THE NATIONAL VOICE OF FAMILIES
PROTECTING FAMILIES FROM THE FAMILY COURT SYSTEM

Lori B. Long

LoriBLong

Lori graduated from the University of Tampa after she left Wisconsin, where she was born and raised.  Following graduate school at the University of Virginia, Lori moved to Key West and worked as a counselor and faculty member at Florida Keys Community College.  She moved to Palm Beach County in 1984 and accepted a position at Palm Beach Community College.   Lori left the college to become the coordinator of Palm Beach County’s DUI school.  She then obtained her license in mental health (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) and pursued her private practice where she focused on chemical dependency and couples counseling.  Lori received her certification in hypnotherapy and uses this technique with clients and employees in the workplace.  In addition to her work at substance abuse treatment centers, Lori develops and delivers training and coaching to employees in various workplace settings, with a focus on the healthcare industry.  Lori has worked as a psychotherapist and group facilitator at StepDown treatment center since November of 2015.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (since 1989) and have repeatedly seen examples of our DCF has abused their power and without a valid reason, have torn families apart.  Once a child is removed, they make it extremely difficult to allow or approve of reunification.

Last April, my granddaughter (and her three year old sister) was removed from the apartment of their mother, named Essence.  The DCF caseworker claimed that she saw cocaine on Essence’s coffee table. Essence did not use drugs, as evidenced by regularly scheduled drug tests required by Adopt-A-Family.  She lived in an Adopt-A-Family subsidized housing and they required all residents to be drug tested.  Here are some of the concerns regarding this case:

–  The parents of the two girls have had a difficult time seeing the girls on a regular basis.

– Child Net (the privatized company under DCF) caseworkers do not return phone calls.

– When they are pinpointed, they repeatedly “raise the bar” over and above what was originally agreed on the case plan.

– They have denied any visits with me and my granddaughter, even though I with my granddaughter at least 4 -5 times a week (with many overnights) for her first 7 months.  They even denied the request to have a home study conducted at my home.  I needed to get a judge to court order the home study.  Then, I did not pass the home study because they said they saw a falsified text message stating that I dropped the baby off at the parents’ apartment.

– They believe lies, make up lies and thrive on keeping biological family members from children.

– They have not honored the agreement for the two girls to spend time together and refuse to supervise visits with the girls together.

The parents have completed their case plan and their attorneys have filed a motion for reunification.  I will inform you what happens.

Lori B. Long, M.Ed., LMHC