Saturday, January 28, 2012

C.A. Orders New Hearing on Rights of Mentally Impaired Parents

Panel Says Restrictions on Visitation Improperly Prevented Family Reunification


The developmentally disabled parents of two infants were denied reasonable reunification services when social workers unduly limited their visitation rights, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

Div. One granted a writ of mandate, directing that a referral for hearing on termination of parental rights be set aside and that the parents, identified only as Tracy J. and Michelle B., be given further services in order to reunify with their children, who are in foster care.

The opinion of the court was authored by Justice James McIntyre, who said that a social services agency “may not limit a developmentally disabled parent’s visitation in the absence of evidence showing the parent’s behavior has jeopardized or will jeopardize the child’s safety, and it cannot impede the progression of visitation services to a parent solely out of concerns about the parent’s mental health status.”

Dependency Petition

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency filed a dependency petition concerning the couple’s son, identified as T.J., nine days after his birth in January 2010. They later filed a second petition regarding T.J.’s sister, Nancy J., born in May of last year.

The children were placed in foster care and the parents were given case plans, including counseling, parenting classes, psychological evaluations, and assessments by the San Diego Regional Center, which offers services to the developmentally disabled.

Michelle B. claimed to suffer from Prader-Willi syndrome, a non-inherited genetic disorder characterized by obesity and cognitive impairment. Her arms, social workers noted, are short in proportion to her body, making it difficult for her to hold a child, although she can cope with everyday problems.

The regional center determined that she does not have Prader-Willi syndrome and is not mentally retarded, and does not qualify for services.

Mildly Retarded

Tracy B., who suffered a childhood head injury, tested in the lower range of mildly mentally retarded. A psychologist evaluated him and said that he would benefit from reunification services but his prognosis for reunification was poor.

Last July, the court held a combined 18-month review hearing for T.J. and a jurisdictional and dispositional hearing for Nancy. On the agency’s recommendation, San Diego Superior Court Judge Ana L. Espana terminated services as to T.J., whose foster mother expressed a desire to adopt him, set a hearing on termination of parental rights as to him, and ordered six months of services in Nancy’s case.

The order was appealed, only as to T.J. The Court of Appeal originally reversed last November, in an unpublished opinion, and made its order final immediately.

It subsequently received a request for publication, but because the order was final, it could not grant publication, but instead recommended the Supreme Court do so.

The Court of Appeal panel also asked the Supreme Court to send the case back for potential modification of the opinion. The high court granted review, set aside the original ruling, and sent the case back to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration.

The justices yesterday reversed again, in a published opinion not substantially different than last year’s.

‘Barely’ Sufficient Evidence

McIntyre said the trial judge’s order was unsupported by substantial evidence. While there was “barely” sufficient evidence to warrant having the children remain in foster care, he explained, it was clear that the limitations on visitation and the failure to provide the mother with services tailored to her physical disabilities rendered reunification services inadequate as a matter of law.

The social workers’ reports, he elaborated, showed that the parents were protective of the boy’s safety, yet the agency limited them to one supervised visit per week of three to four hours. Given that fact, the claim that they could not safely care for him was speculative.

“Despite their full cooperation with the Agency, positive reports from service professionals, their devotion to T.J. and the availability of significant support services through SDRC, Michelle and Tracy have not had a reasonable opportunity to show they are able to parent their child,” the justice wrote. “They are entitled to that opportunity.”

The case is Tracy J. v. Superior Court (San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency), D060252.


Extent of alleged DCFS fraud may never be fully known - Illinois

Ethics investigators say contracting scheme may have cost taxpayers more than $18 million

By Monique Garcia

State ethics investigators say they may never know the full extent of an alleged contracting scheme that they say cost taxpayers at least $18 million and led to last year's resignation of the head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The comments came during a legislative hearing Friday examining a probe that found numerous violations by George E. Smith, who held various state contracts across a number of agencies, including DCFS.

