Arkansas DHS Admits Troubles With Inv...

Arkansas DHS Admits Troubles With Investigations

There are 34 comments on the WREG story from Feb 6, 2010, titled Arkansas DHS Admits Troubles With Investigations. In it, WREG reports that:

[email protected] A grandmother and a state senator are both searching for answers after two children died in a fire.

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farrised

Memphis, TN

#1 Feb 6, 2010
In the '90s my family owned and operated a child care and learning center. We had all types and ages, private and government. Reporting abuse rarely every got DHS to take action in Tn. So, I would call Police and have them take picture and take child to Emergency Room for a doctor to check them. We have had children with cigrattee burns, multiple ones, burned with Iron leaving full scar, hitting, etc. The police are the first to call , and if the local want act then call the state police as well. We have the Carl Perkins centers in W. T. which help greatly.
TNTeacher

Anaheim, CA

#2 Feb 6, 2010
This is happening in Tennessee everyday. As a teacher, I see it happening and DHS/DCS does nothing. It is illegal for teachers and school personnel not to report abuse, but it is not a crime for DHS/DCS to ignore alligations of abuse. Children are allowed to remain in situations that animals are not allowed to live in. The systems is broken. Their favorite excuse is that their is not anywhere to place them, so they just leave children where they are.
itsjustME

Cordova, TN

#3 Feb 6, 2010
Oh, this is such a sad story... And EVERYDAY we do hear of another child who had died somewhere in this country from a parent or parent's boyfriend. From shaking them to death or even stabbing them til they die. Or the parents are giving (or maybe even selling) their child to a random stranger, who in turn takes them and does no telling what to them before they kill them.(this happened in Fla, I think) The world is going crazy, and the system is BROKEN. What are we going to do?? I just don't know?? It is sooo SAD!!
Dan

Memphis, TN

#4 Feb 6, 2010
I really wonder what the answer / solution is . . . this is PITIFUL. I really tend to blame the custodial parent -- IF NOTHING ELSE, the fact that they exercise such poor judgment when it comes to their children (from squalid living conditions up to and including their choice in life-partner) that they probably shouldn't be parents. A generalization, I know, I'm sure there are some exceptions. It might behoove the States' agencies to review, and then review again, their mission statements and reasons for being. Then, get on with some corrective action(s). . .
Hey

Olive Branch, MS

#5 Feb 6, 2010
DHS spokeswoman Julie Munsell says even if the kids were exposed to drugs, it's no guarantee the state would take away someone's children.

"Even though drug manufacturing is illegal, is a criminal issue, in and of itself, it is not construed as child maltreatment," explained Munsell. "It has to impact the child in some way."

What is 'child maltreatment' if it isn't this kind of abuse and neglect? What does it take for DHS to take these kids away? Oh, I know, gotta wait til they die in a home where a meth lab is or better yet, get a hold of some of their drugs and overdose!

There was an incident a few months back in Tupelo, Ar. that a child got ahold of some kind of cleaner the caretakers were using to make their 'shake n bake' meth and drunk it. Is this what it takes to remove the child/children from a home?

I understand that DHS says there is no place to place these kids after being taken away, but where are family members that ARE doing right and not into drugs and such? Could they not place them there? What about spending all this money helping out other countries rebuild after their own 'civil war' and use it for our children????

Come on Arkansas! Or should I say, America! Wake-Up! We have a problem here!
Peggy Barks

Shreveport, LA

#6 Feb 6, 2010
Hey wrote:
DHS spokeswoman Julie Munsell says even if the kids were exposed to drugs, it's no guarantee the state would take away someone's children.
"Even though drug manufacturing is illegal, is a criminal issue, in and of itself, it is not construed as child maltreatment," explained Munsell. "It has to impact the child in some way."
What is 'child maltreatment' if it isn't this kind of abuse and neglect? What does it take for DHS to take these kids away? Oh, I know, gotta wait til they die in a home where a meth lab is or better yet, get a hold of some of their drugs and overdose!
There was an incident a few months back in Tupelo, Ar. that a child got ahold of some kind of cleaner the caretakers were using to make their 'shake n bake' meth and drunk it. Is this what it takes to remove the child/children from a home?
I understand that DHS says there is no place to place these kids after being taken away, but where are family members that ARE doing right and not into drugs and such? Could they not place them there? What about spending all this money helping out other countries rebuild after their own 'civil war' and use it for our children????
Come on Arkansas! Or should I say, America! Wake-Up! We have a problem here!
I can tell you where they are. The State of Arkansas will not let a family member have the child and care for them. They take them into custody, transfer them from place to place (I know 9 homes in 5 months and this was a good, well behaved child) and put the family member thru hades to get the the child. They then put the family and child through torment for up to a year). It does no good to try to do anything about it because they are a state agency and everyone (Judges, Congressmen, ETC) turn their backs. This is the way our children are being treated by DHS/DCS in Arkansas. I know because I have been their and done that.
saddened

Millington, TN

#8 Feb 6, 2010
This is how it operates in TN too. Overworked, underpaid and no resources for the social workers. Kids sentenced to state custody for delinquency are now being placed in "foster homes" and the community around them has no idea.

