Someone came into the child support office on a Saturday, or logged into their child support… whatever on a Saturday, to close both of the boys’ child support cases out because this has been happening since 2014 and should not be at risk of happening or actually happening each time we get our benefits renewed. The “chief ombudsman” of the child support office, Stephanie Neely, (job term used loosely, of course, because if her supervisor had to investigate her when she refused to close my youngest son’s case out at the beginning of the year in spite of repeated good cause waivers being approved until Legal Aid and the National Child Support Agency began to get involved and both HHSC and the OAG began to chicken out, she shouldn’t be in charge of anything and she should know that) e-mailed me to let me know that and apologized “for the stress that this may have put on me”. I shouldn’t have to beg for my children to remain safe while we access state benefits, especially because we take advantage of provisions that safely allow us to access state benefits. And as a matter of fact, as I have since perfectly made clear, I’m not going to beg. You’re going to do your job. If me making you do your job makes you more anxious to deal with me doing your job, you should have thought about that when you tried to make me beg for my youngest son’s safety in… what, December of last year? January of this year? You should have learned quick that the kind of hardball I’m willing to play to keep my children safe from harm isn’t the hardball that the state wants to play, and if that incites fear, again — maybe you should find a different job. As a matter of fact, I actually encourage you to do so. You should never have been put in a position that allowed your daily work to influence children’s lives.
I don’t mind if people come to fear me if it means that I make them do their jobs (or, even better, quit their jobs in some cases), and if it keeps my kids safe from harm, even better. My job as a parent is not to have you like me. My job as a parent is to be my children’s parent, and as it seems in this state, their protector.