The state executive inspector general's office accused Smith of forging documents, presenting false information about grant funds for after-school services, submitting budgets that allowed him to conceal funds, and accepting payments he was not entitled to receive.

But Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza said the wrongdoing may go further, as the state only investigated contracts Smith held dating back to 2008. Smith has been doing business with the state since 1986.

"This investigation could literally have taken us another year and a half or two to uncover," Meza told House lawmakers. "There had to be a point at our office where we decided that we thought that even though we did not fully uncover every piece of misconduct that Dr. Smith may have engaged in, we had to issue the report."

Pressed if it was possible that more than $18 million in tax dollars were misspent, Meza said, "I think that's a fair statement. … We may never know."

The Illinois attorney general's office is investigating in an attempt to recoup some of the money, and federal grand jury subpoenas have named some of Smith's companies, including Diversified Behavioral Comprehensive Care, among records sought from state agencies.

Meza said the investigation's scope was limited partly because agencies are only required to keep documents for three years, a timeline lawmakers said they will push to extend.

Legislators also said they will also seek changes to the state's Ethics Act, which prevents many cases of wrongdoing by state workers from being made public. The allegations against Smith were laid out in a report that contended former DCFS Director Erwin McEwen failed to properly oversee grants. McEwen and Smith are longtime friends, and McEwen eventually refused to cooperate with investigators.

Under the law, reports are made public if it leads to an employee's being fired or being suspended for three or more days. McEwen resigned, but a lower-level employee was suspended for five days, leading to the report's release by the Executive Ethics Commission.


Budget Cuts Threaten Parental Rights - New Hampshire

By Dan Gorenstein

Until last July, when the state charged low-income parents with abuse or neglect of their children, the state provided them with a lawyer.

But to help balance the budget, that funding was eliminated.

New Hampshire is believed to be the only state in the country that’s ever taken such a step.

The people charged with enforcing the new policy are worried that it doesn’t serve parents or their children very well.

When Governor John Lynch and his staff were preparing his budget proposal last year, the governor made a decision.

He recommended the state cut the money to pay lawyers to represent parents in abuse and neglect cases.

The savings...$1.2 million dollars a year.

And with the Legislature in a race to balance the budget, lawmakers quickly accepted that plan along with millions of dollars worth of other cuts proposed by the governor.

That decision by Governor Lynch - made in some meeting at the statehouse in early 2011- is now playing out in court rooms like this.

“So Mr. ____ one of the topics that we are going to go through today is making sure you have an understanding of what the potential consequences of this type of case are to your parental rights and responsibilities.”

We’re in a preliminary hearing with Judge Susan Ashley in the Rochester Family Division Courthouse.

We masked any names to protect the identity of the father and his child.

Speaking to the father, a man we’ll call ‘Donald,’ the judge stressed just what’s at stake.

“Ultimately if the court made a decision that your parental rights should be terminated, it would be at that point, you would no longer have any legal rights, duties, or obligations with regard to ____. Do you understand that’s a potential consequence to this type of a cases?”

After the hearing Donald says he completely gets there’s a chance he could lose his 4-year old forever.

But what he needs to do to prevent that, he not sure at all.

“It’s all happening it pretty quick. And I having a hard time kind of processing everything that’s going on and knowing what’s going to go on.”

This is not a case of’s neglect.

The 34-year-old father explains he doesn’t have any place for his child to live right now.

So, she’s headed to foster care.

Donald cuts trees for a living.

He has a thick bush of black beard.

A tattoo stretches across his collarbone, an ink necklace.

“What’s the highest level of education you dropped out...yes. I have dyslexia, I have a hard time reading and writing.”

How hard?

Donald’s fiancĂ© Megan points to the an ‘Emergency Exit’ sign

Donald can’t read it.

Megan says her fiancé is counting on her to help him through this him go through all the paperwork.

