Tuesday in Montevideo, a group of picketers were outside the old hospital building on Highway 7, demonstrating against Family Services, which has their county office inside.
The picketers, lead by Kandice Horton, were the same group that picketed the Chippewa County Courthouse two weeks ago, in response to Steven Horton being found guilty of first-and second-degree criminal sexual conduct Aug. 3.
On Tuesday, Kandice Horton was picketing because she felt Family Services had overstepped and had caused her and her family hardship.
She said that Family Services had made her enter a treatment program, parenting lessons, therapy and meet other requirements to keep her children. As a result, she said, she was unable to earn money, and the time she spent traveling to Montevideo from Clara City had cost her not only gas money, but also $300 a week in child care. As a result, she was unable to meet her rental payments, and lost her apartment. She also claimed this resulted in a court date set to decide if she could keep one of her stepchildren, which she was never made aware of, and missed.
A pamphlet passed out by the picketers accused Family Services of harassment, accusation of abuse without reason, causing wrongful conviction and unfair treatment and expectations.
"My motivation in all of this is that (Family Services employees) get professional training," Horton said. "They are ruining childrens' lives."
Chippewa County Family Services Director Betty Christensen was unable to comment on the specifics of any case, but she was able to answer general questions about the way Family Services operates, and the training their employees receive.
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