Feltonville: A Letter to the Mayor from Bereaved Mother

In April 2010 Philadelphia Neighborhoods looked into the story of Janice Brown, a woman who lost her daughter in a tragic auto accident. Then she lost her grandchildren in a dispute with child services. You can see the story at https://bit.ly/eiOd7Y

She recently sent this letter to the mayor:

DEAR MAYOR MICHAEL A. NUTTER,                           ‎Saturday, ‎April ‎02, ‎2011


Upon your request:  At the breakfast I attend, held by Pastor Goins, for running City Officials. You asked me to submit to you all documents and proof of what DHS did to me and my family illegally.



When children or youth cannot safely remain at home, they are most often placed temporarily in the homes of relatives- kin – or licensed foster parents. Me, the “resource families,” as I have come to be called, have some of the most challenging and emotionally draining roles in the entire child welfare system. (No one took that into consideration when they came and illegally removed my 3 grandbabies without a court order on Dec 9, 2009, as I was providing the love and care from day one for my loving grandbabies).  The Judge, (Kevin M. Dougherty) DHS, (Anne Marie Ambrose) City Solicitor, (Lyris Young) Child Advocate, (Fred Faber) Adoption Unit (Yamine Trotty).

When accepting a child into your home any time, manage a wide array of behaviors she or he presents, and cope with agency regulations, policies and paperwork. You are also expected to provide mentoring, support and aid to families.  I serve as parent, counselor, healer, mentor, role-model and disciplinarian.  I was expected to attend meetings and classes at the agency, school and medical appointments, case reviews and court hearings. (When my grandbabies was illegally removed, for the eight months up until the day they was illegally adopted off with, no visitation, no contact, no due process and etc. I was denied courtroom entrance after the emergency hearing thereafter, they still; to this day, cannot give us a reasonable reason as to “WHY” they removed them from my home.


Foster families need to acknowledge and truly believe that they are critical members of the child welfare system (I truly believed my role was important and I did my Job as a grandmother/kinship provider for my babies, DHS had me to believe along with Friendship house that we was a teamwork. Serving in the best interest of the children.)

You should expect to be treated as peers and professionals, stated in their policy and procedures. (How can one express to you to follow their rules and regulations, when they themselves violates their own policies.) I was called upon to be role models, mentors and coaches; helping families acquire the skills needed for their children to be safely returned to them.  (Then why wasn’t I given the same opportunity with my other two grandbabies that was illegally removed and illegally adopted off to strangers, Envy Smith & Zyeem Hill, although there were no safety reasons or cause for their removal.) One grandchild was returned after being away for 8 months( Kyshone Smith,) all 3 was removed on Dec, 9th 2009 Kyshone returned after a short court battle on April 30, 2010 and on Oct 13, 2010 the other two was adopted off.  I was not given family service planning, I was denied court room entrance, no visitation, no phone contact, no due process, no attorney support, there was no eminent danger reported, Civil rights violated, I was treated as though I was a criminal.  In the past it was acceptable for children to remain in foster care for a long period of time—even into adulthood.  This is no longer acceptable, when children cannot be reunited with their families in a timely way, foster parents will be the first approached about being a permanent resource for the child.

Kinship Care: Relatives faces Special Challenges

When a child’s situation requires DHS to place her/him outside of the home. It is DHS policy to first consider relatives or other individuals that have an existing significant relationship with the child and/or parents, provided they are able to meet foster home requirements. It is also called” “kinship Care.” (Zyeem and Envy was not given that opportunity, there was family members who was at the hearing on Dec 17, 2009 which was the first appearance in front of a judge, (Kevin M. Dougherty) family who was willing to take them in until I was able to get them back, but that did not happen and they was not allowed in the courtroom, no reason was given as to why my family was denied entrance.  Although, I may not have been seeking this role at that time in my life. However, I have embraced the opportunity and challenge to be there in a time of need for the family and my grandbabies.  I was meeting the needs of the children I love while responding to the requirements of the agencies and courts, which was no easy task.  My grandbabies was in my home for 3 1/2 years when they decided to remove them for back accusations dated back 15 years ago, due to poverty to home. Those issues did not challenge them to remove my 7 children, but 15 years later they come and remove my grandbabies that weren’t yet born.  They were aware of the accusations when they put them in my custody a day later.  They resided with me in July 2006, the next day,  the children was removed after 1 day of being in my care, 72 hours later we went before a Judge who ordered that they be returned back to me.  3 1/2 years later I was tried again for the same issue, My question is, how can you tried or sentence a person twice for the same thing they was acquitted of, when you cannot tried a criminal for the same crime twice.  My grandbabies were placed in my home in 2006 of a kinship caregiver on an emergency basis, after a satisfactory initial assessment is completed of me and my home.  Also it was ordered by the Judge, ( Lisa Ricochet ) this includes State Police and Child Line clearances and on – site – home evaluation. My home was and has been in full compliance with all foster care requirements or the children must be moved to a home that does meet these standards. {Why my grandbabies were removed 3 1/2 years later if I met all requirements, and why was one returned and not the other two.}  A DHS worker and a worker from a private kinship agency were assigned to work closely with me and the children, along with the parents in meeting the child/rens needs. (MS Clorissa Moore, Dhs and MS Patricia Jackson, from Friendship house worked on the case for Zyeem, Envy, and Kyshone.) (MS Ella Presler and Mr. Major Vanpelt were on Kyshone case from Dhs).  Fred Faber Esq. was Zyeem and Envy’s advocate and Patricia Korey was Kyshone’s