I am now an advocate of early removal and termination of parental rights in documented abuse and/or neglect cases. BUT we have to have people with good sense. By the time a child is 10 or so and the state FINALLY removes them permanently, the kids have alot of anger, and emotional issues and it is hard to place them in homes.
DeSoto County Resident

Brentwood, TN

#9 Feb 6, 2010
TNTeacher wrote:
This is happening in Tennessee everyday. As a teacher, I see it happening and DHS/DCS does nothing. It is illegal for teachers and school personnel not to report abuse, but it is not a crime for DHS/DCS to ignore alligations of abuse. Children are allowed to remain in situations that animals are not allowed to live in. The systems is broken. Their favorite excuse is that their is not anywhere to place them, so they just leave children where they are.
I totally agree!! They do ignore alligations of abuse and turn the other way then make a half hearted visit just to report they saw nothing wrong. Once abuse is reported it is left up to DHS/DCS to do what is best for the child, however that rarely happens because the parents "rights" far outweigh the rights of these innocent children.

This is NOT just an Ark issue....memphis has the same issues as well!
DeSoto County Resident

Brentwood, TN

#10 Feb 6, 2010
Hey wrote:
DHS spokeswoman Julie Munsell says even if the kids were exposed to drugs, it's no guarantee the state would take away someone's children.
"Even though drug manufacturing is illegal, is a criminal issue, in and of itself, it is not construed as child maltreatment," explained Munsell. "It has to impact the child in some way."
What is 'child maltreatment' if it isn't this kind of abuse and neglect? What does it take for DHS to take these kids away? Oh, I know, gotta wait til they die in a home where a meth lab is or better yet, get a hold of some of their drugs and overdose!
There was an incident a few months back in Tupelo, Ar. that a child got ahold of some kind of cleaner the caretakers were using to make their 'shake n bake' meth and drunk it. Is this what it takes to remove the child/children from a home?
I understand that DHS says there is no place to place these kids after being taken away, but where are family members that ARE doing right and not into drugs and such? Could they not place them there? What about spending all this money helping out other countries rebuild after their own 'civil war' and use it for our children????
Come on Arkansas! Or should I say, America! Wake-Up! We have a problem here!
I agree!!! This problem exist in Memphis as well. I am a grandparent with custody of my 4 y/o grandchild since he was 8 wks old and the mother of this precious child takes me to court about every 6 months on the tax payers I might add. Yes that is right, you pay for her free attorney and the court time. She moves constantly, changes her phone number all the time, refuses to visit him as ordered by the court and does not call him. She has not had contact with him since last October - which includes no contact on birthday or Christmas. She did the same thing in 2008 missing all visits with no calls from August all the way thu Dec and took us back to court in Jan. She also has 2 more children by different fathers that are being abused....a neighbor of hers came up to me at court last Oct and introduced herself and told me of the abuse to the little girls. She said she turned her in, but the DCS worker said "it's not how we would live" but it's ok. The neighbor stated she witnessed the boyfriend abusing the oldest little girl and the mother laughing about it thinking it was funny.
No surprise, the mother has once again moved as she does every time a neighbor is on to what actually goes on in her home. Still Shelby county DCS turns their head the other way. I pray for these little girls everyday as I'm afraid I will see them on the news next.
Sadie

Cordova, TN

#11 Feb 6, 2010
DCS in Tennessee is a total disaster and no one seems to care. In Nashville, the bloggers are calling the commissioner Violent Killer instead of Viola Miller for the string of deaths she and her agency have caused.
DeSoto County Resident

Brentwood, TN

#12 Feb 6, 2010
Sadie wrote:
DCS in Tennessee is a total disaster and no one seems to care. In Nashville, the bloggers are calling the commissioner Violent Killer instead of Viola Miller for the string of deaths she and her agency have caused.
Makes me wonder why there has not been an ivestigation in TN and an uprising to push for a change in the law to allow children to be removed without them being dead first. Our local channels need to look into their local DCS and expose why so many children here are left to die just because the law says they have to try everything to leave them with the biological mother no matter what type hell they are living in.
Guest

Yonkers, NY

#13 Feb 6, 2010
This is the biggest waste of tax payers money. They take kids that dont need to be removed and leave the ones that do. Your right its sick to watch them work. Talk to your Congress rep or state rep because they have no clue!
DeSoto County Resident

