Records: 14 kids die in 2008 on LA County’s watch
The Associated Press
Posted: 04/21/2009 06:05:53 AM PDT
LOS ANGELES-County records show that 14 children from families under the watch of child welfare officials died of abuse and neglect last year.
The heavily redacted records, released Monday after a California Public Records Act request from the Los Angeles Times, include previously confidential medical records, family services documents and police reports.
The deaths include a boy who died of multiple skull fractures whose family had been reported 25 times to the Department of Children and Family Services, and a child who died the day after a social worker’s last visit.
The records said 32 children in the county died in 2008 from abuse and neglect, including physical assault and malnourishment. Eighteen of the families had no contact with Children and Family Services, but 14 were under the agency’s scrutiny and ought to have been known to social workers. Ten of those cases are under investigation and could result in disciplinary action.
County Supervisor Gloria Molina said discipline and training are lacking in a department that has seen persistent problems.
“These are shocking cases,” Molina said. “The biggest problem is that no lessons are learned.” (AND THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THESE DEPARTMENTS!!!! THROW THEIR ASSES IN JAIL FOR MURDER, FAILURE TO PROTECT, ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD….)
The cases include a 1-year-old girl left alone with her mother despite a court order requiring that visits be monitored. When the child was discovered unconscious by her grandmother, the mother said the girl had fallen down the stairs and hit her head, but investigators said that scenario was “highly unlikely,” and that the child died of trauma “consistent with being thrown or slammed against a hard surface.”
Another set of records showed that a 2-year-old Pomona girl died of what an autopsy report called “severe nutritional neglect.” The girl weighed less than 19 pounds, a weight suited to a 5-month-old. The girl, who also had scabbed toes and wounds on her arms, had been returned to her parents after a stint as a baby in foster care.
Trish Ploehn, director of the department, said the county’s review of child deaths has been insufficient because of a lack of personnel. (Bullshit)
An independent monitor position charged with identifying problems in the department has been left vacant by supervisors for more than a year.
Ploehn said the workers involved in the 10 cases under investigation are doing “desk jobs” until the cases are resolved.
Such family records are usually kept from public view, but a new state law last year relaxed restrictions and made their release possible.
I don’t think these people can be called child protective services, because they are obviously not protecting children…how about CDS, child death services…because so many children seem to be dying because of them!!!
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com