A gag order was placed on Tony and Sabrina Cartee by a Randolph County judge to prevent them from talking to media and the public about the medical kidnapping of their children by Child Protective Services. However, Sabrina’s parents are not under the gag order, and contacted Health Impact News reporting that they can no longer sit back and watch the unjust destruction of their family by Child Protective Services, and one social worker in particular. Tommy and Winnie Crumbley, Sabrina’s parents, had a great deal to say about what is happening in the lives of their grandchildren. They are frightened for their well-being and want them to come back home.
As previously reported, the Cartee children were taken by Child Protective Services, known as DHR (Department of Human Resources) in Alabama, when their then 5 year old son began “eloping” – the term used when autistic children wander away from home. One of his older brothers had already been diagnosed as autistic, and the family suspected that he was as well. They just didn’t have a diagnosis yet.
When their newest baby was born in September 2014, DHR seized the breastfeeding baby from her mother’s arms just 2 days after she was born.
The violations of the family’s moral, legal, and Constitutional rights are numerous and egregious, report the Crumbleys. They say that their grandchildren should never have been taken away from their parents, and they want to see them returned to Sabrina and Tony, “where they belong.”
The Cartee’s 17 year old daughter has also emailed us, saying:
I want to go home, my parents have not done anything wrong and we don’t deserve to be harrassed by Alecia [social worker] anymore!!
Children Were Supposed to Be Returned Home in August
When the children were first taken, Tommy Crumbley reports that Alesia McFarlin, the social worker from Randolph County DHR, told his daughter that if it was left up to Alesia, she would never let the Cartee children come home. She gave no reason why, and the Crumbleys don’t understand her apparent hostility toward their family.
The Crumbleys told us that the Randolph County judge ruled in June that all of the children were to be returned home by the time school started in August. At the time, the 7 children were living in 4 separate places, some with relatives and some in foster homes. Even though DHR seized all the children at the same time (except the baby, who wasn’t yet born), they wanted to “transition” the children home, a few at a time. Allegedly, the social workers thought it would be “overwhelming” for all of the children to come home at once.
The Cartees’ newborn was taken days after birth. She just turned a year old. She has yet to spend a single night at home. Photos courtesy Crumbley family
Th older children started being permitted temporary visits home, followed by occasional overnight visits by the younger children, except the baby. Alesia the social worker reportedly insisted upon the older children being out of the house when the younger ones visited. Mr. Crumbley believes that:
Alesia did not want the siblings seeing each other.
By July 20, all of the children were finally out of foster care and placed with family members. School started on August 10, and the kids were supposed to be home, but that didn’t happen. The 2 youngest Cartees were still not home with their family. By this point, the Cartees’ oldest child, Michael, had turned 18, and was living on his own.
DHR Takes Children Again
As soon as they were back home, Mr. Crumbley says that Sabrina put the 2 autistic boys, ages 7 and 8, back on a gluten-free and cassein-free diet. They came off of their ADHD medicines as soon as they got out of foster care and into family care, and the boys were adjusting well. However, as soon as school started, the social worker insisted that Sabrina put them back on ADHD medicines, even though dietary changes had made a significant impact. Alecia threatened to get a court order if Sabrina refused, so she felt she had no choice.
On the afternoon of August 24, Alesia called and told the Cartees to bring the children to the DHR office as soon as they got home. Little did they know that this would be the last time they would see the 7 and 8 year old boys.
The 7 and 8 year old Cartees, getting off the bus on the 1st day of school. Photo courtesy Crumbley family.
When they got off the bus that day, Sabrina loaded the kids in the car. She only had 4 of the 7 children with her, and the 8, 12, and 17 year old were very apprehensive, even screaming, and did not want to go to DHR. The Crumbleys said that the 7 year old was oddly excited about going there. They said that he was happy about getting a prize out of the treasure box there. They want to know if he was somehow bribed.
To this day, many in the family suspect that the social worker bribed the 7 year old. She had access to see the children at school, and there was a new allegation. Allegedly, he had told her about something happening with one of his siblings. This is the justification that DHR used to take the kids back into custody again. That day, they took only the 2 autistic boys, and placed them into foster care.
A few days later, DHR came to the school and took the 12 and 17 year old. The Crumbleys don’t know why, but the case with them is now in Cleburne County instead of Randolph County. However, Alesia remains their social worker.
Older Children Forced to Sleep in Social Services Office
12 year old at the most recent visit. Photo courtesy Crumbley family
The Crumbleys found out that that their 12 and 17 year old were not placed immediately with anyone. Instead, they slept that first night in the DHR office. They were also kept out of school for several days.
No one in the family has seen the 7 or 8 year old since the day they were taken, so no one has had the opportunity to question him. No one in the family, including the other children, believes the new allegation. Mr. Crumbley says that since it was Alesia who said that the 7 year old had reported something, “Is it even true that he said it?” Since that time, the Crumbleys have learned that another social worker has determined that there is no merit to the new allegation. So, the question they ask is, why aren’t the children home?
Instead, the plan has changed to put some of the children into permanent placement with relatives, and DHR wants to adopt out others of their grandchildren. Mr. Crumbley told us that he learned that the foster parent who wants to adopt the youngest two children is one of Alesia’s best friends. He doesn’t understand how they can do that.