The 21-year-old says she’s out of her league.

“I can read what’s on the paper...but I can’t explain what it means in layman’s terms. Just b/c I can read it, doesn’t mean I get it. B/c half the time, I don’t.”

Judges and lawyers know the 900-some cases they’ll likely see this year will have parents who are unfit to represent themselves.

And they don’t like doesn’t fit their idea of justice.

“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel sometimes. And it’s not fun. It doesn’t make me feel good about doing my job.”

Peter Brunette is an attorney for the state.

His job is to argue against the parents.

“Without a lawyer, there’s no way they can navigate this system to ensure that their rights are being adequately protected. That’s the problem we are all struggling with right now.”

Lawyers and judges are bending over backwards, taking extra time with these cases.

A routine 10 minute hearings 8 months ago, now can take an hour.

It’s because people like Judge Ashley try to explain things simply, and answer question after question.

But Ashley says that may not be enough.

“It concerns me there are too many parents feeling isolated against a group of people who appear to be expert in these types of cases, who parents see as ‘on the other side.’”

Essentially, parents have 12 months to shape up and address the source of the neglect.

Sometimes that’s counseling for substance abuse, or mental illness, or getting out of a violent relationship.

But without a lawyer to navigate the process, Ashley thinks parents are more likely to get overwhelmed and give up.

“Suddenly those 12 months have slipped away. And we find ourselves at a permanency hearing where the parent hasn’t done what they needed to do to correct the conditions of neglect. So I worry that there are parents who may face petitions to terminate their parental rights when they may have had the ability to fix the situation.”

University of Michigan Law Professor Vivek Sankaran worries the state may get exactly what it would normally try to avoid – a generation of kids who grow up without their parents.

Sankaran is a leading expert on child advocacy in the courts.

“It just flies in the face of everything we know about child welfare practice and policy and how to make good decisions. What makes what happens in New Hampshire so striking, is that over the past 30 years the practice of child welfare has become much more sophisticated...and then you get this, where we’ve just reverted back to where we were in the 1960’s or the 1950’s.”

“You do the best you can with budgets. And budgets is about setting priorities.”

That’s Governor Lynch.

Lynch says New Hampshire continues to fund lawyers for parents if the state files a termination of parental rights case.

That’s that step after parents were given the 12 months to correct their problems.

It’s widely believed that by the time the state files a termination of parental rights, it’s too late to reunite parent with child.

But the governor says he stands by his decision.

“A budget is about making tough choices. And that’s what we had to do with the budget we proposed.”

Donald and Megan feel they’re not going to get much sympathy from people like Governor Lynch and lawmakers in Concord.

“I think people just look at people who are losing their kids, people just look at them like they are scumbags....I don’t think people understand it ain’t always due to abuse or anything like that. Sometimes it’s over financial problems why they need help.”

“The people in Concord don’t care...They go home every night to their kids and wife and their husband and live the life that they want. But they have people like us sitting here, not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow. Ever. They don’t have that. I wish they would just live in people’s shoes who don’t have everything and that can’t figure it out as easily as they can.”

Lawyers representing parents are taking this to the state Supreme Court.

Oral arguments on the constitutionality of this budget cut are expected sometime this spring.

By the time the case is settled, the window for Donald to reunite with his 4-year-old could be closed.


WA to pay $2.35M in abuse case settlement

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state will pay $2.35 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleged that two state agencies failed to protect her from a sex offender who abused her when she was a child.

The Pierce County Superior Court lawsuit alleged that a paroled child rapist named Danny Dorosky Sr. was allowed to live with the victim's family, despite a Parole Board order that required intensive management and supervision because of the prior sex crime.

One of the woman's lawyers, Jason Amala, said Dorosky ingratiated himself into the victim's family and eventually moved into the home, where he abused the girl for almost three years. She was 10 when the abuse started, Amala said.

