Stanley Family Gets Custody Back of 4 Youngest Children – 3 Older Children Still in State Custody

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The Stanley Family is greeted by supporters outside of the Garland County Arkansas Court House. Image courtesy Arkansas Herald.

The Stan­ley Fam­i­ly is greet­ed by sup­port­ers out­side of the Gar­land Coun­ty Arkansas Court House. Image cour­tesy Arkansas Her­ald.

A review hear­ing in Gar­land Coun­ty Juve­nile Court in Arkansas yes­ter­day result­ed in the case being closed for the four younger Stan­ley chil­dren. The par­ents now have full cus­tody back of these four chil­dren. The three old­er Stan­ley chil­dren, how­ev­er, remain in State cus­tody. They are allowed to live at home with 20 hours a week DHS super­vi­sion in the home. (Read the orig­i­nal sto­ry here.)

Mar­ci Smith of the Arkansas Her­ald inter­viewed both the family’s attor­ney and the par­ents out­side the courthouse.

Watch these 3 reports here:

The family’s attor­ney, Q. Byrum Hurst, Jr., stat­ed that he was con­fi­dent that the entire case could be closed “with­in a rea­son­able peri­od of time.”

Attorney Speaks out on State Coerced Education and Counseling as a Condition for Getting Children Back

Attorney Q. Byrum Hurst, Jr.  Image courtesy Arkansas Herald

Attor­ney Q. Byrum Hurst, Jr. Image cour­tesy Arkansas Herald

To obtain cus­tody back of their four youngest chil­dren, the par­ents, Hal and Michelle Stan­ley, had to under­go exten­sive “train­ing” and “coun­sel­ing” by the State, and allow them to enter their home at will dur­ing that time. The State-man­dat­ed “train­ing” and “coun­sel­ing” was about par­ent­ing skills, in spite of the fact that the par­ents have been home­school­ing their chil­dren for many years.

When asked if he thought the inten­sive train­ing and coun­sel­ing require­ments imposed by the State was deserved and help­ful, Attor­ney Hurst replied:

No, I don’t think it was deserved. It was done for the pur­pos­es of get­ting their chil­dren back. It is a shame that they had to do that.

Every­body can use edu­ca­tion, every­body can use sug­ges­tions on how to raise your chil­dren, but to have it forced on you, I don’t think it is beneficial.

Parents Disappointed that State Control Over Family to Continue

Mar­ci Smith inter­viewed the par­ents exit­ing the cour­t­house, and Hal Stan­ley, the father, expressed his dis­ap­point­ment that the State was to main­tain cus­tody of their 3 old­er children.

I am real­ly dis­ap­point­ed. I was expect­ing all the chil­dren to be returned to our cus­tody. There’s still no charges against us, there’s still no rea­son for the chil­dren to be in their cus­tody. We feel as par­ents we can make deci­sions (about our chil­dren) bet­ter than DHS can.

Michelle Stan­ley expressed her appre­ci­a­tion that at least the chil­dren were home, and they were able to spend Mother’s Day togeth­er. She post­ed pic­tures on the Bringth­es­tanleykid­shome Face­book Page.Stanley-children-Michelle-Mothers-Day

Michelle issued her own per­son­al state­ment as well:

Greet­ings to all our friends and loved ones,

Today was our review hear­ing and as it turned out the judge ruled that we now have full cus­tody over our 4 youngest chil­dren. The old­er 3 chil­dren have not fin­ished their 60 day in home tri­al vis­it. They want­ed to wait for the 60 day tri­al vis­it to end suc­cess­ful­ly before giv­ing us cus­tody of the old­er 3. Their 60 days ends on June 15 or 16 but the court decid­ed it would be will­ing to enter­tain an order to close the case before then should the two ther­a­pist that are see­ing our fam­i­ly rec­om­mend it. Until then all the ser­vices will con­tin­ue and anoth­er court review hear­ing is sched­uled for July 1st should our case still be open at that time. We are hop­ing it will end before then and that there will be no more court dates and the soon­er ser­vices end the soon­er we can get on with our lives.

On a more per­son­al basis we are hap­py all of our chil­dren are home and we are now in the process of prepar­ing for the new lit­tle one to arrive, the due date being May 30th. We are real­ly stretched thin with all that is going on to keep things func­tion­ing but we accept the chal­lenge and are doing all we can to make things work and be ready for the baby when it comes. The Lord con­tin­ues to keep us and meet our needs on a dai­ly basis and we don’t take for grant­ed all the prayers that are being prayed for us. We give God the glo­ry and pray for his will to be done in our lives.


Citizens in Arkansas are Enraged – Speak Out

Mar­ci Smith inter­viewed Nan­cy Emmons from Arkansas who has been fol­low­ing the Stan­ley case.

The peo­ple of Arkansas, we real­ly need to wake up and lis­ten to what has hap­pened to the Stan­leys. Nev­er in our wildest dreams would we have fig­ured that some­body could come in the night and take your chil­dren away from you.

I want you to know that this fam­i­ly is a won­der­ful fam­i­ly. They’re self suf­fi­cient, they home­school, they grow their own food, they are just real­ly self-suf­fi­cient. This has been very stress­ful for the par­ents and the children.

I want Arkansas to under­stand – every­one of you need to lis­ten: It could hap­pen to you.

Orig­i­nal Sto­ry on the Stanleys