Tragic Accounts of Protection By The State
[Brandon McBride, 10, Timothy McBride, 8, Pierre Walker, 10, Chicago]: The boys died after a fire on July 19, 2000]: DCFS licensing worker failed to ensure that a foster home had working smoke detectors. The worker rushed a licensing inspection because "the foster mother was in a hurry," an investigative report stated. The three children died after a fire July 19, 2000, that destroyed the home. After the fire, a second licensing worker employed by DCFS told an investigator that she "was unfamiliar as to how to check (smoke detectors) to find out if they are operational." A state fire marshal's probe concluded that the home had no smoke detectors. "The worker's admitted failure to check for fire hazards in the home may have cost three children their lives," the inspector general concluded. -- DCFS DISCIPLINE: Faced with discipline, the second licensing worker resigned. A child protection investigator received counseling.
[Tina Winston, 11, Palatine, Died July 10, 2000]: Two staff members at a residential facility for developmentally disabled children used by DCFS attempted to restrain Tina. The girl was extremely disruptive and took psychotropic medication. But the workers were unfamiliar with the restraint -- a choke hold -- and Tina died. Her death prompted four pages of recommendations from the inspector general about how to deal with children who are mentally disabled. -- DCFS DISCIPLINE: None
[Cheril Hobbs, 13, Chicago, Died Sept. 1, 1999]: A 13-year-old girl who lived in the same foster home stabbed Cheril to death. Juvenile authorities charged the girl with murder. An inspector general's investigation concentrated not only on the murder but the aftermath. "The caseworker demonstrated a shocking unfamiliarity with the case," the inspector general reported. Meanwhile, the girl accused of murder transferred to a public school in Chicago and was allowed to mingle with students. School authorities eventually learned about the murder charge and isolated the girl from the other students. While the girl was the first juvenile in Illinois to give a videotaped statement in a murder case, a judge found her not guilty on Nov. 2, 2000. -- DCFS DISCIPLINE: None
[Antonio Moseley, 2 months old, Chicago Heights, Died Sept. 8, 1998]: A teenage girl who was living in the same foster home beat Antonio to death. A therapist had recommended that the "severely emotionally disturbed girl" be placed in a home where she was the only child. But a DCFS caseworker and supervisor ignored the warning and "failed to monitor the home in a meaningful way," according to an investigation. The caseworker did not have time to check on Antonio because of "additional demands on (her) time preparing for a national accreditation process." -- DCFS DISCIPLINE: None
[William Jackson, 2 , Matteson, Died October 1998]: William, a foster child, died a week after the 11-year-old daughter of his foster mother placed him in scalding water. An inspector general's investigator reviewed the records of a private agency that had placed William in the foster home. "Instead of having access to the whole file on the foster mother, each worker was allowed to enter just their case notes," the report stated, adding, "The workers, therefore, did not have historical or contextual knowledge on which to base their decision making." William's foster brother, who was malnourished, had upper arms that "were the circumference of a quarter," according to a physician's report. The foster mother had pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled substance just before being licensed, but a system to catch such arrests "was loose and rarely worked in practice," the inspector general concluded. -- DCFS DISCIPLINE: Three private agency workers resigned.
For more examples of child "protection" gone wrong, please visit: http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/local/16030326.htm
[Boy, 9, and girl 16 died prior to 2002]: These children died after acute asthma attacks while living in separate foster homes. Private agency caseworkers failed to make any mention of asthma in either child's case file. Caseworkers did not have an Asthma Action Plan, even though the boy had been identified by the Department of Public Aid as one of the top 200 users of asthma medication in the state. -- DCFS DISCIPLINE: None
For additional examples, visit:
[Andres Saragos, 4-year-old, died after being left in hot car for hours, Warm Springs]: Tamera Coffee, 34, Warm Springs, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges she killed her foster child last summer by leaving him in a closed car in the hot sun. She pleaded innocent April 17 to the second-degree murder charges filed last year. On the morning she was to go to trial, she accepted a plea agreement and a 6 1/2 year sentence. Coffee admitted she left 4-year-old Andres Saragos in a car for nine hours on July 13, 2000. Temperatures topped 90 degrees that day. Coffee first told police Andres had been home all day, but later admitted she left him in the car with the windows down. After a polygraph test, Coffee changed her story again, telling police she left windows down half an inch and didn't check on the boy. A prosecutor said he had a witness who would have said the windows were completely up. In a written plea to the court, Coffee took full responsibility for the boy's death. Coffee was released until the judge makes a final sentencing decision on July 31. Andres had lived with Coffee and her husband for 21/2 years. He was in and out of foster care while his birth mother, Vernice Switzler, an American Indian, battled alcoholism. http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=998
January 1, 2007 -- Baltimore Sun, by Gadi Dechter
[Teen Dies at Bowling Brook]
Isaiah Simmons III, age 17, died January 23, 2007 after being restrained at Bowling Brook Prepatory School in Maryland.
