Sarah Collins is a Minnesota mother of two young children who is involved in an ongoing custody case in Hennepin County. She is speaking out about how the family court system, and Guardian ad Litem program has abused its power, and discretion, and failed to protect her children from abuse. The children were exposed to pornography while in the care of their father, and there have been other allegations of abuse raised as well.
Sarah says she is being punished, and falsely accused of parental alienation, by Guardian ad Litem Susan Olson, who has failed to investigate the facts of the case and failed to contact collateral witnesses and professionals involved with the family. Instead of gathering facts and documentation, Olson relies on what she “thinks”. One example of this is that Sarah was falsely accused of parental alienation by Olson because she does not approve of her summer visitation schedule with the children. Sarah and children have historically spent the entire summer months together, which has never been questioned until Olson was appointed as Guardian ad Litem.
It should be noted that in Minnesota, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) does not have the statutory authority to make any mental health or medical diagnosis or recommend treatment for either a parent or a child. It also violates APA ethical standards for a mental health practitioner to engage in “dual roles” (also known as multiple relationships). Any form of medical treatment should only be handled by a licensed professional, and in cases of domestic abuse, the professional should have knowledge and experience in dealing with abuse, trauma and related issues.
Sarah has filed a complaint against Susan Olson with the Guardian ad Litem Program, and feels that State Program Administrator Suzanne Alliegro, and the GAL program as a whole, is dismissing her concerns without proper investigation. Instead of protecting children, Sarah feels the GAL Program is working to protect its own.
Sarah claims that Olson has retaliated against her for filing complaints, and is in fear that she will permanently lose custody of her children.
Olson has denied any wrong doing. She has been a Guardian ad Litem with Hennepin County for over 10 years.
The City Pages previously published an article on Sarah Collins that can be read here: What to do when you can’t trust the guardian of your kids? by Susan Du (City Pages)
“Here is the statement from the Judge in our case regarding Susan Olson’s claims of Parental Alienation against me. Keeping in mind that her basis for these allegations were a complete refusal to speak with me for 9 months of the year she was on the case, refusal to speak to the children’s therapists, refusal to look into the facts in the case regarding transitions.
Basically, because the children have spent every summer for their whole lives with their brothers and sister in my home, that very same aspect of the life they have always known is what she has used to accuse me of Parental Alienation. So, if you are a devoted parent who built your life and work schedule around your children, you too are guilty of Parental Alienation by the standard set by the MN G.A.L. program led by Suzanne Alliegro. This has knowingly been done by letting Susan Olson make these Parental Alienation claims.
The Guardian also expressed concern that it might increase the danger of alienation of the children from Petitioner Burns. She expressed the opinion that there were numerous reasons not to give Respondent Collins more than 50% of the time and to take away Petitioner Burns’ ability to enroll the children in activities during his parenting time. She testified as follows: “Well, I think that taking away father’s ability to decide for the children during his time things such as enrichment camps doesn’t benefit the children. . . .The level of contempt that I observed early on in this case, in my view, disqualifies them as parents who would–parents who have children who would benefit from right of first refusal. . . .” (Olson Transcript, pp. 25-26.)
She further testified that it might lead to alienation: “. . . I think that it can lead to alignment to the children. I think if the court orders right of first refusal, particularly during just someone’s work hours, I think that it sets the children up to be aligned against their father.” (Olson Transcript, p. 27.)
Our family now knows how Susan Olson follows through on her threats.
After refusing to speak to our children’s therapists, despite the ongoing harm the children continue to report to their therapists, Susan Olson followed through on her threat to punish our family for questioning her on her lies and manipulations. The punishment was to set our abuser up to continue to seek full custody. How? By her allegations of Parental Alienation.
We have confirmed that at least one other case of Olson’s experienced this allegation as well in the month of May 2016. Susan Alliegro is responsible for this toxic woman’s harm of the victims of abusers and her own pride and ego are responsible for continuing Susan Olson’s wrath against victims and children.”