The woman also contended that the Department of Social and Health Services' Child Protective Services failed to protect her after school officials in Shelton reported the girl might be a sexual abuse victim.

Corrections spokeswoman Selena Davis confirmed the settlement and its amount late Wednesday. She said she could not immediately comment on case details.

DSHS spokesman Thomas Shapley referred inquiries to a lawyer with the state attorney general's office who did not immediately return a call.

The woman's lawyers say the abuse began in 1990. After the victim's father contacted law enforcement about the man in 1993, Mason County officials eventually arrested Dorosky. He was convicted of child molestation and rape. He died in 2004, Amala said.

In a phone interview Wednesday with The Olympian, the now 31-year-old woman said she had buried her awareness of what had happened until recently, when her own daughter turned 10.

She said she looked up Dorosky's court records and eventually hired a lawyer.

She said "it makes me sick" that state employees could have prevented what had happened to her and didn't.

The plaintiff, a state employee, added that she would appreciate an apology from the state. Beyond that, she said she hopes her lawsuit will lead to policy changes that will prevent supervision failures.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Detectives seek child abuse victims of former Lompoc-area soccer coach

Detectives are asking for the public's help in finding possible molestation victims of a man who coached youth soccer in the Lompoc area in the mid- to late 1980s, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department announced today.

The man, 52-year-old Terence Paul Stevens, is already facing multiple charges of child molestation.

During his coaching years, Stevens reportedly befriended several of his juvenile players, whom he ultimately molested, deputies said.

Two of those victims, who are now adults, have told investigators in recent months about their alleged victimization at the hands of Stevens when they were minors living in the Lompoc area.

By the mid 1990s, Stevens had moved to the San Diego area, where he continued coaching youth soccer. In 2008, Stevens was visiting Yuma, Ariz., when authorities there arrested him for sexual conduct with a minor. He has since been convicted of that crime and is serving a prison sentence in Arizona.

In August 2011, Stevens was extradited to Santa Barbara County to answer the local charges from the 1980s. Stevens is now facing 17 felony counts of lewd acts with a child; oral copulation of a minor and sodomy with a minor; all of which are related to the crimes committed against the two Lompoc-area victims.

Detectives are asking that anyone with information regarding additional victims call the Detective Bureau at 805-934-6170 or the sheriff's Anonymous Tip Line at 805-681-4171.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Star Watch: Could deaths of Indiana children have been prevented?

Bogger note:

Sometimes parents are at fault in child abuse and neglect cases. In many of those cases, CPS fails the children for a number of reasons, none of which are reasonable or make any kind of sense - simply - CPS failed. It's a shame that children who are in truly abusive homes are suffering which sometimes leads to their death whild children who are not in abusive homes are kidnapped by CPS and sold to the highest bidder. Seems that CPS should stop the baby selling business and focus on the job that they were originally intended to do - protecting children. We question if CPS has any idea how to do their jobs and how they deem homes safe and etc. Seems that they fail miserably at their job.

Investigation raises questions about whether Department of Child Services could have done more to protect kids

Written by Tim Evans

Taylor Creech, 5 months old.

Nygell Easter, 6 months old.

Julian Hurley, 4 years old.

Devin Parsons, 12 years old.

Tramelle Sturgis, 10 years old.

Irdessa Vazquez, 6 months old.

Six Hoosier children -- white, black and Hispanic, from small towns and big cities. All dead.

Their short, disparate lives are connected by one common thread: the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Before each of these children died last year, concerns about their care and treatment were reported -- repeatedly, in some cases -- to the state agency responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect.

In some cases, DCS determined the allegations did not merit an investigation. In others, the agency opened investigations but was unable to make contact with the family or found no problems -- case closed. And in two of the deaths, DCS had open cases at the time the children were killed.

But in each case -- and despite evidence of mounting trouble -- DCS ultimately left the children with their parents.

The 2011 fatalities uncovered by The Indianapolis Star raise questions about the quality of the agency's investigations and safety assessments, as well as with the services provided to struggling families.

