Bizarre Custody Mixup

POSTED: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 11:16am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:59pm

A young girl was picked up from school by a woman she didn’t know. Her mother had no idea where she was. It was all done with the school’s OK.

A worker with Franklin County Children Services picked up a Duxberry Park Elementary kindergartner who was in foster care and took her to its headquarters on Mound Street on Nov. 17.

FCCS had the wrong girl, and the girl’s mother spent the afternoon trying to figure out what happened to her daughter. When Savannah Williams didn’t come home from school one afternoon, you can guess how her mother felt.

“Where is she? I called the principal. She said she wasn’t in the school building, and she said, ‘Well, maybe she fell asleep on the bus,‘ “ Ebony Williams said.

That wasn’t the case. Savannah wasn’t on the bus and hadn’t been.
For an hour and a half, Ebony was on the phone trying to find out her daughter’s whereabouts. Then Ebony was told Savannah left in a car with someone else.
It went from bad to worse. “Of course, I was freaking out, just worried about who she got in the car with,“ Ebony said.

Savannah was given to a social worker with FCCS who came to the school to pick up another kindergarten girl also named Savannah but with a different last name.

“They figured out they had the wrong child. They looked on the sign-out sheet cause when you sign out a child, you have to sign your name and the child’s name and it had the other child’s name,“ Ebony said. At about the same time, Savannah was already at FCCS with a confused case worker.

Ebony was on her way to FCCS when she received a phone call from FCCS saying Savannah was being brought to her home. FCCS apologized. Ebony said there’s no way this should have happened.

Columbus City School district spokeswoman Kim Norris said, “This is a very unfortunate incident. We take the security of our students very seriously. We are examining exactly what took place and will take appropriate actions to prevent this from happening again.“