hope that next Christmas, an outside agency will be tasked with the wishlists and gift giving. DCFS should never again be allowed to be trusted with this task!

Anonymous said...

Dia I cannot believe that this organization could do such a cruel and deceitful thing. Please stay on this matter and let your voice be heard. I am tired of the government agencies treating people with such disrespect and lack of compassion. Thank you for uncovering this. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I am also and adoptive mom and former foster care parent. I was fortunate enough to have A FABULOUS support group in my area. In California. My children were blessed every year with any gift they could imagine and some they could not imagine was real. I have not had the blessing of being able to join the foster community here in Arkansas but this breaks my heart for the children. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS BEHAVIOR. I could care less about people saying that the gifts needed to be equally divided that is ridculous. That like saying a childs wish list means nothing they get to decide what the kid deserves. WRONG answer don't ask them to provide a wish list if you are going to decide what they deserve. HOORAY to you for exposing this grinch behavior. It breaks my heart because the children are being hurt when they need love the most. If you or anyone else needs the name of an organization I KNOW FIRST HAND that provides for foster and adoptive families 100% without any level selfish behavior I would be glad to send you the info of the group that helped my family and many others in California.

Paul said...

I have no words. I am a police officer in the southeastern part of the state. The whole point in my becoming a police officer was to be able to make a difference in my community. Far too often do things like what you have gone through have went on. These people deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law! I hope this does not keep you from helping children in the future to have a nice Christmas. You have inspired me to see what I can do to help a child in need. I am ashamed to say I have not considered doing that myself.

I hope you stay on the local police and see that these poor excuse for human beings are prosecuted.

Lynn said...

There is absolutely no excuse for this type of behavior. I can't even type this message without tears filling my eyes. I can't believe these people who are assigned to take care of these children's well being are taking their wishlist gifts back to the store and buying items that are obviously for personal use. This breaks my heart. I meet many of these children because I work in the school system. The background history is so bad for many of these children, and to think that they are placed in foster care and then someone thinks it is okay that they don't "need" what was on their wishlist!! This makes me sick. I hope that the agency is investigated from the top down. I don't believe that people in charge of the agency did not know what was going on. I truely hope that this is going to be an eye opener for how this agency is being ran and something will be done to make some much needed changes.

Thank you for all you have done and are continuing to do for the children in our community. I hope that other methods of helping the children can be established so that the children get the much needed support they need.

just~another~girl said...

I was absolutely sick to read this. The thought that keeps crossing my head is the kids who made these wish lists didn't get anything on them. I picture the disappointed faces and that breaks my heart. Is there any way to know who these children were? If there was a way to "right this wrong" in the eyes of these kids I would be interested in donating. Obviously I wouldn't want DCFS anywhere near the operation though.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know someone trustworthy at DCFS that could help get some after-Christmas gifts to these children?

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sawyer, as a former DCFS worker, I was sick when I heard this story on K8. However; I don't doubt it. Craighead County has a new county administrator this year (who has a lot of polical pull/backing). When I worked for DCFS years ago(not in Craighead); we would open gifts to make sure they were appropriate and not broken (yes, people do donate unusable things). We would try to make sure all the children in foster care got about the same number of things on their wish list and did deliver before Christmas, even if it meant working late hours. Sometimes one child got extra gifts we had to set aside for another child or a new one in foster care. WE cared about the children. NONE of us took from the children. It was unprofessional and discourteous for donors to not even receive a "Thank you or Bless you" as you dropped off items. A full investigation of Craighead County DCFS and DHS (there are more problems than this) should be done by persons/entities with no ties to DCFS or ANY DHS workers. Thank you for bringing these Grinches to the notice of the public.

Ethan C. Nobles said...

Wow -- that's one of the worst things I've heard in awhile. I see that KAIT has picked up on it, and so has my site. Taking presents meant for orphans, taking them back to the store, exchanging them and pocketing the cash -- does it get much worse than that?

lori johnson said...

dia we are behind you, let us know if there is anything we can do to bring justice....they need to be nationally exposed

Pris Weathers said...

