Articles on social workers

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Articles on social workers

Postby Marina » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:30 pm


Former DCF worker charged with falsifying documents ... ryid=58085

Last edited by Marina on Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Marina » Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:55 pm

. ... 48d6ec.txt

DHS backs social worker accused of perjury in Buchanan County

By JOSH NELSON, Courier Staff Writer

INDEPENDENCE --- State officials are backing a social worker charged with filing false reports in a juvenile court case in Buchanan County.

Marie Mahler, 34, of Cedar Falls, faces three counts of perjury for allegedly providing incorrect information between Aug. 27, 2004, and Oct. 7, 2004. The reports were used to determine placement of a girl and two boys.

Included in her reports were misrepresentations of conversations, events and relationships of the people involved with the case, according to court documents obtained by the Courier. In one instance, Mahler allegedly reported Jesup police searched the home of the mother of the three children for drugs in August 2004. Police were called to the home, but to prevent an altercation between two siblings, according to records. No signs of drugs were found at the time, court records state.

The Iowa Department of Human Services maintains Mahler did nothing wrong, and the agency's director, Kevin Concannon, offered to have the department pay Mahler's legal fees. The Iowa Attorney General's Office, however, advised that the human services department does not have legal authority to do that.

"It is the department's position that Ms. Mahler has not committed any crime that we're aware of, and as a result, Director Concannon believed it would be appropriate to use department funds for her defense," spokesman Roger Munns said.

Munns noted the case was reviewed two years ago when DHS officials received complaints about Mahler. Those came from Rick and Debbie Morris of Cedar Falls, aunt and uncle of the children in the case.

Two children, a boy and a girl, were placed with the Morrises after the youngsters' mother, Denise Gander, tested positive for methamphetamine in 2004, according to court records. The third child was already 18 years old at the time.

The young boy and girl had signs of methamphetamine in their systems, records indicate. The state initiated legal proceedings as a child-in-need-of-assistance case in Feb. 2004.

The girl's father, Allen Gardner of Tripoli, said he doesn't believe Mahler will be convicted. Allen Gardner won full custody of the couple's daughter, but not until after a protracted legal battle.

Allen Gardner said the atmosphere between the opposing sides in the case at times was so foul the Morrises --- Denise Gander's relatives --- and Gardner could only communicate by trading a notebook with information about visitations with the girl.

Besides Mahler, three other social workers were also involved in the case, Allen Gardner said. He and his wife, Tammy, said they thought Mahler and the other social workers treated everyone the same.

"She was so by the book.... ," Allen Gardner said. "There's no way she'd turn around and lie to a judge about this (stuff."

Allen Gardner said he didn't know about the perjury investigation until recently. He said some of the people involved in the initial custody case, specifically the Morrises, are "just being vindictive."

Calls by the Courier to the Morrises seeking comment were not returned.

Mahler is actively working on cases in Buchanan County, according to DHS records. Her trial is scheduled Aug. 8 in Buchanan County District Court.

Delaware County Attorney John Bernau was appointed special prosecutor in the case because of a potential conflict of interest for the Buchanan County Attorney's Office, which represented Mahler's cases in juvenile court proceedings.

Perjury is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.


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Postby snsanty » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:39 pm

ALL CPS workers & their goons commit perjury on a regular basis here in Corrupt Fremont County. My whole case is based on hearsay & false allegations. The dyke judge always listens to the persecution, I mean prosecution and NEVER to the parents. My lesbian mother & her 'partner' were given custody of our 3 kids. Does anybody else see something wrong with this picture? Justice will prevail and good will triumph over evil someday I hope!
Injustice for all in Fremont County Colorado!

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Postby Marina » Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:59 pm


Former CPS caseworker accused of having sexual relationship with girl he supervised ... 4714c.html


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Postby Marina » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:11 pm


Ex-caseworker for CPS is jailed

Fredrick Shavers...


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Postby Marina » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:11 pm

. ... 707200352/

3 social workers suspended

By Joe Wessels

Three Hamilton County social workers are off the job after their agency ignored a judge's order in a case involving the abuse of an 18-month-old boy.

Hamilton County Administrator Patrick Thompson announced the suspensions with pay of two Hamilton County Job & Family Services case workers and a manager on Thursday and said that the agency is now reviewing all 3,500 child-related cases under its purview.

"We have directed the agency to conduct a thorough review of all children services cases to assure that children are being property monitored and that court orders are being properly administered," said Thompson, who called the situation "unfortunate" but noted that swift response was in place.

