Saturday, October 8, 2011

State agrees to pay $4.6 million to victims in Carnation starvation case

Blog authors note:
How can CPS possibly be this incompetent and grossly negligent that this kind of thing happens, let alone happens frequently across the US? Aren't they supposed to be trained professionals?

Posted by Matt Kreamer

The Department of Social and Health Services has agreed to pay $4.6 million to two children who were abused by their father and stepmother three years ago in their Carnation home.

A girl, who was so emaciated she wore a size 2 shoe and weighed 48 pounds at age 14, had begged a social worker to put her in foster care more than three years before her father and stepmother were arrested in 2008, according to a King County Superior Court lawsuit filed against the state.

The civil suit claimed the girl's "nightmare of abuse and torture" extended to her younger brother, who was forced to participate in the abuse of his sister and was "essentially her jailer."

Because the plaintiffs are minors, the settlement will not be final until approved by the court, according to a DSHS news release.

"We deeply regret that these children had to suffer at the hands of the two adults they trusted to love them and keep them safe," said DSHS Children's Administration Assistant Secretary Denise Revels Robinson.

The case, and the subsequent arrest and guilty pleas of both parents of first and second degree criminal mistreatment in October 2008, received broad media attention at the time.

When law enforcement arrived at the children's home in August of 2008, they did not take the children into protective custody but referred the case to DSHS Child Protective Services, who went to the home the next day and directed the parents to seek immediate medical attention for the girl. She was subsequently transported to Children's Hospital by ambulance, where doctors found her to be suffering from extreme malnutrition and other abuse and neglect, according to the news release.

Child Protective Services received one previous referral on this family in March 2005 -- more than three years earlier -- in which the girl told a public school teacher she was frequently locked in her room and was given little to eat. Child Protective Services, working with local law enforcement, found that the stepmother's locking the child in her room constituted negligent treatment and maltreatment. The stepmother agreed to stop doing so. At the time, when interviewed by Child Protective Services, the girl indicated she was provided adequate food to eat every day, according to the release.


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