It is not child deaths alone, however, that suggest lingering problems. There are other troubling indicators that the system is still failing too many Hoosier children:

The rate at which children suffer repeat abuse or neglect within six months of a DCS intervention -- a telling and nationally recognized measure -- remains basically unchanged from 2004 at about 8 percent. The federal government has a target standard of 5.4 percent, which 27 states met in 2010. Twelve states had a higher re-abuse rate than Indiana.

Despite a significant increase in the number of reports made to DCS, the agency is investigating a smaller percentage of the reports it receives -- and it is substantiating a smaller percentage of the cases that are investigated.

Altogether, the issues raise serious questions about the ambitious and costly reform project initiated in 2005 by Gov. Mitch Daniels to fix Indiana's long-troubled child welfare system and protect vulnerable children.

Despite hiring nearly 800 new field workers, setting caseload limits and expanding training, it is not clear that children involved with DCS are any safer now than they were before the overhaul.

"Clearly," said state Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, "the system is still broken."

In a written response to questions submitted by The Star, DCS spokeswoman Ann Houseworth disagreed.

"We are providing better outcomes for kids," she said.

Houseworth cited the added caseworkers, a centralized call center that provides uniformity in response to reports of abuse and neglect, a reduction in the number of children placed outside of their homes, and a decrease in the number of children who languish in the system for years with no permanent homes.

The agency's work was honored last week by Casey Family Programs for excellence in leadership, in part because of its efforts to decrease the number of children in institutional and foster care.

The approach DCS calls "Safely Home-Families First" is a concept that is gaining acceptance in child welfare circles across the country. It is based on research that shows the trauma of being torn from family can be as devastating to a child as some forms of neglect and abuse.

The key to success in the "family preservation" approach, according to experts, is making sure that there is a thorough and accurate assessment of a family's challenges and strengths -- and that adequate services are available to ensure that the problems of parents are addressed so their children can safely remain at home.

Houseworth acknowledged "DCS is concerned" about its inability to reduce the re-abuse rate but said the agency has no control over the behavior of parents once a case is closed.

Others have an idea why the rate hasn't budged.

Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, is an outspoken proponent of keeping families together while working through their problems. He said the state's inability to reduce re-abuse indicates DCS is not providing adequate or appropriate services to families.

"The question is: What is DCS doing before a case is closed?" he said. "It sounds to me like DCS lacked the competence to build the programs that are needed."

Intensive services that are proven to keep children safe don't come cheap, Wexler said.

That said, DCS officials have given back $320 million since 2009 to the state treasury -- including $103 million in 2011.

That was money lawmakers earmarked to help abused and neglected children but instead was used, at the governor's urging, to help bolster the state's balance sheet during the economic downturn. And it happened as reports of abuse and neglect increased in the state.

"The money DCS 'threw away' may well have helped children and families," Wexler said, "if it had been spent for the right kinds of programs."

Houseworth said returning the money has not caused children to suffer.

"Our goal is not just to spend money on services," she said. "We're charged with providing appropriate services children need and at the same time use our dollars wisely."

How that money is spent to help families is determined by a team -- which includes DCS staff, family members and local service providers -- that works to identify the kinds of help a troubled family needs.

The bulk of the money that was returned by DCS was not the result of skimping on those types of services, Houseworth said. Rather, it was not needed because of the significant savings provided by slashing the number of children placed in residential facilities. The cost for such services can run as high as $100,000 a year per child.

But state Rep. William Crawford, D-Indianapolis, said common sense makes him think some of the cases in which children died -- and many others across the state where children suffered repeat abuse and neglect -- might have turned out differently if DCS had used more of the money to better monitor and help those families.

"Their mantra is that they are doing more with less," he said, "but that doesn't appear to be working for the children."

