Health Care & Rehabilitation Services / Bullying a Disabled Adult

1 Brattleboro, VT, US Review updated:
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The following happened because my disgruntled teenage son sneak tape recorded his parents in the privacy of their home, during an extremely stressful period of their lives when it was impossible to make their voice tones perfect.

My husband, who has some cognitive diffuculties, was asked to attend a special meeting called ACT 264, which was supposed to help provide resources for his challenged teenage son. But when he walked in, he was greeted by people with intimidating voices and daggering eye glares. Led by Bill Metcalfe, they interrogated him without mercy, duressing him for a "bad parent" confession.

My husband's cognitive disabilities were known of by at least two credentialed people in that room, but they made not a peep in his defense. Nobody warned him that he would need a lawyer. He was offered no accomodation, allowed no chance to get an advocate, no warning of the adversarial need for a tape recorder because licensed practitioners had claimed beforehand that they only wanted to help.

This bullying was perpetrated in front of his disabled teenage son, degrading the father and resulting in devastating humiliation for both. Thus was agreement extracted that the State should take custody of his son.

Beset with shell-shock, my husband literally staggered away to return to his job while a licensed social worker (away from the rest of them) assured him that the child removal was about funding, not parental wrongdoing.

Once he was at work, trembling and unable to concentrate, he was assaulted with a phone call from HCRS's Linda Heimerdinger who demoralized him for "raising your voice" at his teenager. She declared that she never, ever raised her voice around her own teens at her home. I doubt she ever got sneak tape recorded to prove it!

Now my husband has serious PTSD symptons but no job. He lost his job because the stress rendered him unable to perform adequately, and he never was able to get another one. But nobody cares about the parent
in this system. You are merely another "bad parent" with a name in their file.

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  •   Aug 27, 2009

    I will never, ever give up talking about this. The perpetrator will be brought to justice.

    0 Votes
  •   Aug 29, 2009

    Thanks again, Nonniemouse. My son is now over 17 and they will not make him come home. The good news is that they dropped the "bad parent" allegations (because they found there was nothing there) and put my son under the category of "out of control child." The bad news is that nobody I have talked to has cared that my husband was bullied. Colleagues won't stand up to the bad eggs in our community, they seem to be more afraid of what the public will think if the word got out. Most social workers and therapists in our area are honest, but it was my luck to get stuck with bad ones, and nobody will do anything about them.

    0 Votes
  •   Sep 29, 2009

    If raising your voice is the worst thing a parent can do, then that child is pretty damn lucky.

    Anyways, I looked up this ACT 264 and saw all I needed to see: .gov.

    If this is a group that is representing the state government and is doing an interrogation, they need to have it filmed and allow the person to have representation. The fact that their are cognitive problems at hand means that they crossed over a bridge into a whole different world. They took advantage of the cognitive problems which they were aware of and proceeded with unethically gathering a statement. You could probably take this to court and get his statement thrown out by saying he was not in a stable enough mind frame to give the group that statement in honest and clear knowledge. Then hopefully if things go good and you get your son back, you can sue the hell out of that group for pain and suffering, loss of income, and for medical bills to help your husband heal. You could probably also throw in a harassment charge or something of the sort to bring justice to the fact that they were unprofessional and brought unnecessary embarrassment upon your son and husband.

    This is an awful and terrible situation that your family is dealing with and I hope that it is resolved soon and everything is back to normal. I hope everything turns out in your favor and justice and fairness be served. Your family did not deserve what happened and the group had no right to act in the manner they acted in. You guys shouldn't be punished for their abuse and poor procedure handling. They took everything away from you and now they need to face the consequences. They should at least have the dignity to restore your lost income and the cost of the therapies that will be needed. Call a lawyer and consult with him or her on how you can get justice because you cannot let them get away with such abuse.

    Good luck and I hope all goes well for your family in the future.

    +1 Votes
  • Bs
      Jan 05, 2010

    Don't know the particulars about your situation, but if someone is in the position of being a trusted reporter of the state (doctor, teacher, social worker), and a child tells them of abuse (verbal or physical) or hands over a tape recording, the reporter is legally obligated to report it to child services. It is not up to them to evaluate it.

    What child services did with the information and how they assessed it, it a whole other story.

    -1 Votes
  •   Jan 26, 2010

    They were involved with sneak tape recordings and didn't have a warrant. School therapists, Mental Health Centers, and CPS all have to follow the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    +1 Votes
  •   Feb 13, 2010

    I want to thank getlostdancing for the supportive comments.

    0 Votes
  •   Oct 15, 2011

    The name of the ringleader bullying my disabled husband (and they now know he was innocent, but they don't even apologize and they have no accountablility) is Willard E. Metcalfe, M.S.W. only he didn't have the Master's back then, only a Bachelor's, but he certainly was educated enough to know better than to perpetrate mental cruelty. He went way overboard and the PTSD suffering hasn't gone away. This is Willard Elliot Metcalfe of HCRS in Brattleboro, VT. [protected]

    -1 Votes

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