Brentwood, TN

#14 Feb 7, 2010
Guest wrote:
This is the biggest waste of tax payers money. They take kids that dont need to be removed and leave the ones that do. Your right its sick to watch them work. Talk to your Congress rep or state rep because they have no clue!
I have talked till I'm blue in the face! They do NOT listen to individuals!! The media needs to get involved and EXPOSE them and there needs to be a group led by someone who has some pull with those who can make a change to the laws. Like the Ark senator. Most people see the news and think "so sad" then go on about their lives as if nothing has changed.
You would not believe how many tax dollars go towards providing free attorneys to the worthless parents of these innocent children. They get a free attorney everytime they decide to go back to court oh and they get to file all the free petitions they want (cost you and me around 200 to 500 dollars) They also have to provide the child with a free attorney on the tax payers. Keep in mind this is EVERY time the parent decides to file a free petition to try to get their way (They do this quite often as they do NOT work and have nothing better to do). Usually about every 6 months AND there is no end to this until the child reaches 18y/o. This leads to another question...at what point after 4 years of not proving yourself safe to even have unsupervised visition does the family who has provded a safe, loving and orderly home have to keep taking time off work to go to court? I do not and have NOT ever received any assistance from the DCS or the court to assist in raising this autistic child, I have NEVER had an atty (can't afford one), yet over and over the judge and the court appointed guardian ad litem had deemed the mother unfit. This is a mother who chooses to not visit or call her child for months and in fact has not called or visited the past 2 birthdays or christmas. Add to that she has not bought him ANYTHING in the 4 years we have had custody. No toys, clothes, food, books, NOTHING!!
When they do remove a child from an unsafe environment they allow unlimited appeals by the parent.
So not only do they leave innocent children to die, when it does work correctly they keep taking tax payers money to let the non working parents wear Juvenile court out. No wonder they are overloaded with cases! How many times do you have to tell someone no at the tax payers expense?????
Guest

Memphis, TN

#15 Feb 7, 2010
First, it's horrible that these babies have died and my heart goes out to these families!!!! Arlington Guest, you are right on. They do take the ones who don't need to be taken and leave the ones who are in danger. And then, I wonder how politically charged it is.
guest

Brentwood, TN

#16 Feb 7, 2010
I believe those of you who do not have first hand knowledge of the DCS system have over simplified this whole issue.

You can't make a blanket statement that ALL of the children removed should have been left in the home - that just is not true. Those are the lucky one's many of those children have family who were willing to take them.

Also, many that are left or placed back in the home are children that do not have family members who were willing or able to take them and are placed back in the abusive home to get them "out of the system".
Guest

Memphis, TN

#17 Feb 7, 2010
Why are people allowed to have more children when they have already had children taken away, there is a question no one has asked, if a parent has been shown to be unfit why are they allowed to bring more children into this world that they have no idea of how to take care of?
Guest

United States

#18 Feb 7, 2010
You have to know all of the facts on a case before you can place a child with family members. Some may have a felony or they could have a sexual abuse allegation proven agaisnt them. The child cannot be placed in a home to be abused again. That has happened before and a child was killed. So don't come down so hard on the worker or the court system.
guest

Brentwood, TN

#19 Feb 7, 2010
Guest wrote:
You have to know all of the facts on a case before you can place a child with family members. Some may have a felony or they could have a sexual abuse allegation proven agaisnt them. The child cannot be placed in a home to be abused again. That has happened before and a child was killed. So don't come down so hard on the worker or the court system.
That is a given...of course they would make sure the family member is not a felon or sexual abuser!
The social workers still DO NOT do their jobs as they should!!!! The court goes on the social workers report if it gets that far. Most are just reported as no issue and the kids end up horribly abused or dead at some poin. When that hits the news everyone is just shocked and horrified.

Still many others grow up in a life of violence and are lucky enough to survive, just repeat it and pass it on to their children. This issue is so much bigger than the surface that has been scratched this is problem with society.
It doesn't take a study to figure out why so many children are dying....and yes they are left there to die.

Banned

“This town is nuts...”

Since: Jul 09

Location hidden

#20 Feb 7, 2010
guest wrote:
<quoted text>
That is a given...of course they would make sure the family member is not a felon or sexual abuser!
The social workers still DO NOT do their jobs as they should!!!! The court goes on the social workers report if it gets that far. Most are just reported as no issue and the kids end up horribly abused or dead at some poin. When that hits the news everyone is just shocked and horrified.
Still many others grow up in a life of violence and are lucky enough to survive, just repeat it and pass it on to their children. This issue is so much bigger than the surface that has been scratched this is problem with society.
It doesn't take a study to figure out why so many children are dying....and yes they are left there to die.
Why is this issue so important to you that you felt the need to post six different comments using six different usernames? If you're going to post comments to back up your own comments, you might want to STOP typing RANDOM ass words in ALL capital LETTERS. Dumbass.
DAVID

Memphis, TN

#21 Feb 7, 2010
I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I JUST HEARD THAT DUMB A$$ WOMAN SAY,EVEN THOUGH MAKING METH IS A CRIME THAT IN ITSELF IS NOT ENOUGH REASON TO TAKE CUSTODY OF A CHILD.IT HAS TO IMPACT THE CHILD IN SOMEWAY FOR THE STATE TO TAKE CUSTODY.WELL GUESS WHAT DUMB A$$ BIT>H.IT DID IMPACT THE CHILD THE CHILDREN DIED DUH.IT'S LIKE SHE'S SAYING IF PARENTS TOOK THEIR CHILDREN ALONG WITH THEM ON A BANK ROBBERY AND THEY GOT INTO A SHOOT OUT WITH POLICE AND NOBODY GOT HURT,AND THE PARENTS WOUND UP GETTING ARRESTED THEY WOULD NOT TAKE THE CHILDREN AWAY BECAUSE AFTER ALL THE CHILDREN DIDN'T GET HURT.

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