Advocate, while Judge Wolfe was Kyshone’s Judge. Let me also stress that there was 4 Judges on this case back and forth, who all was in agreement to treat me this criminally without viewing any of my evidence or documents.  Except one “Judge Wolf” who saw differently. Lyris Young tried to have the cases consolidated, Judge Wolf expressed that Kyshon’s case will remain with her.  Judge Wolf, ask DHS and City Solicitor, etc., to show reason for emergency removal as to why they was removed. ( Their answer was,” Oh” you will have to talk to MS Yamine Trotty, she has the reasons.  4 months later, next court hearing for Kyshone, the same question was raised and their answer then was, “we lost it.”   Another 4 months later, when asked again, counselors ask to proach the bench, Judge called a short recess, all stepped into her chamber, returning about 15 mins later.  DHS and City Solicitor stated, we don’t see reasons why Ms Brown grandson shouldn’t be returned to her. I began weeping in tears, thinking; WHY? All THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING ENDURED ON ME AND MY GRANDBABIES FOR WHAT!!!!

As a foster parent, I had three major sets of responsibilities:

1. Meet the everyday needs of the children in my home

2. Participate as a full partner in the child’s team to plan for the achieve safety and timely permanency.

3. Preparing and supporting child/ren as they transition from your home to another home, whether that is the home of their family, another relative, another foster home, a residential treatment facility, and adoptive home or a permanent legal custodian. (I was not given the opportunity to fully do my duties, they was stripped away from me for no danger, safety, abuse, neglect or other reason appropriate.)  It was as if I was fired, for doing my Job, my pass had no negative effect on my present, nor my future. If anything, I gained positive effect from my pass.

Six months prior to them removing my grandbabies, I lost my daughter and 2 other grandbabies that are known to the public as” THE FELTONVILLE FOUR, but know to the family as “THE 3RD ST ANGELS.”  THANK YOU MAYOR MICHAELNUTTER, for attending their funeral.  Although I was going through this tragic time in my life, I was still able, “Through the grace of Almighty God” to maintain my family with my Son and grandbabies. Giving them all the support they needed, this is what I was trained to do.  While on the other hand seeking support and strength from God, fiancée, church members and family. I received a supported complement from one of the workers in her document, stating, Ms Brown is coping well with children after the death of her daughter and grandbabies.  To have these people come in and cause more tragedy to me and my family was heart and gut wrenching.  I continue the fight for my other two grandbabies, but each appeal I petition was squashed by Judge Kevin Dougherty.  Finally, after my story was aired on Fox 29 news and in the Daily Newspaper, a lawyer, Mr. Will Braveman offered his assistance.  On Sept 24, 2010 he did motion to Intervene, appealed the Judge decision and etc., for Zyeem and Envy’s next upcoming court hearing; which was on Dec 1, 2010.  Thirteen days later on Oct 26, 2010 we found out that the court date was changed to Oct 13, 2010 without any notification to me or my Attorney, that’s when they was Illegally adopted off to strangers, also the children lawyer was not present during the adoption proceedings. (Fred Faber Esq.)  I have all the documents to prove my case and witnesses (News reporter, Attorney, Agency workers, one DHS worker, City Counsels, etc.) who can support my claim, as to how me and my grandbabies Civil Rights, Rights to know, Constitutional Rights, No due process and etc. was violated for no reason………..It is also documented that Judge Kevin M. Dougherty put on documented paper at the one hearing, ( I am not doing this to have you lose your other 3 grandbabies, but I am doing this because of the number of family member’s you lost; I think you should seek grief counseling. (We’ll, even though I did not need grief counseling) out of consideration to his request, I did seek the counseling for one year, thinking it would be counted as another positive reaction towards my babies return. (I now believe that was a lie, he planned all along with the DHS worker and City Solicitor to not return them from the beginning.)

P.S.  May I also stressed, THAT THIS IS ONLY A PIECE OF OUR STORY!!!  The threats and retaliation is another story…..Please, In the name of Jesus, I just want my grandbabies back home safe.  My mission is to rescue innocent children falsely removed from their loved ones for no reason, who may wind up in the hands of real abusers, rapist, sex offenders, torturers and etc.


Thank You

Ms Janice Brown and Grandbabies.

(267) 596-2223 or (215) 900-5741





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