Man Says DHS Took Kids Without Reason

Tuesday, November 11th 2008, 10:23 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

BERRYHILL, OK -- It's the kind of accusation that can stop a parent's heart.  An accidental bump or bruise suspected as abuse.  That's what one Berryhill family says happened to them.  A father of three says it has been the worst week of his life.  He says all of his children were taken without warning or even a good reason.

Bo Hendrix says his happy family was ripped apart by DHS.

"It just went from bad to a total nightmare," said Bo Hendrix.      

Bo and Stephanie Hendrix say it all started because their middle son got a black eye, rough housing with his friend.  The couple got a call and a Department of Human Services worker and a sheriff came to their house.

"Nothing was said.  They asked us a few questions and left.  And, the next day they took all of our kids," said Bo Hendrix.

According to DHS policy, the agency can remove children if they feel leaving them in the home endangers the child.  But, the same policy says the agency has to make a reasonable effort to prevent removal, unless there's an emergency.

The Hendrix's say it doesn't seem like DHS followed their own policy.  For days, they couldn't sleep or eat.

"Not knowing where your kids are at, not knowing how they are, not knowing when you're going to be able to talk to them," said Bo Hendrix.

Monday evening, they got a phone call.

"And, they tell us everything's done with.  You can have your kids back.  We're not pressing charges," said Bo Hendrix.

For the first time in a week, Stephanie Hendrix was able to pick her children up from school.  And, their house is once again filled with the sounds of laughter.  But, the family is still torn.

"We've been six days without our kids that were removed, were taken, were kidnapped from us. And, I basically felt for six days our kids were kidnapped," said Bo Hendrix.

Hendrix says he thanks God his children are back home.  But, he's still concerned that they could be taken in the first place.

"DHS has to answer to nobody. They don't have to answer to nobody and it's not fair to take kids and not give parents answers," said Bo Hendrix.

Bo Hendrix says he's never had any contact with DHS before this incident.  And, it took the agency several days to contact the adult witness who saw his son get the black eye.  

The News On 6 called DHS, but no one from the agency returned the calls before deadline.

Hendrix says the town of Berryhill really rallied around him.  But, he still feels like this whole ordeal has bruised his family's reputation.