The review came after Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh sent a letter Wednesday to county commissioners in disgust after her orders were not followed in a case involving the abuse of an 18-month-old boy - including a burn to his hand, a fall and not seeking treatment for serious vomiting and diarrhea for several days - by his parents, Gerrick Kelley, II, 22, and Akira Litman, 19 of Clifton Heights.

Job & Family Services was ordered to keep a close watch on the boy, his parents were not to have any unsupervised contact and the boy would live with his grandparents.

Instead, nothing happened and the boy remained living with his parents. Kelley and Litman were convicted to child endangering and received five years probation.

No explanation was given for why the caseworkers did not follow the judges' orders or if they even knew about them.

More information would be available after the investigation was complete and after a disciplinary hearing for the two caseworkers next week, Thompson said.

Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune said when he received the letter he immediately contacted Marsh, then called Thompson and Moira Weir, the newly-appointed interim director of the Job and Family Services.

Portune said the current situation is "unacceptable" and thanked Marsh for bringing the situation to the board of commissioners' attention. At the same time he acknowledged the county's caseworkers have difficult jobs.

"Because they are very tough (jobs), you have individuals who are, let's be candid, quite often, just out of college and very young in most cases, not a lot of experience, who are thrown into the middle of some of the most horrific situations and circumstances that you would ever want to see," Portune said.

"That's not an excuse for any behaviors and we are not accepting that as an excuse. These are adults and they are making a knowing, willful choice to accept this as a career choice and we expect everyone to perform," he said. "With a high turnover rate within the department, it is going to heighten the potential for problems to occur."

The division that manages cases involving children handled 17,000 children in 2006 with a staff of about 350 people, 30 percent fewer staff than would be ideal for the department, Portune said.

Weir said there about 221 case workers and 139 managers - often former caseworkers who have stayed in the department but opted for the less stressful and less emotionally draining management positions to guide the new hires out in the field - who handle all of the county's cases both mandated by the courts and others that are referred to the agency.

A caseworker typically stays in the job for two years and earns about $35,000 per year, Weir said.

A national standard for caseworkers suggests about 13 to 18 cases each, Weir said.

In Hamilton County, because of the high turnover and 150 vacant positions, Job and Family Services social workers have to handle about 25 cases each, with some requiring site visits at least every two weeks and all at least once a month, officials said.

When Weir was announced as the interim director, Portune and fellow Democrat and commissioner David Pepper, announced a comprehensive five-part reformation to the entire Hamilton County Job and Family Services department - the county's largest, with 1,600 employees and an annual budget of $1.2 billion.

Portune said that Wednesday's revelation by Marsh does not change the commissioners' plan, only expands upon it. Part of that plan is hire more caseworkers, getting closer to having a full 500 on staff.

That would be paid for through federal dollars.

The five-point plan is designed to create "a more responsive, responsible and accountable department." The plan calls for a full internal review of the department to determine vacancies, turnover ratios, caseloads and salary discrepancies.


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Postby Marina » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:16 pm

. ... 1/70719053

DCF investigator pleads guilty in child porn

Holger Richard Kjeldsen... He was also a child protective investigator.


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Postby Marina » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:36 pm

. ... /707190395

3 suspended in abuse case

BY EILEEN KELLEY | [email protected]

Three Hamilton County child services workers, including a veteran manager, were suspended Thursday with pay after the agency ignored a judge’s order to supervise a family convicted of child endangering.

The suspension came one day after Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh blasted the agency for not following through with her orders in the child abuse case.
Marsh wrote Hamilton County commissioners Wednesday about her concerns, prompting a review of the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services’ policies and how it protects children.

Suspended from the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services on Thursday were two managers, Carolyn Patton and Michael Battle, and caseworker Angela Harrison.

The suspensions are currently with pay, pending a hearing on the matters possibly as early as next week. From that point, officials could fire the employees or suspend them without pay, among other things.

The case is another black eye for the agency charged with protecting thousands of children in Hamilton County each year.

Job and Family Services employees were criticized for failing to protect Trustin Blue, a 3-year-old boy killed by his mother’s boyfriend in January 2006. In that case, there was oversight by the agency, but it admitted there was a lapse in judgment on the caseworker’s part. Following the death of the little boy, the caseworker and manager overseeing the case resigned.

“Our employees are charged with a very important responsibility and when they neglect their duties, we will hold them responsible,” said Hamilton County Administrator Patrick Thompson.

In addition to the recent scrutiny, agency books are being audited in a dispute with the state over its spending of millions of dollars of federal money. The state says $231 million needs to be recouped by the local agency; the agency says it owes only $10.5 million.

The latest case of lack of oversight by the agency underscores what the public and lawmakers have clamored for in the 11 months since the death of 3-year-old developmentally delayed Marcus Fiesel, who died in a Clermont County foster care home.

