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An example of the child protection system failure

Residents in the Hartford region shared shock and disgust when it learned that a small boy placed in a home by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) nearly starved to death. The entire situation is too complex to detail here, but some of the important facts are listed below, according to news sources:

  • The then-18-month-old child and four siblings were removed from the mother's custody for safety reasons.
  • DCF assigned child custody of the toddler to a family member.
  • Five months later, the boy was brought to a hospital severely malnourished.
  • The child also suffered from bruises, scrapes, broken bones and was withdrawn.
  • The boy's mother said in court that she has complied with DCF's requirements and wants her children back.
  • It is unclear whether DCF social workers ever followed up with the placement or checked on the child's welfare.
  • The social worker assigned to the boy was fired.
  • All of the mother's children had their own lawyers during the trial.
  • The injured child, now 3 years old, still suffers from digestive issues and other health issues.

Reportedly, all of the kids are now happy and healthy in their current foster care placements. Citing mood swings, inconsistent coping skills, spotty mental-health programs and work attendance, DCF made it clear during the trial that child custody should not be returned to the mother. The judge will deliver a written ruling about whether the parents rights should be terminated in 120 days.

This tragic case shows how important it is to take child custody matters seriously, by parents, by attorneys and by the state of Connecticut. In the end, preserving the health and well-being of children is everyone's most critical goal.

Source: Hartford Courant, "At Extraordinary Trial, Mother Of Five, DCF Face Off Over Parental Rights," Josh Kovner, Nov. 06, 2017

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