I found this through Ethan's post and am also appalled. I will also repost it and pray that the power for numbers will get this matter investigated.

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

As of foster children did not have it tough enough.

Thanks for the blog post and all that you do.

P.S. God sees and hears everything.

Robin said...

http://www.thecitywire.com/?q=node/13417 This is a link to another story of DHS "misappropiating" Christmas gifts for foster children in another city. I took the time to write to Gov. Beebee and sent him the links to both of these stories. It is time to do some housecleaning and I don't mean just mine ; ) Kudos to you, Dia. Hang in there girl and give 'em what they deserve.

Dia said...

"Voice Your Complaints" Contact List
Help give children in foster care a voice of their own. Send your complaints by email to the contacts below. Make your voice heard!

http://diasawyer.blogspot.com/2011/01/voice-your-complaints-contact-list.html

Anonymous said...

Dia,

Thanks for stepping forward and making this known and for putting yourself out there. It's sad in this day and age that the children are "NOT" the priority. These kids have enough they have to deal with without this mess. Stand strong and firm I'm behind you, girl! Cyndi

Anonymous said...

This is most unfortunate. I hope that this is brought to the proper authorities and that something is done about it.

To avoid this, Area 1 has gone to CASA to do this, since they are a volunteer only, non-profit organization. They do a great job of it, and whether or not the stuff they get is on the wishlist, I have yet to hear any complaints. BTW wishlist stuff is just that. One of our fosters put a Ferari on theirs, does it mean that should be their gift?

Anonymous said...

I think you should contact KAIT8 with this information. This is theft! It is yet another reason for people to not donate.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sawyer,
I worked for Craighead County DCFS during three different Christmas's in the past, however I am no longer there. I remember specifically helping your husband (you were not present) unload presents from his truck and in to the DCFS office, as I thanked him over and over again. Your families generousity did not go unnoticed and was the talk of the office as I remember. It is possible that you did not get a formal thank you from administration but I can tell you that I remember personally being blown away buy your generousity and I personally thanked your husband. Perhaps this was not the avenue of recognition that was acceptable to you since I was just a case worker. I believe that what happened this year was totally unacceptable, however I do stand by the "two sides to every story" position. But let me tell you that I spent 2 years in a row delivering presents to foster children the week before Christmas including on Christmas morning so they would have them. Although I am confident that you have reason to be outraged about what has happened this year, I can tell you that these practices are not the "norm".I never witnessed anyone returning a gift that was donated or giving it to a different child. I remember holding on to a 100 gift card for a foster child who was incarcerated for 6 months and I gave it to him when he got out of jail in June. These are the things I remember. Let's keep this years issue as this years issue. I am reading a lot of "blanket" accusations which are disheartening. I am a little unsure as to your statement that you are the one receiving scrutiny. It seems that you are being advocated by your blog and the news in a very positive light.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sawyer,
As a former Craighead County DCFS Case Worker, I am concerned with your accusations. I am even more concerned that you are initiating this type of negative "across the board" reaction to the hard working case workers who do so much good for the children. As a case worker in Craighead County in 2007 and 2008, I personally graciously received presents from your husband at the DCFS office (you were not present). Not only did I assist him in carrying the gifts up the elevator, I thanked him over and over. I am personally sorry that this thanks did not come from the administration. I understand that the thanks coming from me (a case worker) might not have been the "official thank you" that you required. (Heather)

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt this comment will be deleted by you, as this is clearly a one sided blog. While I don't know what the policies are that determine how gifts are distributed, returned, etc, I do believe they are doing the best they can to provide for many many children. I have to tell you, though, what bothers me the very most about this post is how pitiful you sound about not getting thanked. Really? Is that why you helped the children? For a big fat thank you? Need attention much? After you got employees to help you purchase all the gifts in '08, you still say that YOU provided for all those children. Even though it was clearly a group effort. Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back, since that is what you are clearly after here. Go Dia! You are awesome!

Dia said...

