Wichita parents question DCF, WPD on child removal policies

A group of about 40 parents, grandparents and activists rallied inside and outside the Finney State Office Building in Wichita, yesterday, questioning the contradictions between two recent cases involving the Wichita Police Department and children being removed from their parents.


In one case, Charity Blackmon was at a Wichita Walmart, shopping for groceries with her two young children and an adult cousin. After spending over $200 on groceries, Blackmon was stopped by Walmart security as she was leaving the store. Security demanded to search Blackmon’s purse. It was quickly determined that Blackmon had not stolen anything, but for unknown reasons, Wichita Police officers were dispatched.

Officer Edison, with the WPD, determined that Blackmon has an outstanding traffic warrant out of Kingman County, and took Blackmon into custody. Blackmon asked that the children be left in the custody of her mother, Juanita Ridge, the children’s biological grandmother, who was on the scene. For unknown reasons, this request was denied, and, at the officer’s discretion, the children were sent to the Wichita Children’s Home and then moved into foster care, all over a two year old traffic warrant from another county.

Juanita Ridge talks with KAKE reporters outside DCF.
Juanita Ridge talks with KAKE reporters outside DCF.

Juanita Ridge is a well-known and respected community activist who, for years, has fought for other parents who have had their children unjustly taken into state custody. Why Ridge was unable to take custody of her own grandchildren remains a mystery.

In an unrelated case, an infant child was found alone, left in a closet, while a mother took her significant other to work. After investigating the situation, police determined that the mother has left her infant alone in the closet repeatedly. For unknown reasons, the Wichita Police officers that responded to this call decided to give custody of the child to the grandparents. No charges have been filed against the mother in that case.

Activists say there is clearly an issue here regarding the WPD’s handling of child custody in these matters. Police officers appear to be determining who will take temporary custody of children based on whims, or, possibly even based upon racial prejudices (the race of the family in the closet case is unknown at this time).

State legislators Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, Representative Gail Finney, and Representative Steve Anthimides were all present at yesterday’s protest, and a meeting was held with the DCF Director Bill Gale. Gale took over DCF operations in Wichita when the former director, Diane Bidwell, resigned amid an investigation into DCF’s relationship with Faithbuilders, an adoption organization. Multiple families allege that DCF unfairly gave their children up for adoption to Faithbuilders. The results of that investigation are sealed. DCF says that the investigation was internal and that the outcome is not available for the public.

Jennifer Winn, who is running against Governor Sam Brownback in the Kansas Republican Primary, was also in attendance. Winn said she questions the motivation behind the Wichita Police Department’s decision to take Charity Blackmon’s kids into custody, while allowing the children in the other case to be placed into their grandparents’ care.

“Grandparents and other qualified families should always be the go-to custodians in these matters. Placing children into state custody, even temporarily, should always be the last resort,” Winn says.

