Lee Marshall took to social media Friday to defend herself and her non-profit as they go after the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
"It should not be this hard to help kids," the former television broadcaster said. "And the bottom line is, they're preventing us from helping children in foster care."
Marshall said she has chosen to keep quiet for a long time and has tried to fight to help children in Alabama through Kids to Love. As a former foster care child, she said it is her passion to look out for those who need an advocate.
Kids to Love launched in 2004, and over 300,000 children have been impacted since. The organization has grown to include a group home, child placement and private adoption.
"What I've learned is that when you get closer to the fire, those that necessarily don't appreciate the level of integrity or quality that you serve, that's not the industry standard," Marshall said.
For years, Kids to Love has posted online about children who are in need of families. The purpose of the non-profit is to advocate for children, but according to a lawsuit filed in Madison County Circuit Court, Kids to Love has been barred from doing so because of some social media posts.
The violations DHR alleges have nothing to do with the facilities or families involved in Kids to Love. In fact, a site visit in June turned up zero deficiencies.
However, DHR has not made placement referrals to Kids to Love in months.
"We have homes available right now, through our amazing foster families that are not being utilized," Marshall said. "Earlier this summer, referrals were frozen to our homes without any justification."
Marshall said her focus will continue to be on what is best for the children and not for DHR. She believes DHR does not want to refer to Kids to Love because the department sees them as a threat.
"The allegations that they've made against us, we will have our day in court, but I can tell you the allegation that we're guilty of is fighting for our children and being a fearless advocate for our kids," she said.
Kids to Love has launched a website, AlabamaChildren.org, for those with concerns over DHR to submit comments.
"What I'm asking you to do today is just stand with us," Marshall added. "I need you to stand with us because we are taking on an institution that is broken, that is not in the best interest of our kids. And so we ask that you stand with us."
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