Hello & thank you in advance for a few moments of your very precious time

Situation – Twelve year old male, admitted anorexic, with physical abuse, emotional destruction, alienation, and familial containment responsibility; child has made personal statements to me regarding the following comments:

  • 1 – I’ll just turn myself over to a gang
  • 2 – I’ll start doing drugs and get into violence
  • 3 – I’ll just kill myself
  • 4 – Wish I was big enough to kill my stepfather
  • 5 – Why are you the only one who seems to care about this stuff, why can’t I talk to anyone else, why won’t my own dad help me? Nobody believes me. I can’t tell anyone up there because if he finds out he’ll kill me. He really scares me. 

There is a young boy in , whom Children Services have investigated more than a dozen reports of child maltreatment, attempted runaway, and family violence over the past two years. These reports have been made by various people, my daughter’s friend, child’s maternal grandfather, myself, and even inlaws, who are not only offenders against the child, but also reside with the child. Everything we buy him, everything he has ever had, has been taken, destroyed, sold, broken; including his new bike he just received and his phone which I just had to shut off due to mother using as a pawn of punishment and torment, you can’t use it, ‘What’s your Nana gonna do about it’?

The boy has repeatedly made statements directly to me about various harms, his Step Grandmother physically attacking him recently, approximately 3 weeks ago. This inlaw was physically beating his mother, when the boy stood up and yelled ‘Stop’, the inlaw came and attacked the boy. He believes this type of behavior is normal. I advised him that I had emailed his school guidance counselor to advise of the ongoing situation of harm for over two years now. There is severe neglect, in the child getting himself off to school, told he does not need a shower, it raises the water bill too much. He is made to sleep on a filthy mattress and rarely washed bedding.

I am in the process now of this being the last time this mother brings me into this situation, the child confirms the harmful slapping, slamming him into doors, calling him various vulgar names and doing all they can to make him act like this family in the massive dysfunction and pain. He was not given anything for his birthday, ‘Cakes are a waste of money’ as he was advised by his parents on his twelfth birthday July 03, 2013.

His maternal grandfather resides just about 45 mins from this boys home, but rarely sees him due to the difficult relationship with his mother and the constant forced alienation. However, he is more than willing to be a temporary foster situation until the boy is able to decide for himself what he wishes to do and what has happened in these last few years to justify that decision.

At this time I am in need of assistance with Pennsylvania Custody Statutes to ensure the safety of this child and have him removed from the home based on his own testimony during a private conversation as he visited this past Summer. Sadly even though I wanted & tried to keep him here then, I gave him one more time for this to explode, and he talked me into allowing him to go back for his young brother whom he absolutely treasures. There were many incidents prior to his visit, which he returned back home early August, and already there have been at least two other altercations which got serious.

In my phone conversation with him Saturday evening I advised him I would be turning off his phone, because his mother was using it to torment him not as the gift it was intended especially for him. He was advised to go in and speak with Ms. Kara Fair, at Apollo Middle School, especially if he was hit, grounded, punished, or called the horrible names because of what his mother has started again. His return comment to me ‘But that happens everyday’ meaning he is condemned by this step family and intimidated constantly simply because they believe he has no one to fight for him and to help him.

His biological father is fully aware of the serious nature of this child’s home. He resides just about a mile from me in the same small town. His paternal grandparents are willing to be of assistance, however their home was condemned some time ago with holes in the upstairs floors and sleeping on a four inch mattress thrown on the floor with no dresser to organize his belonging and no one ensure his bath and teeth brushed everyday to maintain healthy hygiene. The boy’s biological father has stated the unhealthy environment of his parents home for the boy and he has no room for him in the trailer where he and his new family live today.

It was my concerned and professional opion, in his being 12, leagally permitted a voice in Pennsylvania at this age concerning their welfare; I’ve informed him I will do whatever I can to make sure he speaks with a judge, remembering he cannot lie to defend his mother any longer.  As a child, you are the one who is the family target and bares all the responsibility of keeping the family together; sometimes you just have to tell the secrets. It is not a safe secret when you are living in this condemning, alienating, manipulating, abusing, and physically harming environment. The Step Grandmother holds a position as dispatcher for ambulance; built alliances in Police, Firemen, Educators, Churches; all who believe there is no way this could happen but they have been repeatedly called to the house for just such a disturbance.

I need a child advocate who can give this boy his right to be in front of a judge and allow the judge to hear ALL evidence, including recorded phone conversations and text messages over the past six months alone.

As an advocate, as his maternal grandmother, there is not a chance I can continue hoping my daughter will get her act together and do as she was raised to do; take responsibility rather than sitting there whining about how bad it is for HER. This is not a Pity Party for her situation any longer. It is time for him to speak to a professional who can assist in his best interest moving forward.

If anyone can assist in this area, remember Armstrong Country DCFS, Kiski Police Department, and even another advocate residing up there, they all know the condition of this child’s home, his younger brother’s situation, and the physical, emotional, and neglectful actions which continue to happen against him.

Contact me via email: for more information

Apollo Middle School Guidance Counselor have been directly notified of the ongoing situation. At this time I’m not prepared to say if I am actually getting him assistance. Any information or anyone who can create a working relationship on the best interest of this child; you would truly be a blessing we need in our family right now.


Patricia A McKnight

Bubbly you hang on and be strong. Remember, you cannot lie, it is against the law and right now your family needs help. It just needs to happen as quickly as possible as he has been progressively getting worse, more closed up, and extremely cautious of any human being.