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  Summer 2009

Milwaukee Bureau of Child Welfare Is Power Hungry

MWV interviewed Alexandria Walsh about the hardships her children endured after Milwaukee Bureau of Child removed them from her home on December 22, 2005 on unfounded allegations of child neglect. (Merry Christmas from the Bureau!) Her four children, ages 0-5 were taken away on charges of “failure to protect.”

La Causa was the agency that took the children. La Causa is a privatized Bureau agency who recently gave up their$11 million contract after another child was murdered in their foster care placement. La Causa claimed the father, Calvin, was still in the home after he threatened Alex with a knife while her children were all sleeping. She had not seen Calvin in two days. La Causa worker, Jennifer Ambrose arrived at her home with five cops to snatch the terrified children.


MWV: When I called you for this interview you said you were in the middle of moving because the Bureau “made you move from a three-bedroom home to a dinky two-bedroom flat.” That sounds so big-brotherish creepy.  How did the Bureau “make” you move? 

Alex: La Causa’s worker, Sara Kochler and her supervisor Coral told me if I didn’t move it would be “grounds for removal” of all five of my children. A chunk of the ceiling had fallen down in the girls bedroom once during a storm and again later. But the landlord had reinforced it so there’s no way it’s happening again. But they didn’t care. 

MWV: Worse than big brother. They sound like Mafia! How do you feel about them being in your life? How do they know so much about you? 

Alex: They’re like cockroaches—vermin you can’t get rid of. They’re nosy, to the extent that I have to tell them which way I’m pissing. They’ve been in my life since Elijah, my oldest, was 2 years old. Actually they’ve been in my life all my life. They took me from my own mom when I was 1 year old because my mom had ten kids. 

MWV: I though LaCause gave up their contract. Why are there workers still involved? 

Alex: St Amelians took over the contract but all the La Causa workers are still working for the Bureau.

MWV: Why did the Bureau initially get involved? What reasons did they give for detaining your babies?

Alex: People who didn’t like me made calls, including my own brother. He called CPS on me because he didn’t like my ex, Calvin. The Bureau got involved with Calvin because he had spanked our son. After forcing Safety Services (a year of endless nosy visits) on us and getting a bunch of unsubstantiated calls, they took the kids when Calvin went off on me.  They ordered me to make a police report and go to a shelter. I did the report but wouldn’t go to al shelter. There was never any other domestic violence before this. And Calvin never hit me or the kids.

            Jennifer Sabry Ambrose brought five officers to take three kids. Jennifer said “Don’t fight it or I’ll have you arrested. 

MWV: Did they give you a court date within 48 hours as required by the Children’s Code? What did the CHIPS Petition say? 

Alex:  I didn’t get into Court until early January. I never knew about the 48-hour law until I talked to the Ombusdman. Eventually he filed 28 complaints against the Bureau on my case.

            The CHIPS accused me of not having my children immunized. A lie. It claimed that my pre-mature baby was not gaining enough weight. A lie.  It claimed I didn’t have food in the house. A BIG lie. It claimed I locked kids in their room. Ridiculous, we didn’t even have door on their rooms. But Sara says the main reason was my “failure to protect” my kids. 

MWV: Before La Causa snatched the kids, did they tell you that you had a right to a Jury trial to make the state PROVE their allegations? Did your lawyer or the judge let you know? 

Alex: No one told me.  I didn’t know about the Jury Trial until about six months later when I started doing research. I found a website called “fightingCPS.com. And then my cousin, a Marquette law student, found out about the right to a jury trial.
            I told my lawyer and everyone in the court that I wanted a trial to face the people accusing me of whatever it is I supposedly did. They all told me it would take much longer to get my kids back if I had a trial. Ira Bordeau, my lawyer, even told me “Alex, accept it for what it is.”  I fired him after that.  My next lawyer, Rob Marcus, told me a jury trial “is not in your best interest.” Later when I mentioned a trial again to the Judge Donegan, he said it was too late now.  GAL Kristie Kristie even promised to start returning the kids if I forgot about a trial. Never happened though. 

MWV: How many different foster homes were the kids in? Were they together? What about relatives?

Alex: First they took Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards) from the hospital two days after birth. CPS worker Dan Ryan had been coming to my home. One day Ryan found a chess game out in my living room. He said it was proof that Calvin was back because “women don’t play chess.” I called him an arrogant, sexist pig. I told him I played chess since I was four.

Ryan had threatened to take my baby three months before she was born. I since learned that that is illegal.

My son was in 13 different homes. My oldest daughters were in 8 different homes. The baby was in three homes. After over a year I got them to put the kids with my sister. But Dan Ryan said my son couldn’t be with them because he is a boy!  My sister had two girls. After six months they took them from my sister claiming “failure to protect” them from me.

MWV: What conditions did you have to meet? 

Alex: I did individual and family therapy, a psychological evaluation, a few parenting classes, and supervised visits (like I was a pervert). They tried to force me into anger management, but I refused.  I insisted that my frustration with them for subjecting my girls to sexual abuse was justified. Sara threatened to terminate my rights if I didn’t’ take the class, but I still refused.

MWV: How did you finally get them back? How long did it take?

I got the baby back in July 2008. Then they gave me two more kids back in February 09. Finally they gave me Reyna back in May. They really wanted to adopt them out, especially Rayna who is exceptionally smart (and pretty)!

            I got them back after Judge Jane (Sorry-I-Don’t- Have-The –Facts-in-Front- of-Me) Carroll finally ordered the Bureau to bring EVIDENCE of the reasons for taking and keeping them.  We had a trial and I got four therapists, two foster parents, one worker, four doctors, and one visitation supervisor to testify for me. Also Calvin was finally locked up so they couldn’t accuse him of being with me.

MWV: How were the kids when you got them back?

Alex: They were so messed up it makes me sick to my stomach.  Two girls were returned with evidence sexually abuse, possibly in two different homes. The oldest has ID’d three different men with lots of sickening details. They were removed from one home in the middle of the night when the dad punched Rosa in the face and pushed Rayna into a hot oven. Another foster dad admitted to inserting his fingers inside two of the girls when he bathed them. 

The baby came home dragging one leg and still drags it from time to time. She suffers from RAF (Reactive Attention Disorder). She’s aggressive to herself—hits herself, pulls out her hair, throws herself on the ground.

My son was heavily drugged. And he came home with a problem going to the bathroom after a foster dad beat him for clogging up the toilet.  

MWV: Why is the Bureau still in your life?

Alex: They are keeping my case open until November. Sara is on a power trip.  She stops in 2-3 times a week, always trying to find something on me. She herself has made about 15 referrals to CPS on me. She smiles in my face while stabbing me in the back.  She’s on a power trip. She even wanted to drug test my last baby, not me, to try to take her. Yet I’ve never taken or been accused of taking drugs.  I had such a screaming fit when she threatened to take this baby that I ended up having to have surgery for a burst ulcer. But she didn’t get her.

MWV: What are your future plans?

Alex: I’m not done with the bureau. I hope to get a lawyer from Illinois to sue them. They never had anything on me to make my kids go through so much. I will do everything in my power to change how the Bureau operates. They have way too much power!

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