January 6, 2017

Man accuses Social Welfare of keeping children from him

While many persons spent the last two weeks of 2016 having quality time with their loved ones, an Akers man claims that he has been unjustly prevented from seeing his four children.

On Tuesday, January 3, Bruce Murray, a 39-year-old construction worker, told SEARCHLIGHT that he has been unable to see his children, aged 12, 10, six and two after the Social Welfare Department intervened in an issue between him and the children’s mother.

“Me and my domestic woman have a lil’ issue that she usually have the children all over the place and dey drinking rum, so I find her one day and I hit her, which I regret, because I know I was wrong for that, but it was frustrating to find my kids in a situation like that,” he complained.

Murray explained that his two-year-old daughter is asthmatic and so he became angry when he found out that the child’s mother had slept in Kingstown with the child.

According to him, when contacted, the Social Welfare Department took the mother away from his home in October; however, they returned that same afternoon and also took the child.

“The same child that the woman have all on the street drinking rum, lay down all in rum shop and stuff like that.”

Murray claims that the department informed him that they would be taking the baby to its mother, because “that is the only way they could keep the mother calm.”

“They came back like two weeks after and take the other three kids away from me and saying that I sign agreement saying that I give away my kids to my mother.”

The Akers man said this was not the case and explained that social workers asked him if he could get someone to help him with the children when he is not around “because the mother is not stable enough.”

He said he agreed that his mother would be the one to help.

However, he is now alleging that this is being used against him.

“Somehow the story change and they say that I sign something to give over my kids to my mother. Now, how could I do such things if I am trying to come back to secure my family? I’m not so stupid to just give my kids away to my mom; my mom is at work… she is also an old lady,” Murray told SEARCHLIGHT.

“It’s been two months now I haven’t seen my kids, none; the last time, I only see three of them,” he added.

The construction worker further alleged that he had made arrangements with the department to take his children Christmas shopping; however, they never contacted him and instead, took the children to their mother.

“But how they say that the mom is unstable and they carry the kids to the mom and not to me?” he said in a confused tone.

Seemingly desolate, Murray disclosed that he has not seen his children for Christmas nor the New Year. He said he had also been informed that his children were in the hospital with asthma and no one contacted him.

“I don’t know what’s going on… I need to see my kids and I need to talk and see what’s going on and they keep pushing me around the bushes.”

He said he had requested to see his four children before and three turned up and he was not informed about his son’s whereabouts.

Additionally, Murray said the last time the three children visited him they were monitored by two social workers “like I’m some criminal.”

“They tell me that the mother is not supposed to be around the children because she is not fit enough, but had them for the whole Christmas season and I can’t see my kids; nobody telling me nothing.”

According to Murray, the children’s mother is unemployed and so he is the one that provides.

“I supposed to get equal rights to see my children; when I’m supposed to see my children, I’m supposed to get access to carry them home to spend the weekend with me and stuff like that.”

Murray said the entire situation is very unfair.

SEARCHLIGHT spoke with a social worker familiar with the case who maintained that their actions are soley based on the children’s best interests. Although the social worker could not go into details because of the sensitivity of the matter, she reiterated that although Murray may be disgruntled, all decisions made by the department are based on the circumstances. (AS)