Friday, February 10, 2012

Child welfare officials saw no red flags from Josh Powell

Blogger Note:

The title of this article is the craziest title possible. It's been known to many of us caught up in the CPS Racket that CPS incapable of seeing REAL trouble when there is REAL reasons to suspect a parent my harm their children, now we have a public statement that they were blind to those very things.

CPS - Here's some hints:

When a suspect moves to another state shortly after his wife disappears, the wife is likely dead!

When a parent is suspected of murdering their wife, the suspects children are likely to be in danger!

When children are in CPS custody, it is your job to make sure that they are safe from harm at anyone's hands - including their father, the suspect in his wife's (the children's mother) disappearance and possible murder!

Questions for CPS:

Why were vistis allowed to take place at this suspected murderers home?
Don't you have supervised and monitored visitation facilities in Washington state?
If not - perhaps you should put some in place.

If you couldn't see the red flags in this case (which were waving high and wildly), how are you able to claim anyone may be abusing or neglecting their children or are a danger to their children in some way?
Whatever happened to your so-called risk assessment garbage?
Are you people blind?


By Brooke Adams

Puyallup, Wash. • As Washington authorities revealed new details about how Josh Powell killed himself and his two young sons in his home, a child welfare spokesman on Monday said there were no red flags that would have barred the visit.

One caseworker from Foster Care Resource Network of Tacoma had supervised all of Powell’s visits with his sons Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5. Those visits initially took place at the network’s office and then, beginning in November, at Powell’s home.

"From the children’s administration point of view, Mr. Powell was not accused of any child abuse or neglect," said Thomas Shapley, senior director of public affairs for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. "There was no indication of threats to the children or any suicide ideation. This caught everybody by surprise."

Chuck and Judy Cox — who received temporary custody of the boys last September — said Monday the system failed their grandsons and needs to be changed. In light of recent events, it would have been appropriate to suspend Powell’s court-ordered supervised visitation, Chuck Cox said.

Powell learned in a Feb. 1 custody hearing he would not get his boys, back until at least July. The judge also ordered him to submit to a psychosexual evaluation and polygraph test regarding sexually explicit images found on a computer in his West Valley City home in 2009.

"I thought visitation should have stopped until they got that sorted out," Chuck Cox told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were very afraid something like this could happen, as were the social workers and police. There were too many warning signs that were known, but due to the legal limits [the signs] couldn’t be acted on."

Cox added: "It’s sad that visitation was at his house, which allowed him to set up this whole thing."

The boys were removed from Powell’s care after their paternal grandfather, Steve Powell, was arrested on voyeurism and child pornography charges. Prosecutors said they needed to determine what, if anything, Powell knew about his father’s activities. Powell and his sons had lived in Steve Powell’s Puyallup home since 2010.

Shapley said if his department had received any indication the children were in danger or that Powell was unstable, there are protocols the department could have gone through to postpone visits.

There was nothing, he said.

"We were always on course to have the children returned to him," Shapley said. And while a judge here ordered new tests for Powell, there was no interruption in visitation.

"We were proceeding as per court order," Shapley said.

Police have said Powell planned out a gasoline-fueled fire that took his own life and the lives of his sons Sunday as the boys came to his home for supervised visitation. Shapley said the boys ran into the home and Powell locked out the caseworker, who called 911.

Shapley said he agreed with Washington police that if Powell "was intent on committing this heinous crime, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could have stopped him" no matter who was there or where the visit took place.

One national child welfare expert agrees Washington authorities acted appropriately.

"Unless you expect a caseworker to have 20/20 hindsight or the ability to read minds, no, there was no way to see this coming," said Richard Wexler, director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform based in Virginia. "If they couldn’t imagine it, I don’t know how the court could."

And while the Coxes had fears about what Powell might do, they never imagined he might act during a supervised visit with his sons.

"I had no idea he would be able to get away with dousing the place. Who possibly would do that? Sure, we were concerned about it, but not to go out that way," said Chuck Cox.

The Coxes had felt okay about visits at Powell’s newly rented home for the sake of the boys.

"Anything that would make them feel better, have a better life, we were for it," Chuck Cox said. "We were just doing everything we could to make them happy and have as normal a life as we could with their mom gone."

Wexler called Sunday’s deaths a tragic anomaly and said the most important lesson to learn is "not to try to learn lessons from horror stories because it will then result in hundreds of kids being kept needlessly away from their parents."

The department is conducting an internal review and will also begin a child fatality review, which must be completed in six months or less, Shapley said.

"We do want to see if there are things that can educate our practice going forward," he said.


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