Children’s Social Services’ Mistakes Can Devastate Families With Irreparable Consequences

There is no doubt that the incidences of child abuse are on the rise here in the US.  It should also not be a surprise to know that it is a result of an ever growing culture of godlessness.  The more people turn away from God, the less respect they have for human life, especially for the little ones.

There are children’s social services in every state, many counties and most big cities.  The endless task of children’s social workers is to protect the child from being abused, whether physically or mentally.  Children’s service workers often have a difficult task of identifying if there really is a case of abuse or not.  The decision is not an easy one and not one that I would want to make on a daily basis.

Like all people, children’s service workers sometimes make mistakes, but unlike many of us, those mistakes can and often cause irreparable damage to a family.

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I worked with a guy who had twin boys.  He and his wife were so happy and doted over them like they were royalty.  When the twins were about six months old, mom woke early and went to check on the boys to find one of them on his stomach and not breathing.  Dad responded to the screams and rushed in to give CPR, but to no avail.

After less than a day of investigation, social workers thought one or both parents had abused their dead son and may have contributed to his death.  The surviving son was removed and place in foster care with neither parent having visitation rights.  Police launched a criminal investigation into the cause of death.

Nearly a year later, it was determined that the one son had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and that there had been no abuse.  During that year, the mom had a complete nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized.  My co-worker became severely depressed and nearly lost his job because of poor performance and attendance problems.

When the diagnosis of SIDS was announced, children’s services still refused to release the son into the custody of the parents because of mom’s mental condition and the father’s work related issues.  That was too much for the mom to bear and she ended up committing suicide by taking an overdose of sedatives.  The father then lost it and started drinking and lost his job.  After that I never did hear what happened, but all I knew is that the premature decision of abuse by children’s social services resulted in the complete destruction of a once happy young family.

More recently is the case of the O’Shell family in Henderson, Colorado.  William and Tiffany were the proud and happy parents of a cute little girl named Alyssa.  When Alyssa was only three months old, her parents took her to the hospital where x-rays revealed eleven broken bones.  Doctors immediately suspected child abuse and notified children’s services of their suspicions.  Alyssa was treated and immediately removed from her parents and placed in foster care.

William was charged with child abuse and was facing years in prison for something he claimed he had no part of.  Three weeks after losing Alyssa to children services and facing total ruin, William took the life of his wife, Tiffany and then committed suicide.

The terrible irony of the murder-suicide was compounded when a doctor at Colorado’s Children’s Hospital suspected that it was not abuse but a rare disease that could mimic the results of abuse.  His suspicion was made on the very same day when William ended his and wife’s life.  Tests revealed that the doctor’s suspicion was correct and that Alyssa suffered from a rare genetic disorder known as spinal muscular atrophy which took her life only four months after her parents’ deaths.

In this case both the doctors and children’s services jumped the gun and destroyed the lives of another happy couple.  Had they not been so quick to make formal charges until after a thorough investigation and testing on little Alyssa, chances are William and Tiffany would still be alive.

These are only a couple of the many cases where children’s services have prematurely intervened in families when there was no reason to intervene.  However, there are also those cases where they didn’t act quickly enough and a child ended up getting hurt or killed.

I interviewed a lady here locally who was a child social service worker.  She went to a foster home to check on a 4 year old boy.  The mother said he had been sick and was now sleeping and suggested she come back at a later time.  She had no reason to doubt what the mother said and didn’t want to wake up a sick child, so she left.

Only a few days later, the child was reported missing.  Eventually his body was discovered and it was determined that the foster parents had murdered him later the same day that the children’s social worker had visited and left without seeing the boy.  Not only were the foster parents punished by being sent to prison, the social worker was fired from her job because she made a routine judgment call that ended up to be the wrong one, and her career as a children’s social worker, which she loved, was over.

Making decisions to protect children are not always easy or written in black and white.  They come in all shades of grey and are often extremely difficult to make.  If they are the right decision, the social worker is a hero who saves a young life, but if it is the wrong decision, it can lead to the complete destruction of a family.  I’ve had to make tough decisions in my life, but I’m not sure I would want to have to make the same decisions the children’s social workers make on a daily basis.  It has to be one of the toughest jobs in America, so may I suggest that you try to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what you would have done with only the ‘beforehand’ information before you make snap decisions and judge them.

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