“Accountability cannot be avoided,” said Thompson during an early afternoon press conference Thursday to announce the steps the agency was taking in response to Marsh’s concerns.

The latest case leading up to the suspensions of the agency’s workers involves Gerrick Kelley, 22, and his girlfriend, Akira Litman, 19, an injured child and a newborn child. The couple said the 18-month-old child was injured in an accident, but prosecutors didn’t buy their story.

Five months ago, Marsh ordered the child protection agency to place the children with family members and check on the children regularly as well as make sure the couple did not have unsupervised visits with the newborn or the toddler, who suffered a lacerated liver and a severe burn.

Marsh learned in June through a probation officer who made an unannounced visit to the couple’s home that not only were the children still with their parents, no caseworker contacted or visited the children.

“This situation is certainly unacceptable,” said Thompson. “…It is unfortunate and for us and it raises troubling concerns about a lack of oversight that should have been automatic.”

On Wednesday, county Commission President Todd Portune ordered a review of all 3,500 child cases currently open with agency. He said he wanted all of them reviewed to see if there are other examples of children not being visited by caseworkers when ordered to do so.

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, the matter appeared to be isolated, said Moira Weir the agency’s interim director.

Still, Weir found the matter troubling and vowed changes would be made within the agency. A detailed review of the cases will be done at a later time, officials said Thursday.

Those changes could include automatically sending all cases such as the Kelley/Litman case directly to the juvenile court where a guardian ad litem – an advocate for the children –would have been assigned, issued effectively providing another set of eyes on the case.

Another step the agency may take is to expand the role of newly appointed ombudsman.

Seventeen-thousand children were served by the department last year. Currently, the ombudsman has been dealing with foster-care issues, but Thompson said the role may be expanded to deal with all cases.

Added work is something caseworkers in the county are facing.

The average caseworker in Hamilton County juggles 25 cases – that’s nearly double the national standard that which calls for between 13 and 18 cases. On top of that, the department’s 221 caseworkers are about 30 percent under what’s needed.

Still, Weir said it’s no excuse.

“Not seeing a child is unacceptable,” Weir said. “…I believe there is really no excuse for what happened.”

Marsh on Thursday wouldn’t comment on the discipline of the workers but she was satisfied that commissioners listened to her concerns.

“I was more interested in commissioners reviewing the policies and practices. If they’ve done that, I’m very happy and very grateful,” Marsh said.

Staff writer Kimball Perry contributed.


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Postby snsanty » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:17 am

Gosh, there sure are a lot of articles in the media about foster care/caseworker abuse lately! Do you think people are finally gonna notice that maybe something is kind of, like, WRONG here?!? For instance, maybe they'll take notice of the DC Rally coming up & DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS 'system'?
Injustice for all in Fremont County Colorado!

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Postby Marina » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:22 am


A couple of weeks ago I put all the CPS "agency names" on a list to get news articles on, along with some other search words. There are a lot of different agency names across the country. So every day I get a dozen or more notifications in my email about these topics.

Previously I would do general searches every 2 or 3 weeks, but now I get more detailed searches. That is one reason for more articles.

Ocassionally I forward these articles to my friend's lawyer, or to the local media and child welfare reporter.


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Postby snsanty » Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:16 pm

Cool, I hope this gets the attention this matter sure deserves!
Injustice for all in Fremont County Colorado!

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Postby Marina » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:24 pm

. ... /708040402

Last Updated: 8:35 pm | Saturday, August 4, 2007

Caseworker, boss out of jobs

Actions follow judge's criticism

BY KIMBALL PERRY | [email protected]


The Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services on Friday fired a social worker - and accepted the resignation of her boss - after a judge harshly criticized the agency because a social worker was supposed to have checked on an abused child and didn't.

Angela Harrison was fired Friday from her $35,900 position after she was found negligent in the case.

Her boss, Michael Battle, retired from his $57,137-a-year job.

"Any time we have to take an action like this, it is unfortunate," County Administrator Patrick Thompson said in a prepared statement. "But it is imperative we send a message that this county will not stand for neglect of duty and that child protection is of the utmost importance to our Job and Family Services Department."

Common Pleas Court Judge Melba Marsh complained last month about the agency in a letter to the three county commissioners, asking why her instructions had not been followed.

Marsh ordered the children's services agency in February to be diligent about watching out for an 18-month-old child whose parents had been convicted of child endangering.

The judge also ordered that the child live with relatives, that the parents get counseling and never be left alone with the child.

Those instructions were ignored for more than four months and the judge was irate.

The case was the latest in a series of embarrassments for the agency.

