Child Services Revisited
While a Southeast woman stands accused of murdering her four daughters and leaving their decomposing bodies in her home for at least four months, D.C. authorities are trying to determine whether police and social workers did all they could to shield the girls from danger.
One of the agencies they will focus on, D.C. Child and Family Services, was under attack for years for failing to aggressively investigate abuse and neglect reports and take steps to remove children from risky situations. In 2000, The Washington Post examined the case of a slain foster girl named Brianna Blackmond, who was supposed to be under the protection of the agency and a Superior Court judge at the time of her death. The Post discovered that city officials assigned to watch over Brianna made a series of mistakes that put the toddler in harm's way.
The Post's Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Sarah Cohen then examined the cases of 180 other children who were supposed to be under the city's supervision and found that nearly one in five--40 boys and girls--perished because D.C. officials failed to take preventive steps or placed them in unsafe homes and institutions. The series of stories, "The District's Lost Children," won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.
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Posted by: mac0393 | February 1, 2008 5:05 AM