June 24, 2006 -- Twincities.com, Pioneer Press
[Clinic cited in girl's death: 7-year-old dies after being restrained by staff at Rice Lake, Wis., center]
A 7-year-old girl who died a day after being physically restrained by employees at a Rice Lake, Wis., counseling clinic was placed in a so-called "control hold" because she was "gargling milk," according to a report by state health officials. [Note: According to reporter Emily Gurnon, Angie was restrained for gargling milk two days prior to her death: she was also restrained the day before her death]
02/18/04 - Lawrence Journal-World, by Dave Ranney
[State to Investigate Death of 19-month-old in Lawrence]
The attorney for the distraught mother of a 19-month-old boy who died five days after he was taken into state custody said the child would still be alive had he been left with his mother.
"This is a case where the system went too far," said Scott Wasserman, a Lenexa lawyer. "Dominic Matz should not have been in foster care. He was fine when he was in his mother's care. He died because he was in foster care."
Records attribute Dominic's death to "lungs filled with fluid," Wasserman said, a condition his mother had been trained to prevent.
"It's our contention that had the person who was caring for Dominic been properly trained, this wouldn't have happened," Wasserman said. "His mother did, in fact, have that training and was taking care of her son when he was taken away from her."
February 9, 2006; ISAC, Cindy Stauffer
[Initial autopsy: Restrained teen was suffocated]
Initial autopsy findings show that a teen who died in Ephrata over the weekend suffocated while being held down, the attorney for the teen's parent's said today.
His death was the second one in two months at the behavioral treatment center.
Karoly agreed that further tests need to be done, but said initial findings are indicating the teen suffocated.
Aletriz suffered a number of injuries consistent with that finding, Karoly said.
The autopsy showed evidence of a traumatic injury to the left side of the teen's head, chest compression, lesions inside his shoulders, and bleeding near
his shoulder blade, in his ribs and in his spinal area, the attorney said.
The teen, who was 6 feel 1 inch tall and weighed 260 pounds, also had bite marks on his lips and tongue and stomach material in his nose, also indicators that he suffocated, Karoly said.
He had been diagnosed as being bipolar and had struggled with anger problems, his mother said.
[Death of Toddler In Central Texas Foster Home Ruled Homicide] September 7, 2006
The death of a 16-month-old boy who died while in the care of a Corsicana foster home has been ruled a homicide.
The boy and his 3-year-old brother had been at the foster home for six days before the child died Monday. The child's name was not released.
[Foster Mother of Baby Who Died Arrested] Oct 6, 2006
A foster mother sits in jail, accused of murdering a seven month old baby. Police say "Baby Charles" died while in Melanie Ochs' care. She's now being charged with murder by child abuse. http://www.kvbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=5504187&nav=menu107_2
[Foster Mom May Get Murder Charge Boy Died of Dehydration on Seventh Birthday] Friday, July 21, 2006
Carole Ann DeLeon, 51, a former paralegal with the U.S. Attorney's office in Spokane, was charged in April with criminal mistreatment of an 8-year-old foster child identified only as S.M.M.
Now, Stevens County Prosecutor John "Jerry" Wetle is seeking permission to add the murder charge involving Tyler DeLeon, 7, who weighed 28 pounds at his autopsy after he died of dehydration at DeLeon's home Jan. 13, 2005 -- his seventh birthday. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Allen Nielson.
[Adrianna Maria Romero-Cram] 08/06/05
" ... She would have turned 5 years old August 25th, 2005 but was beaten to death by her aunt and uncle in Mexico where the Oregon Department of Human Services placed her without doing a safety check on the family and despite pleas and warnings from her mother and grandmother that the aunt and uncle were dangerous."
Department of Human Services states she [the child's biological mother] has no rights to the child because she gave up her rights, which were forced with threats and a lie that the father had given up his own rights.
[Toddler Died of Head Injuries, Foster Mother in Edmonton Court] January 30, 2007 -- CBC News
A three-year-old boy rushed to an Edmonton Hospital on the weekend died of head injuries, shows an autopsy report released Tuesday, when his foster mother also appeared in court on a second-degree murder charge.
Court documents filed by the Edmonton Police allege the foster mother committed assault causing bodily harm on the little boy from Dec. 5 -- the day she began to care for him -- until Friday.
[Sherry Charlie a Battered Child, Says Pathologist] February 7, 2006 -- CBC News
The toddler was beaten to death by her great uncle Ryan George in September 2002, three weeks after she and her brother were placed in his home by USMA -- an aboriginal child-welfare agency.
George had a violent criminal record. Less than a month after she moved in, Sherry was killed by George. He told authorities that Sherry's brother had pushed her down the stairs.