Crawford has filed legislation to create a Commission on Improving the Status of Children, which would monitor and review state services and programs -- including those of DCS -- and produce an annual report detailing the state's successes and shortcomings.

"You have to wonder," said Crawford, "if (DCS) didn't put vulnerable children in jeopardy just so the governor could say 'look at what the state has in the bank' when he leaves office."

Breaux also questioned whether the agency's budget decisions have been in the best interest of children and families.

"It just breaks my heart when I hear those stories about children dying," she said. "It seems to me that DCS would want to keep as many dollars as it could to protect and help children."

How were concerns handled?
Each of the six deaths investigated by The Star highlights one or more continuing concerns about the agency's work.

There are likely many other victims. The Star's investigation has found at least 17 other deaths over the past five years -- DCS says that's not something the agency tracks -- including many that revealed the same problems that showed up in the 2011 cases.

Clearly, DCS is not solely responsible for the deaths; it was the abuse and neglect that killed the children. But there had been desperate cries for help calling these very children and adults to the attention of DCS.

The death of Devin Parsons, a Greensburg boy who had just completed the fourth grade, raises questions about the agency's increasing push to leave children with troubled parents and the quality of services DCS provides to those families.

Devin's mother had been investigated for allegations of abuse or neglect at least 18 times since Devin was born in 1999, including nine reports in the last year of his life. The agency repeatedly ordered Tasha Parsons to participate in counseling and other services but never removed Devin or his siblings -- even after the Greensburg boy told a caseworker in April that he was afraid to go back home.

A little more than one month later, police say, Devin was savagely beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend.

The death of Nygell Easter in Indianapolis raises questions about the sufficiency of DCS investigations at a time when the agency is citing parents in a smaller percentage of the reports it investigates.

Nygell was 3 months old when he ended up at an Indianapolis hospital in December 2010. Medical personnel suspected abuse and called DCS. The agency opened an investigation. But it was closed with an "unsubstantiated" finding in January 2011 after the family blamed Nygell's older brother for the injury.

Less than two months later, Nygell was dead. Once again, his family tried to blame Nygell's fatal head injury on his 1-year-old brother. An investigation by police and the coroner, however, determined the injury could not have happened the way the family described, and his father -- who was convicted one year earlier for sexual misconduct with a minor -- faces murder charges.

The death of Taylor Creech in Columbia City raises questions about the urgency and tenacity with which DCS investigates reports, and also the agency's collaboration with law enforcement.

Before Taylor was born, family members said DCS had removed two of Janele Creech's other children because of her drug use. In November 2010, Janele's sisters turned to Janele's probation officer and DCS, reporting Taylor was in danger because their sister was making and using methamphetamine around her new baby.

They said the report prompted DCS to send a caseworker to Creech's home. But when no one answered the door, the worker left a card with a note asking Creech to call the agency. She didn't. Instead, Creech basically went into hiding, avoiding contact with her family.

Creech subsequently failed a mandatory probation department drug test on Dec. 23, 2010, but a warrant for her arrest was not issued for an additional week -- and probation officials apparently did not notify DCS.

Three days after a judge issued the warrant for Creech's arrest, she still had not been picked up for the probation violation or contacted by DCS -- and Taylor was dead.

The coroner told her aunts the baby died after a case of bronchitis. Creech had allowed it to go untreated while trying to avoid authorities, and it developed into sepsis. That condition pushed poisons into Taylor's bloodstream, contributing to her suffocation as she slept on a sofa with Creech's boyfriend.

"You hear all the time that if you suspect abuse or neglect, you need to report it," said Taylor's aunt, Michele Freewalt, who went to the Whitley County DCS office to report her fears for the baby.

"But it didn't do us any good. That's what makes me the most angry: We did exactly what we were supposed to do, and they dropped the ball."

The death of Tramelle Sturgis in South Bend also raises questions about the quality of DCS assessments.

