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Grandmother fighting for custody of her granddaughter in foster care

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Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 23:20:28-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A grandmother is trying to get custody of her grandchildren, but it's turning into a legal battle with no simple solutions.

Rhonda Davidson says she has custody of her grandson and has been trying to get custody of her granddaughter for more than a year with no luck.

When Davidson's son and his girlfriend lost custody of six-month-old Atticus and two-year-old Chloe, Davidson stepped in to care for them. Davidson has been a licensed foster care parent for more nine years.

"I've gotten to the point where when I call DCS they are like, they knew me by name, 'ok Ms Davidson, what do you want,?'" Davidson said. "I want my granddaughter. I want to see my granddaughter I want her back home with us."

Her granddaughter has been with another foster family.

Davidson has spent a $7,000 on an attorney to attempt to win custody of her granddaughter.

Her attorney, Robert Schembs, says he has focused on grandparents rights and says Davidson's fight is not uncommon.

"DCS is required to look at relatives first in terms of placement of children," Schembs said. "But it is not unusual to see a case like you're describing."

Schembs said DCS is not required to place the children with family.

A DCS spokesperson couldn't comment on the matter, but pointed to the Family First Act, a new law aiming to keep families together.

"That's my thing, I don't understand why they would not want to keep these two together, they're brother and sister," Davidson said. "Why would they not want to have them be together instead of her with family. She's not with family but she's got alot of family that wants her."

According to data from DCS last month, 44 percent of children in out of home care were place with family members and 47 percent were placed with unrelated foster care families.

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