Social workers were criticized last spring for not protecting 3-year-old Trustin Blue. Trustin was killed in January 2006 by his mother's boyfriend in a case agency officials admitted was hampered when a case worker did not do her job.

After Trustin's death, a case worker and the manager supervising the case quit.

Hamilton County officials reviewed each of its 3,057 active cases to see if judicial and other orders were being followed after Marsh complained to commissioners.

That review found four case workers who had 33 cases in which those orders weren't followed.

Those four have either resigned or face discipline.

The review also found that 97 percent of the cases were visited at home by case workers in the last 45 days.

Harrison and her two supervisors, Battle and Carolyn Patton, were suspended with pay two weeks ago because of Marsh's concerns.

Patton returns to her $71,000-a-year job Monday, but her work will be subject to "enhanced scrutiny and supervision," said Thompson, who announced the firing and resignation.


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Postby Marina » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:59 am


Social worker accused of abuse

DPS employee charged with sex assault on child; lawyer calls it hearsay

By Arthur Kane Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 08/09/2007 01:23:26 AM MDT

Eugene Summers. (Special to The Post)

A Denver Public Schools social worker repeatedly sexually assaulted a student - following the child from elementary to middle school - during "relaxation sessions" that included quiet music and massage, a detective testified Wednesday.

Eugene M. Summers, 48, who worked at Colfax Elementary and Lake Middle schools from 1990 to 1995, faces 27 charges, including sexual assault on a child, sex assault by a person in a position of trust and attempted sexual assault on a child.

DPS spokesman Alex Sanchez said Summers remains on the payroll until Aug. 20 but declined to say what happened to his job, citing personnel issues.

Sanchez said that massage or relaxation sessions are not sponsored by the schools.

Prosecutors dropped five charges Wednesday after Denver District Judge Aleene Ortiz- White ruled that the defense could question the victim, who is now 25, during Wednesday's preliminary hearing. She ruled there was probable cause to continue to trial with the remaining 27 charges.

Denver police Detective Teresa Gessner testified that the victim told her and a DPS investigator that Summers sexually assaulted him on 20 separate occasions that started when he was sent to the "relaxation sessions" for acting out in school.

But Summers' attorney, Norman Mueller, questioned the validity of the charges because Gessner testified that the victim told her and the DPS investigator about different incidents.

"This victim was interviewed by two different people and told two completely different stories," Mueller said. "This is a 100 percent hearsay case at this point and time."

Ortiz-White ruled that Mueller could question the victim only on the charges alleging force in some assaults, and Assistant District Attorney David Lamb quickly dropped those charges. "When I met with (the victim) this morning, he was in tears just standing in the hallway," Lamb said in court.

Gessner said the victim came forward after he told his girlfriend about the abuse, and she insisted that he tell authorities.

"His whole life he felt like people were taking advantage of him and he doesn't stand up for himself," Gessner testified.

Summers first assaulted the victim, whose identity is being withheld by The Denver Post, when he was about 10 years old at Colfax during the 1992-93 school year and then at Lake during the 1995-96 school year, authorities said. Summers offered him $100 to keep going to the relaxation sessions, Gessner testified. The assaults ended when the boy argued with Summers about the abuse and jumped out of his office window to escape, she said.

Summers' job description included conducting programs on child-abuse prevention.


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Postby Marina » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:01 pm

. ... 1/70821014

Ex-priest avoids jail in plea deal

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A former Roman Catholic priest, who was accused of sexually abusing four male teenagers he counseled as a social worker at Daytop-NJ in Mendham, pleaded guilty this morning only to general abuse and neglect of two of the youths.

Richard J. Mieliwocki, 60, of Madison, pleaded guilty to two offenses that do not require registration as a sex offender under Megan's Law. His anticipated sentence is for probation and a psycho-sexual evaluation, but no time behind bars.

Mieliwocki admitted to Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent Ahto in Morristown that he strip-searched one 17-year-old youth at Daytop and had an inappropriate conversation with him, and to having a conversation about masturbation with a second 17-year-old. The incidents occurred between March and December 2004, said defense lawyer Thomas C. Pluciennik.

Mieliwocki originally was accused of touching the buttocks of one boy, the genitals of a second, and getting a third to take off his clothes so he could spank his bare buttocks. He did not admit to acts of contact in his plea today. One of the youths Mieliwocki counseled at the inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation facility has since died and a second partially recanted his account of what occurred during a counseling session, the defense lawyer said.

Mieliwocki has been on administrative leave from the Archdiocese of Newark since approximately 1994, according to an archdiocese spokesman. He is not affiliated with the Diocese of Paterson.


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Postby Marina » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:56 pm


Posted on Thu, Aug. 23, 2007

State social workers put on leave

Inquiry found mocking of parents, lies in court

By Valarie Honeycutt Spears
[email protected]

FRANKFORT --Five state social workers based in Hardin County have been put on paid leave for 60 days, and seven workers in all have been put on notice that they face major disciplinary action, officials said yesterday.

The actions result from an investigation by the inspector general for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which found that Hardin-based social workers lied in court, altered documents and mocked parents as they removed children from families.

The investigation began after two Louisville-based child advocacy groups revealed problems with inappropriate child removals and inappropriate state adoptions.

A Hardin grand jury declined to indict the social workers earlier this month, but criticized the cabinet for letting the workers involved in the problems stay on the job.

Cabinet spokeswoman Vikki Franklin would not name the seven workers, saying that the disciplinary action was a personnel matter. She would not say why two were allowed to stay on the job or whether any of the workers was a supervisor.

Franklin said the final disciplinary measures could range from suspension to termination or no action at all if the workers are not found guilty of wrongdoing.

The cabinet hopes to finalize its part of the state personnel action against the workers by the end of August, Franklin said. The matter will ultimately go to the state Human Resources Cabinet. The workers can appeal an adverse decision.

David Richart, executive director of the Louisville-based National Institute on Children, Youth and Families, said the action represents the smallest of steps.

"It's a long way away from somebody actually being held accountable," Richart said.


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Postby Marina » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:49 pm

. ... 96439.html

Appeals court clears city, social worker in child-abuse death

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - A city agency and social worker cannot be held liable in a 3-year-old's harrowing abuse death and the severe beatings of her sisters, a federal appeals court said.

While the city's Department of Human Services may have failed to save Porchia Bennett's life, the department did not actively cause her 2003 death, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

The girls' mother left them in the long-term care of her sister's boyfriend, a mentally ill drug addict now on death row for Porchia's murder.

Under the law, government agencies are immune from liability unless they actively create a danger, acting in a way that "shocks the conscience."

The 3rd Circuit panel suggested that citizens demand better government services even if the courts cannot.

"If the public raises its voice and demands accountability, and is willing to use the ballot to support those demands, then change and improvement can and will occur. Unfortunately, it will be too late for Porchia Bennett," Judge Dolores K. Sloviter wrote.

Porchia's estate charged in the suit that a city social worker failed to contact the child within 24 hours of receiving a hot line report that the girls were being beaten.

"We always knew it was going to be a difficult claim, because of the law. We thought we had a tenable argument," said lawyer Christopher Culleton, who represents the surviving sisters.

He sought money for the girls' continued medical and psychological care, lost future income and pain and suffering. They were put in foster care after Porchia's death.

"(They) have required a variety of mental health services, and they remain severely traumatized," Sloviter wrote.

Lawyers for the city and for Porchia did not immediately return messages late Wednesday.

The lower court had said the estate failed to prove the social worker or the Department of Human Services created a danger that otherwise would not have existed.

Jerry Chambers, who was convicted of murdering Porchia, sexually abused the girls and beat them with brass knuckles and extension cords. They were also malnourished.

Porchia's mother, Tiffany Bennett, and the aunt, Candace Geiger, are serving long prison term for their treatment of the girls.

Bennett lost another daughter in 1994 from brain injuries the infant suffered when she was shaken by a baby sitter, according to Wednesday's ruling.

August 22, 2007 6:30 PM


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Postby Marina » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:17 pm


Posted on Tue, Aug. 28, 2007 11:18 AM

Foster parents, social worker charged with smoking pot

The Associated Press


The foster parents of eight children have been accused of smoking marijuana with a state social worker who was checking on a child in their home.

Granby foster parents Wayne Anthony O’Neal Sr., 32, and Christel J. O’Neal, 29, along with Nova G. Propes, 44, a caseworker with the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services, were charged Monday in Newton County Circuit Court with two counts each of second-degree child endangerment.

A probable-cause affidavit filed with the court states that the O’Neals had as many as eight foster children and two of their own children living with them earlier this month when marijuana allegedly was smoked in their home.

The affidavit states that a 17-year-old foster child told a county sheriff’s deputy about marijuana use in the home and provided pictures she had taken of drugs in the home.

According to the affidavit, the sheriff’s office executed a search warrant and found drug paraphernalia.

The affidavit said Wayne O’Neal told investigators that he smoked marijuana almost every day in the master bedroom and that his wife and Propes had smoked with him there on several occasions when Propes conducted in-home visits with one of the foster children.


