The last thing law enforcement wants to do is take a child from its parents. Still, they have to do exactly that thousands of times a year. But this story is different because of what they did with the child once they took her away from her mother.
The consensus is, keep a child with it's extended family whenever possible. That's the approach Child Protective Services wants to take. But Monday we met a woman who says they didn't do that in her case, even though they had a court order telling them to.
One thing is absolutely clear. Everybody wants what's best for baby Sara.
"She can't defend herself. She's only three months old," said her mother April Register.
When Child Protective Services was going to take away April's son and daughter, April knew she wanted her mother-in-law to have custody.
"She's a very strong woman. I trust her entirely," she said.
But they went to a foster family instead. CPS sayes a member of the grandmother's household failed criminal background checks.
5 days later, the 3 month old little girl was out of foster care, and in the hospital.
"When I saw her I saw how bad it really was. She had a diaper rash that was red and swollen that went all the way up her back. She had a deep cut on her knee," aid Register.
April's convinced that her 3 month old daughter was severely neglected, even abused while in foster care. Both Child Protective Services and North Las Vegas Police are investigating that. But no matter what the outcome of those investigations, the question remains: should those kids have been in foster care, or with their grandmother in the first place.
"Very surprised," said Attorney Tom Michaelides of the placement decision. "The reason why is there was no ambiguity in the judge's order."
Michaelides is handling the case for April. He says a family court judge had told CPS to place the kids with their grandmother. But they didn't.
"I've never in 15 years every had anybody completely ignore a judge's order like that. Especially a government agency," he said.
Even after all of that, Child Protective Services is sticking with their original argument. Today the kids were placed with their grandmother. And in court Monday, CPS told the judge, they still think he got it wrong.
Meanwhile, April Register herself is still under investigation for the incident that started all of this. A mistake, she says, that put prescription drugs in the hands of her son, and her son in an emergency room.
People are going ot want to know why are they in the system? We told her.
"They are going to come at me with whatever they can because they're in trouble right now. I'll do whatever it takes to get my kids back," she told us.
Child Protective Services told me, they just don't agree that baby Sara is best off in her grandmother's house. And they have different take on what landed the three-month-old in the hospital too. They say it wasn't abuse, but dehydration.
The foster parent assigned to take care of Sara and her brother brought them back to Child Haven - saying the kids were more than she could handle.
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My Two Cents-
Sadly this families story is NOT unique. This is rather typical of child protective services in America - Follow the money -Disgusted with the system: Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness