LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Brett Lang has hit a wall on his journey with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services since speaking out earlier this month about his concerns getting his two foster kids back.
The longtime foster parent said he was offering his home to help two children who were among thousands in need but now can no longer do so.
He believes after speaking out on DCFS his home has been closed to foster and says it’s payback.
“I don’t understand how these people can lay their head on a pillow and sleep at night knowing the trauma that they are causing to these children,” Lang said.
“They wanted me to close it voluntarily and I told them ‘n’No, I didn’t do anything wrong,’ and they said, ‘Well, if you don’t close it voluntarily, then we’re going to proceed with closing it ourselves.’”
He said the agency gave him no reason for its action.
“They have no reasoning,” Lang said. “They have not provided me with any kind of proof of what I did wrong. You know, when I spoke to Channel 10, the first time, no names were mentioned. Nothing to identify them.”
A letter Lang received from DCFS read:
“This letter is a follow-up to our discussion on March 23, 2023 advising you of the closure of your foster/adoptive certification. Policy requires that we make a written entry of your response in your foster/adoptive home record. Closure of your foster/adoptive certification is for the following reasons: You are no longer able to provide the level of care required to foster a child or children for the Department of Children and Family Services including but not limited to: Communicating effectively with other members of the foster care team and community resource staff or providers in order to meet the child’s educational, medical, and mental health needs; interpreting the foster parent role positively to your extended family and community; treating any personal information about a child or the child’s family in a confidential manner; and not sharing any personal information with relatives, news reporters, television (media), social networks (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or any other organization or person that is not an affiliate of DCFS.”
Lang disputes the claim in the letter that he could not provide for foster children’s education or medical care. He said he does what he needs to do, whether it is tutoring or speech therapy.
“DCFS couldn’t provide for them when they canceled tube procedures on the child twice,” he said. “I’m not the one who was medically neglecting the child. They were, allowing him to suffer. I am capable of providing everything that they say I’m not.”
“They’re retaliating against me for exposing what they’re doing, the laws that they’re violating, and their own policies that they’re violating,” said Lang.
He added the whole situation made him mad.
”It’s not about me, it’s about those kids,” Lang said. “I got big shoulders, I can deal with it and I’m not going to stop. I’m telling you I will not stop.
News 10 reached out to DCFS to see if it was against policy for anyone to speak to news media about concerns they have with DCFS. Heidi Rogers Kinchen, Deputy Communications Director of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, sent the following reply:
“DCFS does not make placement nor certification decisions based upon an individual’s outreach to the media. The Department takes very seriously all decisions on certification of foster homes and the placement of children who are in DCFS custody. These decisions are made following evaluation of multiple factors and consultation with various levels of leadership.”
“I mean it’s scary that the power that DCFS has, you know, the Department of Children and Family Services in Louisiana. They shouldn’t have as much power as they do and no one’s holding them accountable,” said Lang.
News 10 previously reported on the two children, a five-week-old baby girl and a 2-year-old boy, he had been fostering for the past two years. They are still in a temporary emergency foster home, and soon would have to go into another, permanent foster home.
Lang said, he wants both of them to know that he loves them and he is still “getting the monsters.”
“It’s trauma again being in another stranger’s house,” he said.
Lang said he will take legal action if necessary. He told News 10 that Chip Coulter, DCFS Governmental Affairs, said there are ways to appeal and DCFS is not the final decision maker, but Lang said he has yet to be informed how to go through with an appeal. He asked for the community’s help as legal expenses will be costly, but he suggested people call/email the senators on the committee on his behalf at senate.la.gov/Sen_Committees/HealthWelfare.