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Postby Marina » Sun Sep 02, 2007 3:53 pm

. ... l&psp=news

Report: Botched Investigation Covered Up

DHS Worker Fabricated Reports After Child Died

POSTED: 9:33 pm CDT September 1, 2007
UPDATED: 9:37 pm CDT September 1, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A worker for the state Department of Human Services faked reports to cover up his failure to properly investigate accusations that a boy was being abused in the weeks leading up to his death, according to a published report.

A report prepared by a state oversight committee at the request of The Oklahoman states that DHS discovered the fabricated reports only after the 2-year-old boy died from abuse and neglect, the newspaper reported in a copyright story in Sunday's editions.

Keenan Taylor died from burns on June 9, 2005, a day after he was scalded by boiling water at his home. The DHS "intake" worker reported he had checked on the boy and three other children two weeks earlier because of abuse complaints but found no problems at the father's home.

The oversight committee's report states the worker may not have actually interviewed or observed the boy at all. Records show a DHS supervisor also found that key witnesses were never interviewed even though reports reflect the worker questioned them.

The worker resigned after he was confronted about the inaccuracies, the oversight agency's report indicates.

The tragedy is an extreme example of a recurring problem at the agency -- workers sometimes fail to check on a child's welfare and then falsify reports to show they did.

Some former employees have told The Oklahoman that workers make phony reports because they are struggling with high caseloads and are under extreme pressure from supervisors to make documentation a top priority.

"They chose to put these kids in these types of situations and then they don't follow up and they lie about following up," said Keenan's grandfather, Archie Taylor, who is suing DHS and current and former DHS workers.

"It was like they were just half doing their job," said Taylor, a Tulsa aircraft machinist whose daughter is Keenan's mother. "I want to make sure that this don't happen to other kids, and the only way to do that is to expose DHS."

In Keenan's case, both the worker who faked reports and a "permanency" worker resigned shortly after the boy's death, records show. The permanency worker failed twice to turn in accusations of mistreatment for possible investigation, records show.

"When we hire and train staff to do a job, we have to rely on a certain amount of trust and honesty," said DHS spokesman George Johnson. "With a work force the size of ours, that trust is going to be violated."

Keenan's father, Carlis Anthony Ball, 25, is serving a life prison sentence for the boy's death. He was found guilty of first-degree murder and neglect at a trial last year.

Prosecutors say Ball deliberately poured scalding water on his son, burning 50 percent of the boy's body, on June 8, 2005. Ball allegedly then stuck the boy in a dirty bedroom closet overnight.

Ball called for help the next afternoon and claimed he accidentally knocked a pot of boiling water on Keenan while cooking, according to testimony at his trial.

DHS disclosed to prosecutors that its intake worker had performed an inaccurate investigation. DHS did not discuss the fraud in its only public report on the case. Most DHS records on the case remain confidential by law.

Some details about the case were detailed last week by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth in an 11-page report. The report did not name the employees.

However, a DHS attorney, Richard Freeman Jr., identified Granville L. Haynes II and Billie J. Mayberry as the two child-welfare specialists who resigned to avoid being fired for their actions in the case.

Haynes and Mayberry could not be reached for comment. Freeman said DHS will not represent them in the lawsuit.


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Postby Marina » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:44 pm

. ... e%20system

Child protection report 'must name names'

By Ben Quérée

THE inquiry into alleged child protection failures at Social Services must name any staff responsible and hold them accountable, says Senator Jim Perchard.
He wants a firm commitment from ministers to an open report that names failing staff at Health and Social Services, Education or Home Affairs, and holds them properly accountable instead of leaving them in place or just 'shifting them sideways'.

And the Senator says that if someone goes through the report - which is being undertaken over the next three months by former Devon Social Services director Andrew Williamson, CBE - prior to publication erasing names and 'anonymising' its contents, it will be a complete failure.

The report was prompted by criticism from Health Minister Stuart Syvret, who has referred to 'bitterly failing' child protection standards.

His criticism has led to next week's dismissal motion in the States led by Chief Minister Frank Walker.

Published 04/09/07


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Postby Marina » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:52 pm

. ... 4/70905031

11:17 AM September 5, 2007

Former caseworker gets 106 years in sex case

By Katie Merlie
[email protected]

NOBLESVILLE — A Hamilton County judge sentenced former Child Protective Services caseworker Cory Heinzman to 106.5 years in prison today after a jury found him guilty in June of 17 sex-related charges.

The 38-year-old Arcadia man, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, did not speak during the sentencing except to tell Judge Dan Pfleging he would appeal the sentence. His attorney, Rodney Sarkovics, said he would file an appeal within 30 days.
In 2005, two teenage boys, who met Heinzman in his role as a caseworker, accused him of sexual misconduct. The boys were 13 and 15 at the time.

