Trevar Hotaling is 18, but still trapped in Foster Care in Alabama. He risks retaliation to speak out on the abuses of Alabama DHR by posting videos to Facebook and YouTube.
by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Trevar Hotaling is 18 years old and has allegedly been in the Alabama foster care system, under the control of Alabama DHR (Department of Human Resources) in Shelby County, for over two years.
Trevar posted a video to his Facebook page on July 18th regarding abuses within Alabama DHR, and the video quickly gained hundreds of viewers. He recorded it at 2:40 a.m. because he has problems sleeping at night. He uploaded it to YouTube, and then did a second video.
In the first video (above), Trevar states that the reason he is making his “first” video is because there are many kids in Alabama DHR that “do not deserve to be taken from their families.”
“There are kids that are being mentally scarred for something they should not even be involved in. Their families are perfectly fine.”
Trevar then refers to the “Prince case,” a story Health Impact News originally reported on and published on MedicalKidnap.com. The story had over 1 million readers in the first 24 hours after it was published. See:
Alabama Child Protective Services Steals New-born Breast-feeding Baby from Rape Victim While Still at the Hospital
The Prince family is in the same county, Shelby County, as Trevar, and he states: “That is a perfectly fine family. There is nothing wrong with them.”
While acknowledging that there are some children in the system from truly abusive homes, Trevar states that many children do not belong in the system, and that it is part of a “child trafficking” system that is rewarded with massive amounts of funds for each child put into the system.
Trevar states that there are “kids” in the system that are 20 years old and
“(They) have no freedom at all, because the government owns them. They are stuck in foster homes and facilities that they do not deserve to be in.”
“I get treated like a criminal. Kids my age do.”
Trevar then relates the sad story of how he was separated from his sister, who tried to run away and was then put on drugs.
“My sister cried for days.”
He wants everyone to know what is happening not only to him and his sister, but to many children.
“I’m 18 years old, why can’t I live in my house? I want to live in my house. I’m happy in my house.
“I’d rather be seen at the side of the road with my family, in a ditch, living in a box, than being in a foster home. Because know why, I love my family. Without family there is nothing.”
Trevar explains that while he is a $500.00 check to his foster parents, that foster parents are not the problem, as there are some good ones. He claims it is the system’s fault (DHR), because the State gets massive funding for each child in their care.
He also mentions the high turnover rate of people working in DHR, as the good ones generally do not survive.
This point was raised by Shelby County Sheriff Lee Stockman, in an article he published titled “Alabama DHR and Due Process Concerns.” In this article, he quotes Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner as saying that there is a “20 to 25 percent turnover ratio for child welfare workers,” and that “starting pay for those workers is comparable to that of a prison guard with a GED.”
Encouraged by the success of his first video posted on Facebook, Trevar recorded a second one (above).
In this second video, he talks about how they put him on drugs, and how antidepressant drugs don’t work.
“I tried them. They don’t work. Because it’s not antidepressants I need. I don’t need a drug to make me feel better. You know what my drug is? It’s my family. That’s what makes me happy.”
Trevar admits that he is scared to speak out, like all foster kids, and that he will probably get into trouble for posting the videos.
“It’s worth it. Because if I don’t speak up, who’s going to speak up for these kids?”
“So hopefully somebody will find these videos that can actually help us. Somebody who has the power to stand up for the kids, for the families, for the parents that can’t say nothing or do nothing to change.”
“Just remember every kid is a check. Every kid is a ton of money (for the State).”
How to Help
According to the Alabama Family Rights Association, ALFRA:
Alabama has a nine-member task force created to examine the work of the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). If you have issues or concerns about DHR services, your best plan of action is to contact the following legislators/lawmakers and committee members:
Mac McCutcheon, State Representative, Task Force chair / 334-242-7705 / 256-655-3764 / email here
Chris England, State Representative / 334-242-7703 / 205-535-4859 / email here
Greg Reed, State Senator / 334-242-7894 / email
The complete list of committee Members can be found here: Executive Order Number 11
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