DCFS FAIL: You Can’t Handle the Truth
DCFS FAIL: You Can’t Handle the Truth
The Business of Child Abuse:
By Joshua Allen
Can’t we all just tell the Truth?
DCFS is now investigating who is leaking information to the LA Times regarding fatalities of children who had contact with the department during the past year. The department lays out their circled wagons, and obviously the Times feel a bit differently. You can read about it here:
So where to begin?
Leaks!??? What are we talking about here? National Security? Industrial Espionage? Medical records? What exactly was leaked? As far as I can tell, no names of offending Social Workers or administrators were released. The names of children in foster care remain private, and once a child is killed or murdered his name becomes public record.
No; What DCFS is concerned about is the how, why and what, with regard to these fatalities. Not the “who.” Six figure DCFS deputies must be quaking in their boots.
It seems to me that they don’t want us to know what happened.
They don’t want us to know about the screw ups. They don’t want us to know how they could have prevented the deaths. They don’t want us to know anything that could shed a negative light on the department. Basically, what other conclusion is there? That is of course, the conclusion beyond the party line.
And DCFS does this by hiding behind laws designed to protect the privacy of children, abusive parents and the identities and locations of foster parents?
Don’t get me wrong, this is a Good law. It protects children. But you see, the children whom the Times are trying to find out about are DEAD!
We don’t want to know the names of children in foster care. We don’t want to know the names of their parents. We don’t want to know the names of Social Workers and Administrators who may have screwed up.
We want to know what happened.
Why did the children die? What were the results of the internal self-serving investigation? You know, the stuff they are hiding from us the public, the people who pay them.
Are they so afraid of lawyers and getting sued? …. Oops, uhh I guess that was a stupid question. Are they so afraid of an outside investigation they cannot control? Are they so afraid of public outrage? Another stupid question – I’m on a roll.
We have the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors who shriek “What about the Children?” whenever it suits their political needs.
It is not black and white of course. Deep inside Supervisors must really want to help abused children. Just like they wanted the patients in MLK Hospital to get better for 2 decades as it became a political football to all and any who needed a brief rise in poll numbers or an easy demonstration of faux outrage.
Jorge Tarin hangs himself http://www.whittierdailynews.com/ci_15613328 immediately after speaking to several teachers, mental health workers and county social workers. He is living improperly in proximity to a felon and treated like a second class Cinderella in his own home, begging anyone who would listen about his troubles at home and bullies at school.
He is dead and what is the response? Investigate the leaks?
Technology which may have saved his life lay rotting in storage. Investigate the leaks?
Viola Vanclief is a victim of homicide while living in a home with a convicted felon and a substantiated child abuser, both associated with an agency known for its greed, and incompetent administrator who told their own worker to visit the child at the office so she wouldn’t have cause to complain about the unsafe living conditions.
And what is the response?
Disgraced CEO Craig Woods is free to change the name of his organization and continue to profit in one way or another in the business of child abuse. Oh and don’t forget the little matter of the two hundred grand that United Care still needs to return.
And what is the response?…
Double and triple dipping agency CEO’s are paid to work full time in separate counties, consulting psychiatrists are paid $300,000 for 20 hours of weekly work, serial sexual harassers continue to be associated with a foster agency, and what is their response?
There is no response.
Believe me I’ve asked. Maybe someone else should contact Gloria Molina-Aviles the Supervisors person on point, or Ridley Thomas. Or perhaps Nishith Bhat who is the department spokesperson.
Around 2 dozen children who had contact one way or another with DCFS die each year and the department hides and attempts to obfuscate the truth and their own possible culpability after promising a new era of openness and clarity. Where have I heard this before?
Our police force under federal mandate, receives a top to bottom overview and reorganization not once but several times during the past decade, and yet DCFS, perhaps 2 thirds the size must be satisfied with locally and incompetently done audits by politicians, Unions and Apparatchiks with a personal and political agenda in keeping things the same.
DCFS is a department of over 6,500 people with a budget of billions of dollars. Yet, unlike our police force, there is no consent decree, no Christopher Commission, no real outside watch beyond a couple of excellent investigative reporters who write about them.
DCFS runs a program “Family Preservation,” that doesn’t really preserve much but continues to be a means of lucrative income to anyone smart enough to obtain a contract with the proper community imprimatur. The program continues year after year with little audit (as to its effectiveness) to its stated purpose beyond good intentions.
Where are the statistics that prove this wrong? That show that after a decade the billions spent have worked? That there is something, anything beyond the inertia of the program itself that demonstrates it should continue beyond the cause of making work for moonlighting “Para- professionals.”
But I digress.
Stop making work for the lawyers and tell us about the fatalities. We’ll understand that you’re human, that screw ups happen despite the sincere intentions of most who simply want to rescue children. Because in the end, we know that is what the good and decent people from DCFS are mostly about. This is a noble profession they have chosen.
What’s next, an Enemies List?