After following an Elder’s advice to share her story on Twitter, a mother is welcoming her second – and youngest – son home from foster care.
The woman APTN News is calling ‘Twitter Mom’ can’t be named because she still has children in care and it’s illegal to publish details that would identify them.
But the reunion comes five months after APTN News told her story.
“[She] asked me to let everyone know that her youngest boy has FINALLY come home after 10 years,” Twitter Mom’s friend, Christi Belcourt, posted on Twitter.
“[Child welfare agencies in two provinces have] not yet relinquished ‘Crown ward’ status on either of her two middle children. So the fight with the lawyers continues.”
Belcourt included a smiling photo of the mom hugging her grinning son.
Her middle son returned home last year. The eldest son was first to come back after he “aged out” of the system at age 18.
Twitter Mom went public with her battle last fall in direct defiance of strict privacy laws that keep the workings of the child welfare system shrouded in secrecy.
She tweeted out every detail of her life in the system, giving Twitter followers a never-before-seen peek behind the curtain.
She says an Indigenous Elder advised her to speak out.
“The lawyers haven’t stopped and the good news is – that since starting this account and becoming vocal – we have our middle boy home,” she said in her last tweet posted May 31.
“But the lawyer fees are through the roof. I still need help.”
Belcourt, an artist and Indigenous rights activist, is helping raise money for legal fees that are nearing six figures.
She will update her twitter later. Right now she wants to just focus on her children and their needs. She is letting her lawyers handle the legal stuff to get the crown ward status removed. Her legal fees are still mounting. I will post the go fund me link on this next tweet.
— Christi Belcourt (@christibelcourt) July 7, 2018
The privacy laws come with tough penalties to keep media outlets from reporting child welfare stories, something agency and government officials say is needed to protect vulnerable children.
But critics say the penalties have the opposite effect by helping protect misconduct on the part of social workers.
Belcourt says Twitter Mom hasn’t been active online lately so she can spend time with her children – not because she’s been told to unplug.
The two boys are still legal wards of their agencies, making their mom essentially their foster parent.
Twitter Mom has remarried since her sons were first apprehended, started her own business, and completed every wellness and parenting course she says the agencies ordered.
She shared those details online, tweeting how she and the boys were abused by her first husband and their father, but says social workers blamed her and seized the children at a hospital when police were questioning her.
She wasn’t available for comment Tuesday and neither was her lawyer, Katherine Hensel of Toronto.