The Indianapolis Star generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

On June 13, a jury found Heinzman guility of: two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, each a Class D felony; three counts of child molestation, each a Class A felony; two counts of Class C felony child molestation; one count of corrupt business influence, a Class C felony; one count of sexual performance in the presence of a minor, a Class D felony; and eight counts of official misconduct, each a Class A misdemeanor.

Heinzman faced a maximum sentence of 191 years in prison. Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Smith said it’s likely he would only serve 53 years with credit for good behavior.

The father of the older boy testified during the sentencing, calling Heinzman a “coward.”

“He betrayed our trust to fulfill his pedophilia desires,” the father said. “These acts will be with us for the rest of our lives.”

The mother of the younger boy didn’t speak during the hearing but Smith read her victim impact statement to the judge.


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Postby Marina » Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:53 pm


Goochland Fire & EMS Volunteer Charged With Rape

Goochland Sheriff's Deputies say a man uses his influence to commit a heinous crime. Craig Ferguson is charged with raping a 15-year old girl he met while volunteering for Goochland Fire & EMS. Not only that, we're told he is an employee with Richmond's Child Protective Services. The city says Ferguson is suspended without pay until the investigation into this crime is complete.

Sheriff's deputies arrested 34-year old Ferguson Friday morning after a weeklong investigation.

Ferguson is being held without bond until a hearing in Goochland Monday morning.


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Postby Marina » Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:15 pm

. ... ?track=rss

Skid row baby died as social worker delayed stepping in

Ordered to take the child to a doctor, she went home instead.

By Jack Leonard and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 11, 2007

The investigation into the death of a baby at a skid row shelter last month is focusing on a social worker who was ordered by a supervisor to take baby Jasmine from her mother to see a doctor but instead went home because she had worked a long shift without a break.

The social worker arrived early the next morning to find the 7-week-old child dead.

I think it broke a lot of people's hearts in the department.
— Patricia S. Ploehn, director of the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services The Los Angeles County coroner's office has ruled the death a homicide, saying Jasmine died of starvation, dehydration and neglect even though she had lived all of her seven weeks with her mother at the Union Rescue Mission.

The social worker from the Department of Children and Family Services, whose name has not been released, had checked the child during an emergency visit early on Aug. 9, and had reported that the baby's face was "narrow and skinny."

She made an appointment for the child at a nearby clinic but learned later that day that the mother hadn't kept the appointment.

When her supervisor then told her to take Jasmine to a 24-hour clinic herself, the social worker decided to wait, even though overtime pay had been approved for her to take the child that night, according to county records obtained by The Times.

The social worker logged a message into her department's computer system saying she was "unable to go back" to the mission because she had already worked "11 hours without a break" and thought she could take the child the next day.

The investigation raises new questions about how Jasmine died despite both social workers and counselors at the Union Rescue Mission knowing about her dwindling size and health. Though she weighed 6 pounds at birth, the infant weighed just 4 pounds when she died on Aug. 10.

And although the county social worker and shelter employees looked into possible neglect, none of them knew enough about the child to know her sex until she died. Before then, they thought she was a boy because the child's mother often called her Michael Gabriel.

The case has prompted both the rescue mission and the county to consider changes in policy to better protect children on skid row.

But some county officials said Jasmine's death is particularly perplexing because the county started an extensive program more than two years ago to better serve young children who live in the blight and homelessness of downtown L.A.

"Quite bluntly, we think it's appalling," said Roxane Marquez, a spokeswoman for Supervisor Gloria Molina.

"This is the type of work that the social worker is being paid by the taxpayer to do. If she couldn't do the visit herself, it's incumbent upon her to find someone who can," she said.

If Department of Children and Family Services social workers need help, they can call the department's command post and ask for another social worker to assist.

The documents show that Jasmine's social worker did call the command post, but there is no record that she sought help. Instead, she asked a supervisor whether she should wait until the morning. She wrote in her department's computer log that she did not get an answer.

Police initially arrested Jasmine's mother, Ranetta Maxwell, on suspicion of murder, but they released her four days later when prosecutors said they needed a coroner's ruling on a cause of death before deciding whether to file charges.

On Monday, Los Angeles Police Department officials said they began searching for Maxwell, who has not returned to the mission since her daughter's death.

A district attorney's spokeswoman said prosecutors plan to file felony charges against Maxwell today, accusing her of inflicting injury on a child. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison.

During the social worker's visit, Maxwell described herself as a weight trainer who "watches what she eats," according to the documents released by the county.

She insisted Jasmine was fine but acknowledged that she needed to "put some fat on the baby."


