Hundreds of Child Abuse Hotline Calls Ignored in VA

.jpg photo of CPS Director
Elizabeth Middleton, the SVSS director

AUGUSTA COUNTY, VA  —  A scathing investigation is putting Child Protective Services of Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro in the hot seat.

It all surrounds an investigative story published by The News Leader, which revealed hundreds of messages to the department’s child abuse line were, “ignored and erased.”

Shenandoah Valley Social Services covers Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro.

The current director said all of this sparked when the information technology staff was looking at improving the phone answering service.  That’s when more than 200 ignored calls were uncovered.

At the same time, a pediatrician who couldn’t reach a person on the phone to report an abuse case voiced his concerns and an Augusta County investigation got underway.

Elizabeth Middleton, the SVSS director, said there used to be one employee assigned to monitor the voice mails, but that employee left in April 2014.

With only 11 employees working there, miscommunication and understaffing led to that responsibility falling through the cracks.

Linda Royster, a local attorney who has worked with SVSS for nearly ten years, says she was shocked when she heard about how so many calls for help were missed.

“I’m horrified. I have two children who were abused before they were adopted,” said Royster. “The very thought that someone could have helped those children before I adopted them and a call went unanswered is appalling”

12 thoughts on “Hundreds of Child Abuse Hotline Calls Ignored in VA”

  1. My experience has been that many government helplines look good on paper but end up being nothing. Have you ever called the National Domestic Violence Hotline? In the end, the best place to go for help may be your local police station.

    1. Thank You again, it’s been too long since we talked.
      Yes you are correct, and just like this supervisor, and just like our lawmakers, people are placated very easily.
      If this weren’t the case, there would be a revolving door where every public office is. Everyone loves to talk, but when it comes to action, we have very little help.
      I hope everything is going well, uhhhh and is there a Mr Right yet????
      Robert

      1. I really didn’t mean no harm, in fact at my age whos to say I haven’t lost it.
        I’ll delete this I promise, but I thought how at least you had so much class in an almost classless world. Read this and reply yes or no, yes: delete it no: dont
        Robert

      2. Thank You Ma’am, You are very kind.
        If you wouldn’t mind me asking, what is the meaning of the last word beside Recovery?

      3. Yiddishkeit is another word for Judaism and love of all things Jewish, like Israel. Thank you for asking. (:

      4. You are welcome Ma’am, but the pleasure is all mine, or I feel like it is..
        You see I have some friends on Google, Everything That Happens In Israel, and I keep his steps swept off (of Trash with vulgar mouths)
        Thank You again,
        Robert

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