I am thrilled to know that you never witnessed any gifts being returned or given to children they were not intended for. My husband does remember a lady that helped him carry gifts and up the elevator. However, we sponsored many many children that year and delivered on numerous occasions.
I have made absolutely no 'blanket accusations' involving this case whatsoever. If the fact that DCFS operates in a 'shade of gray' that you are referring to, then yes I absolutely stand by that fact. This year every single item of mine was returned for gift cards and cash. So I am thankful that in your 2 years at DCFS you never witnessed that occurring.

As for personal scrutiny, I am the only name that has been mentioned in this public awareness of the investigation. I never stated one name or defamation of any person. When one challenges DCFS in public they must always be prepared for public scrutiny both in public light and behind the scenes. Which I am.

Anonymous said...

This makes my heart hurt! I pray that this issue doesn't just fade away without something being done. Thank you for having the courage to speak up!!!

Dia said...

Heather, I haven't deleted any posts from my blog or facebook page. Everyone is welcomed to their opinion of this situation or anything else for that matter. Thus, the reason for this blog....

It saddens me that after reading the entire account of FACTS that I wrote about, you would only focus on one....that I'm upset because I didn't receive a 'thank you'? Had that been true I wouldn't have sponsored 10 children the following year. Would not have hired a full time employee, paid by my husband and I, to run our non profit organization. The organization that runs the Heart Gallery, Mentoring program and advocates for children's needs on a daily basis.

I know for a fact that both years I dropped off gifts at DCFS I was told to 'just place them over there' by an unknown employee.
My husband did drop gifts off without me too. I'm that's the day you're questioning.

My husband's office did rally together to purchase, wrap and organize gifts in 2007 and 2008. HOWEVER, all the 20 children's gifts, $2000 plus dollars paid for by my husband and I.

I have refrained from using any names whatsoever throughout the duration of this investigation. It is not my intent to 'defame' or 'degrade' any one person. The organization however, needs to answer to the people who pay taxes to write their checks. This situation is only one of many that the public needs to ask and demand for change. The entire DCFS method of operation needs to be amended and that is the reason for this being brought to light. The entire department needs to have checks and balances that are actually working and in effective.

Anonymous said...

See it at kait8.com

http://www.kait8.com/Global/story.asp?S=13799081

Anonymous said...

In reading the comments for the first time, the one about "scrutiny" caught my eye. As you indicated, your name is the one name mentioned because you are the one who went to the police and apparently went to the media, which was obviously your choice. However, I don't think "scrutiny" compares to the attention and recognition gained. I can't imagine ever touting how much money I donated or spent. The last comment posted by Dia also indicates some of the motive here ... to take down the whole system. I guess this was a good way to try to get the foot in the door. More power to ya.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this and getting it out to the press. Now I wonder if any child I ever sponsor or helped sponsor ever received their gifts.

This needs to be taken to Gov. Beebe and the State Legislature while they are in session. If I had all this proof, I'd march right up the Capitol steps and into the Govenor's office.

This is out and out stealing. No gray area to this at all.

Anonymous said...

Readers in the Northeast are also following this story. Kudos to Mrs. Sawyer for keeping such detailed records.

Reader from NYC

Anonymous said...

Someone has to stand up for the children in the foster care system. We are a foster family, and we have seen on several occasions DCFS not having the children's best interest in mind. It's sad! But this even beats all that I have seen. It will, unfortunately, make churches and families think twice about buying for these children in the future. I applaud you following up on this. Stealing is stealing and these people are not above the law, even though they think they are. I hope their are legal, financial and career consequences for their actions!

Dia said...

The reason I 'touted' how much money my husband and I personally spent was in response to the comment posted questioning whether or not we actually used our own funds purchasing the gifts.

In response to, 'taking down the entire system'....
Yes! I am advocating that the entire system of operation be revamped to to function adequately. Thus, I did not release the names of the DCFS employees to the public.

Robin said...

I am waiting for the outcome of this outrageous action by the employee of our great system. Knowing how the system works, I am just going to assume it will be swept under the rug....