Grandmother vows to keep fighting for grandchildren pulled out of four homes
SAN ANTONIO —
A local grandmother is fighting to keep her young grandchildren safe, and in her care, after years of alleged abuse.
Maria Dominguez says she is willing to do whatever it takes to get her grandchildren back. "This is the hardest thing for me right now. Seeing their pictures," she says as she flips between photos of her two granddaughters.
The girls lived with Dominguez for about six years; one child was 8-months-old and the other was just 1-year-old. It has been a year since they were all together.
"It kind of hurts because my daughter was going the wrong steps," says Dominguez. "She became a drug addict. She was getting in trouble with the law."
Court records show the girls' mother had been convicted on a drug charge in 2014. By May of 2016, she regained custody of her children and they were removed from the Dominguez's home.
It wasn't long after that happened, that Child Protective Services investigators found bruises on the girls. Instead of returning them to Dominguez, they were put in foster care.
"I haven't slept. All I do is cry because I don't have my grandkids."
After foster care, they were placed with their biological father who also has a history of drug use. Paperwork show it was only a few months before investigators found more signs of physical abuse and neglect on the young children while in their father's care. Again, they were pulled from another home.
"They all hurt my grandkids," says Dominguez. "They put my grandbabies through pain.
According to Dominguez, CPS has no good reason for not returning the children back to the home where they grew up. While documents show her husband was accused of sexual abuse in 2016, San Antonio police and CPS investigators said they could not find evidence to support the allegations. In fact, documents confirm the victims recanted their statements.
"Then what's the problem?" asks Dominguez.
Those involved in the original allegations stand by their withdrawal. CPS would not share any information on this case due to privacy laws. Instead, they released this statement:
Judges, attorneys for the children, advocates, therapists and counselors work with CPS to determine safe placements for children, however it is the courts which will have the authority to determine a children's placement.
Since the children left their grandparents' home, they have been moved to more than four homes. Dominguez's family stands by her as she battles the system to keep a pinky promise she made with her granddaughters.
"I'm going to keep fighting. I can't break my pinky promise. I never have. Everything my grandkids wanted, we did it. We all did it."