[Social Worker Goes to Court] Jan. 16
An Eyewitness News investigation in November showed Moore failed to do a proper criminal history check before placing four-year-old Anthony Bars and his twin sister in the home of L.B. and Latricia Bars, but indicated on official court documents that she did.
L.B Bars had a battery conviction on his own daughter and a history of abuse in CPS records. Anthony and his sister were beaten and severely malnourished and Anthony died. Indianapolis Police did get a request for a background check on the Bars after the kids were already placed in the home. But even after getting the results of that, the children were left in the home. The state never even disciplined Moore for her actions. Officials have repeatedly refused to explain that, citing state confidentiality laws. http://www.wthr.com/Global/story.asp?S=1603756
[Social Workers Ignore Child's Abuse Before 2003 Murder, Panel Rules] December 23, 2004 -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter
In the two months before 2-year-old Emerald Champagne Loop was murdered in 2003, social workers [Bjerkness and Campbell] in the Bellingham office of the state Department of Social and Health Services received five different reports of missing teeth and deep, unexplained bruises on the toddler's pale body.
But Emmie's Child Protective Services social worker and the social worker's boss never acted to take Emmie and her older sister out of harm's way.
Both Bjerkness and Campbell have since been reassigned to DSHS positions in which they do not provide direct services to children and famiies, she said. Neither could be reached for comment.
[Foster Mom Arrested in Death] 11.24.2005 -- Arizona Daily Star
The foster mother of a 4-month-old Tucson boy who died was arrested Wednesday on a charge of first-degree murder.
Guadalupe Yolanda Gomez is accused of killing Dwight Hill, a foster child who had been in her home only 16 days before he died. An autopsy showed the boy died from blunt-force trauma, officials said.
[Another Child Dies in Foster Care] Posted March 9, 2004
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The death of a 3-month-old boy in a southwest Bakersfield foster home Monday was ruled a homicide, 10News reported.
The Kern County coroner's identified the baby as Eduardo Calzada. They said Tuesday that the baby died from numerous blows to the head.
[Brain-Damaged Foster Child Dies] Thursday, December 14, 2006
OAKLAND -- Deonna Green, the 2-year-old Pittsburg girl who was hospitalized with severe brain damage last week, died at Children's Hospital Oakland Wednesday, officials said this morning.
[Trial Starts in Death of Todder] Nov 16, 2004; Observer-Dispatch
Rosemary Davis, 51, is charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the Memorial Day death of Erickyzha Warner, a 22-month-old girl who died while in Davis's foster care.
According to Davis' attorney, "Rosemary Davis is the one who saved the child," he said. "She brought it to the table, and she gave it CPS." http://www.uticaod.com/archive/2004/11/16/news/12869.html
[State Investigation Requested for Baby Roman's Death] 11/21/2006 -- 30 ABC Action News
Fresno County Board Supervisor, Henry Perea is now asking the state to investigate Baby Roman's death. He says it was the county's responsibility to protect that child, but the County failed. Child Protective Services removed three month old Baby Roman after doctors told police someone intentionally broke the baby's arm.
Fresno Police now say CPS returned the baby to his father, but never told investigators. Detectives say it was crucial information because the father, Robert Quiroz, was under investigation for child abuse.
Anonymous Deaths of Children in Protective Care (anonymous but not unnoticed and definitely will not be forgotten)
Nevada, Las Vegas: 7-month-old foster boy in the 2700 block of Dune Cove Road, near Sahara Avenue and Fort Apache Road, who was in critical condition after being injured died.
Nevada, Las Vegas: 14-month-old foster child in North Las Vegas on the 3400 block of Fort Niagara Avenue
Ohio, Ridgefield Township: 11-year-old foster child is dead. Investigators in Huron County will use an autopsy report in the morning to help them determine if the death of the child was a homicide or suicide.
Utah, West Valley: 18-month-old foster child at a house near 3400 South and 6400 West was found "face down on the floor beside the crib." The child's foster parent, Jeannette llene Gomez, 30, remained in the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday.
Washington, Spokane: 20-month-old foster child died. Police say 37-year-old Avery Sam was booked into the Spokane County Jail Saturday on charges he abused the child ... "the child died Sunday."
Edmonton: Three-year-old boy from west-end home "died late Saturday night after being rushed into the Stollery Children's Hospital. "A 32-year-old woman who was the boy's foster mother was also charged with assault causing bodily harm, and failure to provide the necessities of life."
If you believe that foster care should be reserved for children that are orphaned, or have TRULY been abandoned by their parents and ALL extended family members; If you believe that children in foster care should actually be victims of abuse and/or neglect, once proven by a judge and jury NOT a social worker with a God complex; If you believe in the Constitution and civil rights for all, no matter what their economic, social, or cultural group may be – Please sign the petitions referenced at www.squidoo.com/abolishcps/ (scroll down to Get Involved!!!). Thank you in advance for your participation!