NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — Brett Lang of New Iberia has been the foster parent of two children, a five-week-old baby girl and a 2-year-old boy for the past two years.
Recently, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services took the kids away from Lang and their mothers, and now he says he has to fight to get them back.
“DCFS is corrupt, especially the Lafayette office,” Lang said. “They are violating laws, they are violating their own policies and I think if DCFS employees would follow the policies in place, a lot of children would be protected.”
He says he co-parents with the children’s mother, as she is their legal guardian, and he gets the kids every other week.
“We realized it was in the best interest of those children to have two parents,” he said. “You know, I’m not their biological father but I’m their Papa. To know that they took them from mom and could have placed them here, but they didn’t. They went and took them and put them with total strangers.”
Stacey McPherson, a former DCFS worker in the Alexandria region said the agency’s policy states “the goal of DCFS is to do what’s in the best interest of the children. That’s their mission statement and, you know, that’s what’s preached, but that is not what’s done within DCFS. If this is what’s in the best interest of these children, which our policies states that you know, any relative/kin that these children have a relationship with and bond with those are to be the first people that are looked at as far as a placement if they are willing to be a placement for the children, so I’m just having a hard time understanding why they would not put those children back with him.”
Lang says he now feels that he will never get the foster kids back due to retaliation from a incident where the 2-year-old needed tubes in his ear due to an ear infection.
“Everything with DCFS was fine up until that point,” Lang said. “Once I held their feet to the fire to hold them accountable for him getting tubes that’s when the relationship with DCFS went down the drain and then I realized what they were doing and they were putting me and the mother against each other. They are not doing what’s in the best interest of the children. They’re violating their own policy. They’re violating state law. They’re violating mom’s rights by disclosing confidential information. You know, this is a David and Goliath, a David and Goliath issue. You know, DCFS is a very powerful agency. You know, they’re the Goliath. We know how that ended.”
Lang says there were other allegations made including concerns about the children’s mother and his relationship after he suffered a stroke last year.
“During the time when I got released from the hospital the doctors told me I had to have somebody with me because there was a chance I could have a seizure, so the kids’ mom offered to come and stay.”
He says DCFS turned that around to imply that they were living together, which he said was not true.
“They use that against me as to why they wouldn’t return the kid,” he said. “They also violated mom’s confidentiality by telling me she had relapsed, you know, I had no knowledge of her relapsing.”
Lang has called on the governor and state lawmakers to investigate.
News 10 reached out to DCFS and received the following reply:
“Due to state confidentiality laws (La. R.S. 46:56), DCFS cannot comment on or provide information on child welfare cases.”