MOORE, Okla. – An Oklahoma mother is demanding answers after the treatment center she sent her son to now faces allegations of abuse.
The center is now shut down and more than two dozen children are in DHS custody.
“You have to explain to your child you haven’t abandoned him,” Jennifer Brantley said.
Jennifer Brantley is stuck in Oklahoma while her child is confined in Montana.
Both are wondering what comes next.
“He’s back where he was before we got him,” Brantley said. “Back in the system.”
The Moore mother is a foster parent to four boys, all brothers coming from a broken home.
The oldest, Sergio, is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), deemed homicidal, and has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
His condition is so severe he needed medical treatment when he entered his pre-teen years.
But that help here in our state is slim to none.
“I literally had a list and called every place in Oklahoma on the list and they could not take him due to the severity of his mental illness,” Brantley said.
Brantley forced to find help out of state when she came across Ranch for Kids in Montana, a facility that specifically caters to children overcoming illnesses like Sergio’s.
“Good faith that they were going to take care of our child,” Brantley said. “Researched and researched. The best of the best.”
Sergio spent months getting the counseling he needed at Ranch for Kids while Brantley spent $5,000 each month for the care.
But this week, authorities raided the ranch following allegations of psychological and physical abuse.
All 27 patients were placed into Montana state custody.
Sergio told his mom he too was a victim.
“He was told ‘you are 12 years old and you need to suck this up,’” Brantley said.
This verbal abuse just the tip of the iceberg.
The allegations range from “children being body-slammed” to being “spit on by staff,” even a “nail gun being shot at a child.”
Brantley is left stunned.
“If any progress had been made at the ranch, it’s now no longer,” Brantley said.
The ranch is firing back and denying all claims.
“Here`s the thing, our passion is to help these kids heal from trauma and now the state is saying we are traumatizing these kids?” the Executive Director for Ranch for Kids William Sutley said. “Well, that is just not true.”
But Brantley is trusting her son’s words.
“It’s real,” Brantley said. “It happened.”
Some patients have been reunited with their parents but Brantley is battling her own challenges.
She’s struggling to come up with the money to get Sergio out of DHS in Montana and into another rehabilitation center.