Tag Archives: welfare workers

The System Fails Another Child

I’ve been reading too many stories like the one I’m about to share, and I think it’s about time these people were put on trial and then put in jail for the rest of their lives with no possibility of parole. I believe any social worker, welfare worker, or child services worker who does not adequately follow through on a case and it results in the death of a child should get life in prison without parole.

Here’s the story that is making my blood boil:

A former New York City child welfare worker and his supervisor were indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide, because their failures had contributed to the death of four year old Marchella Pierce, who had been repeatedly beaten and tied to a bed. She weighed 18 pounds at the end of her life. Her grandmother who witnessed this poor child being tied to the bed was also indicted on manslaughter and other charges, and the girl’s mother faces a murder charge.

Apparently, this is the first time in New York City history a child welfare worker has been charged with homicide in a child’s death. The district attorney in the case said this was likely not an isolated case and that there was “evidence of alleged systemic failures” at the child welfare agency. 

The caseworker in this instance was also charged with tampering with public records and falsifying records. What seems to happen is caseworkers don’t bother to show up and they follow it up by lying on reports. Kids are dead and they go back and look at the reports that say “oh, everything is fine.”

The prosecutors said agency workers had indicated “significant concerns” a year prior to the death of the child, but the caseworker had made entries indicating there had been no changes to the child from previous visits, even though signs of malnourishment would have been obvious by then. The caseworker’s lawyer said his client had been directed to make post-death computer entries by his superiors. Then all the lawyers blamed the agency!

Everyone has been spending time pointing fingers everywhere except at the guy who was supposed to go to the house and monitor that child.

So what happened to this kid is her own mother tied her to a bed, beat her with a belt, deprived her of food and water, and force-fed her drugs. The kid died from being beaten, starved and drug-poisoned. The grandmother witnessed the girl being bound to her bed, beaten and starved and did nothing.

So, when I tell people to call Child Protective Services (CPS), maybe I should just smack my head on the desk. Yet, a lot of people are freaking out at this story, saying “Oh my God, if you put these people on trial, you’re not going to get anybody to do the job.” Don’t you love it when people say “don’t hamper the bad guys, because then we won’t even have them!” 

I think it’s very important for every caseworker to know if a kid dies and it can be demonstrated you were negligent, you are toast – you are seriously toast.