Sexual abuse victim says he sounded the alarm to DCFS twice

“I feel like after making my report and having it lost, having it all messed up and then having them say, ‘Oh no, we don’t have any knowledge of it’…bullshit,” he said. “I got proof of me. I got physical proof of paperwork that I filed this paperwork and now you’re claiming you didn’t have any reports or anything like that.”

Michael Hadden adopted a man long ago as a baby but years later, the past still haunts him.

Unfiltered with Kiran is referring to the man as Adam to protect his identity.

East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Hadden two weeks ago for third-degree rape, indecent behavior with juveniles, and molestation of a juvenile.

Michael Hadden

Hadden was a foster dad through the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). He had three other foster children aside from Adam.

“I believe my life would have been a lot better if none of this would have happened,” Adam said. “No kid should ever go through that.”

Adam said he notified DCFS two years ago of what was happening but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

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“It started when I was young and most of what he did, he would do oral to us,” Adam recalled. “I remember one time when I got a little bit older, he did try but didn’t penetrate or anything.”

To better remember what was going on, Adam said he kept notes of the alleged sexual abuse.

“About the same age range 7 or 8, I lived in a small white travel trailer. It had a small trunk at the rear,” Adam said. “He told me never open or look into it when I was young but one day I looked to see what might be there…I saw a box, like one of those old popcorn boxes and when I looked inside, there were pornographic photos of other minors in there.”

Adam said his foster dad sexually abused him from age 4 until 15. He said Hadden looked for more creative ways to seduce and control him as he got older.

Some of those ways allegedly included drugging Adam and offering him beer.

“He drugged me to the point I passed out and wake up to it or waking me up knowing I had no control,” he said. “(He) Paid me money hundreds at times.”

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Adam said he went to his father’s home unannounced two years ago and some of his suspicions were confirmed.

“When I opened the back trailer, I didn’t see him in the living room so I knew where he was,” he said. “He was in his room and soon as I opened up that door, I thought, ‘Oh no.’ I saw one of the foster kids pop up and seeing him naked laying next to one of the foster kids. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t freaking believe it, so I ran out that door.”

Adam called DCFS after that incident. He also contacted the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office on May 18, 2020 to report his alleged abuse.

A problem surfaced when the investigating deputy told Adam DCFS had not received a complaint from him and he would have to file another report with DCFS.

“These had apparently got lost or whatever and they couldn’t find it, so I had to make a second report and when I made a second report, the second report is based on what I saw the other night with the foster kids,” he said.

Adam received a letter in the mail that was dated the same day he made the report.

The letter read “we are unable to investigate the situation because it does not meet the legal and policy definition of child abuse or neglect.”

The foster children were removed from the home, which made Adam think he did his part. However, when Hadden was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly sexually abusing his foster children, he was furious that Hadden got the children back and to hear DCFS say they learned of “the horrific allegations” through the media.

“I feel like after making my report and having it lost, having it all messed up and then having them say, ‘Oh no, we don’t have any knowledge of it’…bullshit,” he said. “I got proof of me. I got physical proof of paperwork that I filed this paperwork and now you’re claiming you didn’t have any reports or anything like that.”

DCFS discusses hardships within the agency

Unfiltered with Kiran requested an interview with DCFS but was sent the hearing from earlier in August. DCFS had to go before a legislative committee at the capitol and answer to Hadden’s case and the case involving a 2-year-old who died from a fentanyl overdose after two incidents were reported to DCFS before the toddler died.

“I’m also outraged that we can’t get people to come work for us,” said DCFS Assistant Secretary Rhenda Hodnett. “No one wants to do this work. No one wants to go out into the conditions that our caseworkers are having to go out into. Our caseworkers are exhausted. They are afraid. The trauma that they bare every day is incredible.”

Of the 60 jobs for caseworkers, 29 are vacant. Caseworkers need a bachelor’s degree but the pay was $29,000 per year before a recent raise bumped up the starting salaries to $36,000.

The average time a case worker stays on the job is 18 months.

Covid caused DCFS to lose crucial staff and several foster parents.

Adam said the responsibility is still on the agency to provide better environments for the kids.

“Do your job. That’s your job to put these kids in better homes,” he said. “If someone makes a report on a person, that’s when you should realize why is this happening. Why is there a report on this person.”

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