A woman in her mid-20s with drug abuse and domestic violence problems has surrendered all of her five young children to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
The woman, who is not being named to protect the identities of the children, had them by as many as four men, according to court records. Two of the men are in prison but are due to appear in court in December so their rights and responsibilities can be established.
The children, who range in age from 1 to 8 years old, are staying with relatives in another county after having been removed from their home in Hunt last year by Child Protective Services.
The woman and one of the fathers signed paperwork this month assigning the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as the managing conservator of the children. The department’s goal is to have the children permanently placed with relatives next year.
The department’s first involvement with the family appears to have been in November 2016, when social workers investigated accusations of physical abuse and neglectful supervision. The woman went through required, corrective family services, according to court records. The department intervened with the family again in May 2018, when there was another accusation of neglectful supervision.The subsequent investigation triggered the removal of the children.
According to a report issued by the department in October, the woman had demonstrated a pattern of substance abuse, with one child having tested positive for marijuana while still in the womb. The mother has pending misdemeanor charges of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession. The department alleged she also had a habit of being involved in abusive relationships and had allowed the violence to occur in the presence of the children. Two of the children told a social worker last year that they witnessed their mother and the father in the household hit one another.
The children told a social worker they have had to leave home in the middle of the night because the father kicked them out, although they added they hadn’t been afraid because that’s what they were used to.
Court records indicate the children were placed with relatives in another county in August 2018 and are happy there.
The department told the court that except for one child who had speech delays, all children were in good mental and physical health, none had disabilities, and all were doing fine academically. The child with speech delays was receiving weekly therapy.
People familiar with the family told the worker that the woman and the father would periodically stay together until he beat her up, whereupon she would leave but then come back.
During one visit in September 2018, the social worker asked the woman about her black eye; she told him that she got into a fight with another woman who had been picking a fight with the father’s pregnant sister.
A few days later, the woman asked for help leaving the man because she was worried he’d hurt her. When the social worker offered to take her to a shelter, she declined. She indicated her family wouldn’t take her in.