17 thoughts on “Wichita parents question DCF, WPD on child removal policies

  1. Grandma Warrior
    6 hours ago
    My My…Ever hear the phrase “don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes”? Or “Judge not least ye fear the judgement”? I used to be an opinionated judgmental loud mouth like some of you. The last few years the Lord has showed me the error of my ways…Today I stand humble and seek compassion and understanding
    in and of my fellow man. I can only hope and pray that none of you have to experience such pain and suffering to know the wisdom from which I speak. I am that grandmother in the pink dress standing on the front lines, seeking change in a system that is flawed and corrupted. Those beautiful children on the posters are my grandchildren and I die a little each day we are without them. I only thought I knew love when I had my children…but grandchildren are truly the sweetest of the vine… My husband and I have been together since I was 17, 36 years now we’ve been together and its been a rough row to hoe but walking out has never been an option. Family has always come first. We are not perfect but as far as I know only one man has ever held that title…The battle which we are faced with now began a little over two years ago, when DCF took these three children. It started when the baby, our grandson, was first diagnosed with a rare genetic disease from his father called Neurofibro Matosis; tumors that attach to each vertebra and the back of the eyes. Life expectancy is into mid to late twenties. One of the first doctors told them there was no pain associated with this but the father disagreed having lived with this his whole life but not diagnosed till about twelve or so. The doctors had missed it. His first memories are of pain and are still today. There is no cure at this time. On borrowed time and feeling guilty that he had passed this on to his baby boy he sought out a second opinion in hopes of helping him to have a better life. This doctor agreed with him and recommended the baby be placed in the hospital to under go a series of tests to map the disease. You can only imagine the pain of watching your beautiful child undergo days of such testing, and know in your heart this love too is on borrowed time already. Twice in this time the previous rejected doctor was found going through the babys file and was asked to stay away. Stressed, the third time the father was justifiably angry and made a big fuss. Next thing they knew a SRS worker was knocking at their hospital door, having been reported by this doctor. Still upset he told this worker “F*** You, leave! Within a short while the angry worker showed back up with her own brand of F***You, a police officer to remove the parents and take the baby, then sent officers to take their other two children that were already in my care! No explanation was I given, just threat of arrest! It was terrible trying to straighten this all out to say the least. It was months later when we found out the supervisor had rejected the workers report and the worker had somehow went around her to accomplish her childish revenge! The worker was later terminated but by then, we were “in the system” as the judge said. You all need to understand that when SRS/DCF takes your kids there is no short return! Never less than a year and after 18-20 mths. your children can be adopted out from underneath you!! Don’t believe me? Look under DCF directives, its all in black and white. Youthville was tough to deal with but they were angels compared to St.Francis! These people were a company trained in adoption!…not reintergration! Our case worker was straight out rude and lied to us and lied to to her own people. She flagrantly disregarded the judges order and kept to her own agenda in seeking adoption! So YES I called everyone I thought would listen but was shot down by all including the govs. office. I sought out advocates and finally found Oletha-Foust Goudeau…she listened and believes in our fight. She was on the front lines with us! After two long years of struggle she brought her warriors and stood with those of us who had had no voice. We fight for those in the war and those who may follow that you may never feel the strife that we have. Please sign the petition to ask for change in our system. Not all of us belong here like some of you think. For all those on those front lines, Thank you and God Bless us all.
    4 Reply

    1. Charity they did the same thing to me its unfair and painful i see my children 1 hour a week now and the judge just let it fly but i will not rest until i get justice

    2. I have been in this place and they adopted my children right out from under me!! Please if I can help fight so nobody else ever has to go through this pain I live with I will!! Email me Please and let me know what needs to be done and I am there!!

      1. Hi my name is Jackie and St. Francis have my children and now they said I have lost my parental rights. Would you please call me at 316-730-7822. (This is my neighbors email). I really would like to talk with someone who understands what I am going through. Thanks. Jackie

    3. O my god please help me. I am an cinc cases with all three of kids and it has been 6months. I have jumped threw every hoop and have done my case plans 10times over but it’s not good enough I don’t even know why my children are in cinc cases. My children have never been hurt or in Dangered by me or in my Care!! I need help before I lose my babies please. My case is in Mitchell county Ks and I live in Cloud Ks.

  2. My family’s dealing with the same thing. Me and my husband a honorable veteran. We have a ten month old and I’m pregnant. We were in the family shelter for two wks. Then we went strait into my grandparents house. Our child has never been in harms way! And still every week they are beating on our door harassing us. Demanding to search the house and demanding answers. Pressuring and bullying us trying to literally beat down our door this has gone on for seven months. My family can’t live in peace. They still try to find reasons to take our son but don’t have any. And I want this stopped

  3. I’m going through this right now with my grandchildren what can I do? I already know that the foster parents want to adopt our granddaughter & feel like their is no where to turn they keep saying things that are not true about us so they wont have to give us our granddaughter & I’m talking about St Francis. I even live in a different state I’m trying to find an attorney but I don’t even know if that is going to work… help please

  4. My children were taken a yr ago in december, and they refuse to let us see them, i spanked my oldest with an aluminum broom, and yes it was not right, but we have completed all tasks, i have learned alot, but in court they said we are horrible parents and our kids refuse to see us. When i did get to see my youngest during a surgery, she only wanted to be with foster dad, she was just over 2 when they were taken…she dont even know us seeing we have not been able to see her in 9 months, because the kids “therapist ” says it would be unhealthy for them to see us. I know i was overwelmed, i have 8 kids, husband and i work 50 hours a week each, and husband was fighting sleep apnea, so all he did was sleep…i felt helpless and i was too aggressive, but i never broke a bone, and did not do over half the crap they say i did in court…anyone out there help us, i am willing to band together and fight…husband and myself decited we are going to find cheap place to live and spend all we have on lawyer…dec 6th is our permanancy hearing, and we have not gotten a chance to get o

  5. I have no respect for DCF, they have left for months on end children who needed taken from a home being abused, and than they do this stupid stuff. And yes when a family member is able to take children , let them do so, for the child’s sake, sometimes no it can’t happen, and the mom who had kids taken in Walmart, ridiculous that grandma couldn’t take them.