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Postby Marina » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:48 pm

. ... ml?ref=rss

Mother sues city for sexual assault by welfare worker



Saturday, September 15th 2007, 4:00 AM


A Manhattan mother of two young children is suing the city on the grounds that a city public assistance caseworker - a man old enough to be her grandfather - sexually assaulted her.

The formerly homeless 21-year-old woman said Human Resources Administration worker Percival McLean, 71, attacked her in his Brooklyn office on July 3, 2006, after months of verbal abuse.

"At first it was verbal, becoming more and more coarse," said Kenneth Ready, the victim's lawyer. "If she didn't come in [to his office, he said], it could be grounds for her benefits being cut off altogether."

"She was dependent on him for her shelter and her sustenance," Ready said, adding that his client, whose daughters are 5 and 2, was receiving food stamps and living in a Bronx shelter at the time.

McLean denied he hurt the woman.

"The allegations are false," McLean said yesterday. "I never touched this woman."

A grandfather of seven who worked as an HRA benefits eligibility specialist for 18 years, McLean said he retired in August 2006.

HRA officials did not return calls for comment. The suit was filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday.

A misdemeanor criminal case is pending in Brooklyn against McLean related to the alleged attack. The Daily News is withholding the woman's name because of the sexual nature of the case.

Ready said prosecutors told him not to let his client speak to The News because of the pending criminal case. City lawyers had no comment.

Before the attack occurred, the woman complained to McLean's superiors that he was making sexual advances, but they did nothing, the woman said in court papers.

On the day of the alleged assault, McLean, who lives in Jamaica, Queens, told the woman to be in his office for an appointment at the end of the day, Ready said.

Except for them, "the place was empty," Ready said. "He physically imposed himself on her."


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Postby Marina » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:52 pm

. ... OKLAH67651

DHS worker charged for not believing abuse claim

By The Associated Press
9/22/2007 12:48 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma County prosecutors have charged a Department of Human Services employee with a misdemeanor for allegedly not believing a 5-year-old girl who said she had been sexually abused.

Nancy Cannady, 63, was charged on Friday with a misdemeanor count of failing to report the child's claim that she had been sexually abused while in foster care.

Cannady, a child welfare specialist, told Oklahoma City police she did not believe the 5-year-old's claim because the little girl lies, according to court papers.

However, the teenage boy admitted to sexually assaulting her and another girl in a foster home, investigators allege.

Department of Human Service spokesman George Johnson declined to comment on the case because he was not familiar with the allegations.

Cannady has worked for DHS since April 2006, but Johnson said she has prior experience as a child welfare worker.

Even with the misdemeanor charge, Cannady's job with the Department of Human Services hasn't been affected.

Johnson said the Guthrie resident recently transferred to the Logan County office, and the change was not a result of the allegations against her.

Cannady could be assigned to administrative duties until the criminal case is resolved, but the agency is not required to fire her unless she is convicted of a felony, Johnson said.


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Postby Marina » Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:00 pm


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Former social worker sentenced in sex case

WAILUKU – A former youth social worker was ordered to have no contact with minors and perform 200 hours of community service after he was convicted of having sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl last year.

Cornelius Wesley Durham, 54, who now lives in Honolulu, had pleaded no contest to two counts of third-degree sexual assault involving improper touching of the girl from June to November 2006 at a Haiku residence, according to court records.

“This is a man who has no record,” said defense attorney Philip Lowenthal. “This is the first time – and I’m sure the last time – he’ll be before the court.”

On Thursday, Lowenthal asked 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza to follow a plea agreement recommending no jail and probation for Durham.

At the time of the offenses, Durham was employed as a social worker at the Paia Youth & Culture Center.

“If given a chance, he’s not going to be a danger to society,” Lowenthal said. “His punishment is indeed the loss of his career. That’s more of a punishment than anything else.”

Deputy Prosecutor Jerrie Sheppard asked that Durham be required to remove a MySpace page and not have Internet contact with minors. “I don’t see any good that can come from that,” she said.

She also questioned a report that Durham had an expired medical marijuana license indicating he had used the drug to treat glaucoma.

Attorney Wesley Harper, also representing Durham, said Durham has a current medical marijuana license.

Durham said he had gone through a “deeply painful” period in his life.

“The seriousness of my actions and these proceedings fill me with remorse,” he said.

Cardoza said he was following the plea agreement in sentencing Durham.

He was ordered to participate in sex offender treatment and to have no contact with the victim and her family, as well as anyone else under age 18. Durham also was ordered not to reside with children.

The judge told Durham to take steps to remove his MySpace page, which he said was created several years ago as part of his work.


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