Opinion

DCFS fails to protect mistreated youth

Deandre Green The 2 year old who was killed March 20, 2010.

By Nicole Bleidistel
Western Sun opinion editor

Their stories are heartbreaking and worst of all, the news of the lost and mistreated children of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services seems to be no news at all.

Two year-old Deandre Green was beaten to death in March 2010 after his family warned police and social workers that he was being abused; a South L.A. 5 year-old that died from severe burns and kidney failure caused by malnourishment after 108 instances with social workers; a boy that died from multiple skull fractures after his mother was reported to DCFS 25 times.

Seventeen year-old Miguel Padilla escaped from a group home and hanged himself from a tree in 2008; when his body was discovered by passersby nine days later, there was no search or report he’d even gone missing.

Padilla was one of the approximate 200 children that die annually in L.A.’s child services system, according to a recent L.A. County report.

In 2010, 175 were infants, eight committed suicide, 43 were victims of homicide, and 20 were returned to homes with recently opened court cases, which had required intervention by a social worker.

It seems twisted and wrong that a system created to protect children has remained notorious for doing the opposite without massive upheaval and severe reform.

Contrary to what DCFS’s Board of Supervisors believe, replacing the chicken’s head of a broken system (which they did in April 2011) is far inadequate for fixing what is fundamentally flawed and completely unacceptable.

DCFS’s biggest problem is that there is no accountability or public scrutiny, except when fatalities reach the ears of media. Records of abuse and neglect are sealed and classified; court hearings are closed off to the public.

Supported by child advocates, Assemblyman Mike Feuer attempted to push a bill through congress in April 2011 that would allow public oversight in child welfare court hearings and, according to Feuer, “make everyone in the system accountable.”

Although on hold till the end of the legislative year, Feuer’s bill is an essential and important step towards tearing down DCFS’s skeleton-riddled closet and rectifying the child welfare system into a just and progressive entity that truly ensures the well being and best interests of the youth it has sworn to protect.

3 replies »

  1. DCFS AND LAPD AND MENTAL HEALTH TOOK MY TWO DAUGTERS AND MYSELF.INTO CUSTODY AT GUN.POINT FROM MY HOME IN BEACH COMMUNITY AT THREE OCLOCK ON SUNDAY.MORNING ,CAME TO KICK DOWN MY DOOR AND FORCE MY FAMILY OUT OF BED AFTER COMEING HOME FROM UCLA SHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR MY DAUGHTER AMBER PAYNE AND SAHARA BAKER.DCFS TOLD LAPD THAT I WAS NOT PHYSICAL DISABLE THAT I WAS FINE NOTHING WRONG.AND I WAS MENTALLY ILL AND TOOK MY CHILDREN BECAUSE I REFUSE TO TAKE A VOLENTEER ACCESSMENT.AND MULTIPLEMY DAUGTERS WERE ALMOST KILLED ASSAULTED PUT ON DRUGS LIFE THREATEN MANY TIMES..ALL.BECAUSE OF FALSE ALLEGATIONS BY DCFS WORKERS.BOTH DAUGTERS ON HIGH HONORS ROLL. NO INVESTIGATION NO INTERVENTION JUST COME AT GUN POINT TO A PHYSICAL DISABLE BLACK MAN HOME AND TAKE FAMILY TO POLICE STATION. NO JUSTICE AT ALL IS THIS TRUELY AMERICA .THAT RAY CHARLES SANG ABOUT!! O GOD HELP HELP US PLEASE

  2. THIS COURT SYSTEM WITH DCFS IS A SYSTEM THAT IS VERY ON FAIR AND THERE IS NO.JUSTICE JUST TAKE ADVANAGE OF POOR STRUGGLING FAMILIES TRYING SO HARD TO MAKE IT FROM DAY TO DAY.MOST IF NOT ALL THESE CASES SHOULD BE HEARD IN FAMILY COURT,NOT BREAKING UP THE FAMILIES.BUT STRENGTHENING THEM SO THAT THERE CHILDREN CAN HAVE A PRODUCTIVE LIFE IT’S TIME FOR AMERICA TO MAKE THAT CHANGE TO MAKE THIS A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL PEOPLE POWER TO ALL.THE STRUGGLING PEOPLE OF THE WORLD GOD BE.WITH YOU STAY BLESSED S R B 310 773 2587

  3. HOW CAN I GO TO TRAIL ON A DISABLETY CASE,WHERE THE COURTS AND DCFS FINDS ME MENTALLY DISABLE AND THERE NO HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS BUT SAY I’M NOT PHYSICALLY DISABLE. WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR JUSTICE SYSTEMS IF A PERSON IS NOT GUILTY OF A CRIME THEN WHAT AM I ON TRAIL FOR BEING BLACK IN AMERICA THIS IS NOT RIGHT AT ALL I HAVE NOT COMMITTED A CRIME THIS WILL SHOW THAT THE JUDGES IN AMERICA HAVE BEEN FALSELY PUTING PEOPLE OF COLOUR AWAY FOR YEARS UNJUSTLY FOR THE COLOUR OF THERE SHIN. SRB POWER TO THE PEOPLE

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