ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — The parents of a baby who died in foster care expressed their anguish Thursday and their frustration with Athens County Children Services.
Logan Dollison was born at home on Dec. 19 to Lindsey Householder, 30, and William Dollison, 32, in Glouster before mother and baby were taken to O’Bleness Hospital in Athens. While there, the baby was taken into protective custody, and Logan died on Jan. 7.
“They are supposed to be protecting my kids, but they just proved that they can’t,” William Dollison said. “They let my kid die, and they don’t have no explanation, no nothing for it.”
“I didn’t know I was pregnant with him,” Householder said Thursday in an interview with NBC4.
She found out the baby was coming when she was in the bathroom.
“We went to the hospital. We got there by squad. Everything was fine with Logan,” Householder said. “They ran all kinds of tests, made sure everything was fine with both of us, and the next day CPS came in and took him.”
Dollison said they have other children who were taken and that they are in the process of trying to get them back.
Although Athens County Children Services commented to NBC4 on Wednesday, it has not about certain specifics regarding Logan’s case or at all about any of the other Dollison children. Typically, such proceedings are closed.
Baby’s health worsens suddenly
Logan went to the doctor for a weight check on Jan. 5 and was fine, Householder said. But she said she wasn’t notified about Logan’s checkup even though the parents wanted to attend all the doctor’s visits.
The next day, they were supposed to have a visit at 10 a.m. but were told it was canceled because Logan hadn’t been eating and that his caregiver was taking him to the doctor.
“We asked if we could go to the doctor’s appointment,” said Householder, but she was told they had to wait for the approval of the caseworker.
By then it was snowing heavily.
When the couple was told Logan was being transferred to intensive care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, they were under a snow emergency and couldn’t drive out of Glouster.
Told over text Logan had died
Householder was texting with the foster mother, who was with Logan in Columbus. At 11:50 p.m. on Jan. 6, she got a text that the baby’s condition had worsened.
“At midnight, she finally texted me back and said that his heart had stopped and they couldn’t get it back,” Householder said.
Logan Dollison died on Jan. 7. He wasn’t even 3 weeks old.
After Logan died, neither Householder nor Dollison was allowed to hold the baby.
“I texted (the caseworker) because I figured we’d be going up to Columbus,” said Householder.
But Logan had been released to a medical examiner. To date, a cause of death has not been released.
“We did not get to identify Logan. We didn’t get to see him or nothing until the day before his funeral,” Householder said.
Children Services explains procedures
In the statement to NBC4, Otis Crockron, director of Athens County Children Services, said his agency would not have notified a parent via text message.
“We take a situation where there’s a child fatality seriously,” he said. “We would reach out directly to the mother and we would never notify via text, but I cannot speak for the foster parent or what the mother shared. … That should never happen, to learn about it over text.
“We would spend a lot of time to make sure that the mother had what she needed. I can tell you that we’ve been open and available to the mother and would do anything we could to help in this situation.”
‘If it was me, I’d be behind bars’
Dollison is angry about the way Children Services cared for his child. He also said he was not included in communications about Logan, even though he’s the father and the couple are together.
“If it was me,” Dollison said, putting his hand over his heart, “I’d be behind bars right now until I could prove my innocence. I’d be behind bars. It wouldn’t matter what it is … if he was in our custody. That’s how it would have been. But for them, they still get to walk the street.”
The Athens County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate Logan’s death.