On November 17tth, 2011, the Chicago Department of Children and Family Services received an anonymous call, stating 16-year-old Darlene Armstrong was not being fed and had not seen a doctor in "many years." Despite the rules governing DCFS that an assigned caseworker visit the home DAILY until contact was made with the child of concern, only three visits were made to the home between November 17th, 2011 and March 14, 2012. The caseworker did not see Darlene at any time during these visits.
On March 14th, 2012, the caseworker would once again return to the Harris home. Darlene's mother, Rosetta Harris, stated that her daughter was not at home. When the caseworker, however, heard whimpering coming from another room, Harris went to the room and returned with Darlene. The sixteen-year-old child, disabled due to cerebral palsy, When the caseworker saw Darlene, she immediately called 911.
When Darlene arrived at Comer's Children Hospital, she weighed only 23 pounds, and measured only 3'10
Harris's 15 year old daughter was immediately removed from the home. According to Harris's 23 year old daughter, their mom did "the best that she could."
Harris was charged with Endangering the Life of a Child - to which she pleaded guilty. Her sentence? 18 months, and take a parenting class.
A parenting class??? This implies custody of any of her children would be returned to her! Darlene lived a torturous existence of neglect and starvation in her home. Harris's other children have developed the belief that it is "OK" to starve and neglect a disabled child, as long as you say you "did the best" that you could.
At no point, should Harris's children be returned to her. Darlene is still hospitalized and is reported to be gaining weight.
Watch this story on Chicago's WGN and then ask yourself, should this woman EVER have custody of ANY child ever again? And then, please, sign the petition.