A caseworker investigated a report in May that Tramelle's father and grandmother were beating children in the home with a wooden club -- a very specific allegation. But the DCS investigator reported on June 20 that there was no evidence of abuse.

Five months later, Tramelle, 10, was dead. A police investigation revealed the boy "suffered from numerous injuries, both old and new," according to court documents.

The final, fatal beating, investigators allege, was administered by his father. Tramelle was beaten to death with a wooden club.


Suisun City foster father, Solano County, others sued in boy's death

By Ryan Chalk

A Suisun City foster parent facing a homicide charge in connection with the death of an infant last year is now facing a civil lawsuit from the child's mother, according to documents filed in Solano County Superior Court.

An attorney for Vallejo resident Christina Bito filed the civil lawsuit last week and seeks an unspecified amount in monetary damages for what the filing describes as a "willful and malicious" assault on the child she surrendered at birth. Also named in the lawsuit are the foster parent, Reginald Tanubagijo, his wife, Tammy, Solano County, the child's biological father and up to 100 others yet to be identified.

Suisun City police arrested Tanubagijo on suspicion of felony child abuse Nov. 30, 2010, the day after police and emergency personnel were called to his Youngstown Lane home, where they found an unresponsive infant, identified as Christian Bito Ocampo, according to court papers. The homicide charge was added after the 3-month-old infant died at the hospital a week later.

Surrendered at birth, county officials granted custody of the child to Tanubagijo and his wife, both of whom are approved foster care providers.

Tanubagijo, who is free on bail, was in court on the criminal charge this week. Judge E. Bradley Nelson ordered him back in two weeks for the setting of a probable-cause hearing. Tanubagijo's attorney has proclaimed his innocence and characterized the child's death as accidental.

Nelson, at Tanubagijo's earlier bail hearing, acknowledged his significant ties to the community and lack of a criminal record in his decision to set bail in the homicide case. His attorney also referenced numerous letters of recommendation for being "phenomenal foster parents."

Bito's wrongful death claim is seeking damages for medical and hospital expenses, burial and funeral costs, loss of love, society and comfort of the child. The lawsuit also claims that the county and others were negligent in the hiring and training of Tanubagijo.

Bito's claim alleges the child died as a result of Tanubagijo's assault with the intent to do harm and/or the conscious disregard of the child's safety. The court filing does not detail why the child was entrusted to the Tanubagijo's care.

Tanubagijo, or an attorney representing him, has not yet filed a response to Bito's wrongful death claim. A case management conference was set for May.


Child care worker accused of raping boy - Texas

Blogger note:

Just because a daycare is registered somewhere or licensed by the state should not make you feel all that safe. We know a registered day care that has a 2ce convicted felon running it. How does that happen? The felony background check only goes back 5 years in the situation we are talking about. The felonies of this daycare provider ocurred in the 1970's and 1980's. We also know of state run daycare centers that have had many violations, some of which were harm inflicted on our family members while in their care. Foster children who go to the state licensed daycares are subjected to horrendous abuse and no one does anything about it. So be careful! Know your daycare provider and know them well.

By Ana Ley

Police arrested a child-care worker accused of repeatedly raping and threatening an 11-year-old boy.

Bradley Bendele, 32, was arrested Friday night and charged with continuous sexual abuse of a young child, a first-degree felony.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Bendele raped the boy while he cared for him.

Bendele runs a child-care business, authorities said, though it does not appear to be licensed through the state's Department of Family and Protective Services.

The boy told police Bendele threatened several times to kill him and his family if he reported the attacks, according to the affidavit.

Bendele remained at Bexar County Jail on Saturday afternoon in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Child Protective Services spokeswoman Mary Walker said the Child Care Licensing division of the state's Department of Family and Protective Services is investigating the suspect's business as a potential illegal operation.

“It's so important for folks to go online and check out day care facilities and make sure they're registered and licensed by the state,” Walker said. “It's important for parents to know who they are leaving their children with.”