Last week (February 2017) we published the story of Shanley Devlin of Walker County, Alabama, and how her family was torn apart by the Department of Human Resources (DHR). Shanley was removed from the custody of her parents at the age of 14 after she became pregnant during the April 27, 2011 tornadoes. Her parents were housing many people from the neighborhood during the storms. In spite of the fact that the family wanted to raise the baby in their home, Alabama DHR allegedly charged the parents with “inadequate supervision,” and both their daughter and grandson were placed in foster care. Their daughter Shanley is now 20 years old holding a steady job and has place to live, but because she grew up in foster care, DHR will not allow her son to live with her. When we posted Shanley's story on our Facebook Page, the story quickly went viral with many people in Alabama sharing their own horror stories with DHR in Alabama on our Facebook Page. Someone posting as Margaret Morgan Silbernagel and claiming be "a member of the Esc. Co. DHR Board," apparently decided (or was appointed) to stand up for DHR and asserted: "This story cannot be accurate." But Ms. Silbernagel was apparently not prepared for the firestorm of comments that was about to come her way, as she later admitted: "This conversation has certainly been an eye opener. I do not do what I do for recognition or for any of your approvals." One of comments came from someone identifying herself as "the former mother-in-law" of the DHR social worker Judy Kitchens' daughter. Judy Kitchens is mentioned in our story as the social worker that removed Shanley and her baby from her parents home. Linda Motes Pullins stated that she did not think Judy Kitchens should be a social worker given the problems she alleges exist in Judy's own family, which she alleges includes a history of drug abuse.
Alabama DHR Destroys Another Family: Baby Taken Away Because Young Mom was a Foster Child Kidnapped from Loving Parents
All that Shanley wanted for her 20th birthday on February 22 was to get her son back from DHR, and to no longer be considered a foster child herself. Ashton was born while Shanley was in foster care, and when she was kicked out of her foster home last summer at the age of 19, she was not permitted to take her son with her. Alabama social workers tell her that she cannot get him back at this time because they still consider her a foster child, even though she is legally an adult, living on her own with both a job and an apartment. Shanley is not accused of any kind of neglect or abuse, so it doesn't make sense to her that Walker County Department of Human Resources (DHR) refuses to allow her to have her son with her. Shanley was taken out of the home of her parents at the age of 14 because she got pregnant on the night of April 27, 2011, a date that most in the south will never forget, as 252 people lost their lives in the 62 tornadoes across the state of Alabama. Her parents were accused of parental neglect because they had a house full of neighbors that night and did not prevent their daughter from getting pregnant. Her parents and other family members wanted to raise the baby in a loving home, but Alabama DHR did not allow them to raise the baby, and they lost their 14 year old daughter as well.