  6. Has anyone thought of calling theaclu they might help I went through this and now the same case worker is putting my kids though the same bs

  7. If I remember right summer of 2014 there were a lot of foster babies dying in the heat these are people st Franks and DCF found suitable who’s responsible for those deaths

  8. Yesterday the joint force of d.c.f. faith .builders inc.and st.francis as well as w.p.d.and sedgwick county sheriff terminated my rights there name they gave it but in reality it was legally kidnapping my kids in a case of my twins that just turned
    four who was only in the foster care system four months but yet they filed a termination of rights case ….i was in jail this whole time ….and was kept there on a no proof of insurances ticket as the jail kept loosing my paperwork I would of been released 45 days sooner …..they all new i was tryn to get out as so i could get my twins back but during this time d.c.f.st .francis and even wichita police detectives all came and kept tryn to exsplain to me why i need to just sign my rights over …..after i exsplained to them that would be like me asking them to go 90 miles an hour into a brick wall wearing no seat belt ……they went on to there next plot witch was A FALSE accusation of abuse suddenly surfaced about me and my kids that come to find out not anyone before nor sense (not even a therapy every week or brainwashing my saying /working with them is what they say it is …..but even still these FALSE report of abuse the foster mother who is a faith builders home is the one who reported this and not even after two months of working with them not any signs of nor mention of abuse was found except that they have separation disorder to top this all off they say that they wanted us to have our kids back and say that there goal is rereintegration but yet they filed the cinc case as a termination …AT THE SAME TIME!!!!FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!!!!! AND I WAS OUT TWO WEEKS AND GOING TO THIS TERMINATION HEARING AND ALREADY IN LESS THEN A WEEK HAD ALL THE COURT ORDERS DONE BUT ONE OR TWO ….BUT NORMALLY THEY DONT EVEN TALK ABOUT TERMINATION UNTIL THE CASE IS AROUND A YEAR OLD …..IT HAD BEEN FOUR MONTHS….AND HERE IS THE PROOF OR SOME OF IT BECAUSE EVERTHING I AM SAYING CAN BE PROVEN LAST MINUTE CHANGE IN JUDGES BEFORE TRIAL …..SOMEHOW A NEW JUDGE WAS ASSIGNED come to find out who was really good friends with the foster parents …..who all go to a faith builder’s church ….in fact come to find out this new judge had even babysat my twins …!!!!!!!but they rushed it all along terminated my rights and stole my two babies my life they stole my life …..but im not giving up NEVER WILL I…….PLEASE EVERYONE WE DO NEED TO TAKE THIS AS FAR AS IT HAS TO TO STOP THE OUT OF CONTROL SICKNESS OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BECAME IT IS BROKEN ….AND NOW I AM AND MY KIDS WILL BE AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT IT COULD BE YOU if its not already happened to you …..hold your kids tight don’t talk or call the police .

  9. I need help I am in Wichita KS in I have completed 95 percent of me and my wifes case plan still no increase in our visit any one with help please call 9165127657 we are doing all in have been clean this whole time ours was a dv case in have over comes alot of task in they have still every excuse in the book someone please help I am trying to bring these Monsters down blood belongs together not IV e funding to decide what’s the best interest of the child …

  10. My husband and I are going through something now ourselves. Three weeks ago his oldest daughter (8 yrs old) tried to kill our 3yr old. Admitted to the police, and everything, they released the 8 yr old and her 6 yr old sister to their mother and then took our 3 and have kept them. We had no contact until last night, finally got a phone call. All they got on us was a pile of dirty laundry, which was from my 3 yr old puking on it, dirty dishes from the last two meals, and we needed to talk out the trash. When we complained to the chief of police about the things done and said by his officers we got nowhere, until 20 min after we left, they issued warrants out for me and my husband for child endangerment, 5 counts. Then DCF swears that I admitted to abuse abusing the 8 yr old, which isn’t true, I said I spanked her, three swats, and that’s it. They have lied and changed stories and manipulated things to fit to keep our kids from us. And this is in Allen County.

  11. My son children were taken by DCF I feel the counselors coached the one child to give mis information! What is wrong with these people! DCF had no right to take his kids! Geneseo, KS!

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