Target: Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey
Goal: Investigate social services agency after children were found stabbed to death in backseat of father’s car.
The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services has come under scrutiny in the negligence of child abuse cases in which the child was later killed by the parent. In the most recent case, police found three brothers, ages 8-10, fatally stabbed in the backseat of their father’s SUV. Although DCFS is launching their own investigation into the social workers in this case, an outside agency should probe into DCFS as a whole to see why these preventable fatal cases keep occurring.
Those close to the father of the three boys say he suffered from depression following his wife’s sudden death in 2008. Police found him in the front seat of the SUV, with an alleged self-inflicted stab wound, with his sons dead in the backseat. The police have since booked him for the murders. DCFS had received four calls since 2010 of alleged abuse of the three boys. Social workers found the first call to be inconclusive but opened a case on the second. The last two calls, made last year, were found to be inconclusive.
Four separate calls about abuse in the same household and one official case on the family should have been a red flag for DCFS. If they had sufficiently probed into the situation they would have seen other warning signals, like the father’s depression. If they had followed up with the family’s situation, they would have been aware of the father’s recent financial struggles and loss of his home.
If this were an isolated incident, DCFS’ investigation into the social workers in this specific case would be adequate. Since dozens of cases like this have happened in Los Angeles alone over the recent years, it is evident that the agency as a whole deserves an investigation. In a previous case, an 8-year-old boy was found dead, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs, burnt skin, knocked out teeth and BB pellet shots in his lung and groin after social workers had allegedly investigated his case and allowed him to stay with his mother and her boyfriend.
The welfare of children should be a main priority of the states. The Los Angeles DCFS is falling short on their duty to investigate claims and provide adequate support to unstable families and vulnerable children. Urge the LA County District Attorney to hold DCFS accountable and ensure they are properly responding to child abuse and emergency calls.
Dear Ms. Lacey,
A tragic incident involving the fatal stabbing of three young brothers, allegedly by their father, has shed light on the incompetence of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. DCFS had received multiple warning calls of troubles in the household, most of which were found inconclusive. Their job is to discover if a claim is legitimate or not, and multiple inconclusive findings on the same case is not an adequate conclusion.
Unfortunately, this recent incident wasn’t the only time a child’s life has been lost after DCFS received warnings of abuse in the household. Other issues that have arisen with DCFS include shortages of safe placements for the children under their care, a shortage of emergency response unit workers, and supervisor misconduct.
There should be an investigation into DCFS to find the problem areas and fix them so that more children don’t loose their lives to abuse. I urge you to please provide oversight into DCFS and guarantee that they are properly handling abuse claims.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Blickpixel