Distrust of Social Worker
The Crumbleys are very distrustful of the social worker, Alesia McFarlin. Winnie Crumbley reports that, no matter what her daughter Sabrina and her husband Tony do to comply with the DHR demands, it is never enough.
Once she [Sabrina] gets something done, they always come with something else. It’s always Alesia that comes up with something else.
At one point, Tommy heard Alesia state that, if his daughter would divorce Tony, she could get her kids back. Later, during an ISP meeting, she denied making such a statement. When Tommy contradicted her and said, “You did say that,” he says that she kicked him out of the meeting.
Grandma Threatened For Taking Grandson to Dentist
Mrs. Crumbley worries about the lack of health care being provided to her grandchildren under DHR care. The baby has had numerous ear infections. She said that once when she saw the oldest grandson who was 17 at the time, he complained of a tooth that had been hurting him for 3 weeks. Since no one was doing anything about it, she took Michael to the dentist. He needed a filling. She says that, when Alesia found out that she took him for dental care for a hurting tooth, she threatened a lawsuit. Alesia also reportedly threatened jail time for Mrs. Crumbley and Sabrina.
Insistence on Drugging 17 Year Old
The Cartees oldest daughter recently sent an email to Health Impact News. She reports that the social worker is trying to put her into a therapeutic foster home, force her to take medications she doesn’t want, and get her on disability. [Note: the state receives more money for children who are on disability in foster care.]
she said she is going to put me in a facility even i have somewhere to go. … i asked how i [could qualify for a therapeutic foster home] and she said “because you lack being able to mind” and mom said she was going to have me and [the 12 year old] tested on her own, and once again Alicia got pissed off. But then we left and on the way back to [the foster home] she said she wanted me back on ADHD medicine and i strait up told her “NO” because that stuff always made me sick…and i said id never take it again….plus she said the only reason she says half the stuff she says to me is to make me mad. I want to go home, my parents have not did anything wrong and we don’t deserve to be harrassed by Alicia anymore!!
17 year old at most recent visit. Photo Courtesy Crumbley family
The Crumbleys report that their older grandchildren have told them numerous times that the social worker makes threats to them when she is in the car with them.
Religious Freedom Threatened
Just before DHR took the children again in August, the family had begun attending a group at a church called Celebrate Recovery, a Bible-based program to help people deal with “hurts, hang-ups, and habits.” The group was helping them to deal with all of the trauma that they had experienced from being separated and in foster care. They were just a few weeks short of completing the program. Sabrina has since finished it and received her certificate.
The 2 autistic boys got baptized at the church the day before DHR took them.
The Crumbleys report that Sabrina decided that she wanted to be baptized, and was very much looking forward to the Sunday morning when she was to be baptized. Meanwhile, when DHR took the children in August, the older children were placed temporarily [after sleeping at the DHR office] with a missionary from the same church.
His daughter talked with the DHR supervisor about how to handle seeing the children at church. She was told that she was not to go into a room with them alone, or to hug them. Being in the same building or greeting them in the hall was acceptable.
However, that is not what apparently happened. Alecia reportedly learned that Sabrina was going to be at the same church as the children, and she called the missionary, forbidding them to be in the same place. Sabrina showed up on her daddy’s front porch that Sunday morning, crying, because Alesia wouldn’t let her stay at the church and get baptized, since the kids were there too. She did get baptized at a later date.
Sabrina cannot even ask for prayer online, according to Mr. Crumbley. When Sabrina posted on her Facebook page asking for prayer for court, DHR made a big “stink” about it. He said that they somehow construed her gag order from discussing court proceedings to say that she can’t even ask for friends to pray for her when she has court:
The government ought to stay out of her religious freedom.
Cost to Taxpayers
The Crumbleys expressed concerns over all the unnecessary things that taxpayers are footing the bill for in their grandchildrens’ case. There have been numerous psychological evaluations, and parenting assessments and classes. The senior citizens believe that there is a better use for taxpayer money than all the services and court hearings with their family, for a case that they say should never have happened.
Lack of Visits
The Cartees have not been allowed any visits with their autistic boys, and are now only given 1 visit per month with the other children. Winnie Crumbley says that this is so hard on the children:
They want to be with their mother.
This little guy just turned 5. He wasn’t allowed to celebrate his birthday with his sibling. He only had a late party with his mom and baby sister. Photo courtesy Crumbley family
Father Faces Jail for Being Behind on Child Support
The Cartees are still expected to pay child support to the state, including for the months that most of the children were home. Tony drives a truck and missed a monthly child support court appearance when he was out on the road. There is now a warrant for his arrest for one month’s support, plus a “purge fee,” which is more than the child support.
All of this allegedly started when an autistic child eloped. Mr. Crumbley expressed great frustration that his daughter asked for help when this happened, but instead of helping the family, DHR has ripped his family apart. The children never should have been removed, in the Crumbleys’ opinion, and this should have ended long ago with the children being returned home. He and his wife are asking for the public to step in and help, to call legislators, and to raise their voices to help bring these children back home.
Our forefathers came over here from England to get away from the tyranny of the government. And what is our own government doing to us now? The same thing that we fought to get away from! … Something’s got to give.