Former DCF worker arrested, accused of
falsifying records in Child Abuse case
A former Florida Department of Children and Families worker has been arrested on charges of falsifying records in a case involving a student who came to elementary school with bruises on the face, leg and arm, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday.
Doreece Hines, 31, of Daytona Beach documented visits to the home of the child, whose guidance counselor reported the student’s injuries to the state abuse hotline on Feb. 5, 2016. But Hines never actually conducted the visits, according to an affidavit for her arrest.
Hines, a senior child protective investigator who has since been fired, wrote in a report that the child was in “no present danger” and claimed the mother had admitted striking the child with a jump rope, according to the affidavit. She also said the child had a “small mark” on a thigh and an arm, records show.
The counselor, with a school nurse present, took photos of a cut and a bruise on the child’s right cheek and bruises on the right thigh, arm and under the hip, court documents show.
On Feb. 8, Hines wrote in a case report that she had met with the mother and her children, including the alleged victim, a little before 9 p.m. Feb. 6, court records state.
On March 1, a Putnam County Sheriff’s Office detective inquired about the child, including whether Hines had referred the case to the state’s Child Protection Team, which helps investigate child-abuse and child-neglect cases. Hines said she had, but two days later, the detective was told by the team that the referral hadn’t been made and did it herself, documents state.
Hines later told her supervisor she had forgotten to contact the team, documents show.
On March 4, Hines told a DCF supervisor she had made a mistake and hadn’t actually met with the mother, according to the affidavit.
On March 30, Hines changed her case report, stating that her notes initially had been incorrect, according to the affidavit.
FDLE agents say Hines was legally obligated to report the child’s injuries to the Child Protection Team and law enforcement.
Hines was arrested Thursday on the felony records-falsification charges.
School resource officer suspended during
Child Abuse investigation
OKALOOSA COUNTY, FL – A former Okaloosa County school resource officer was suspended for “allegations of unsatisfactory performance and not obeying the rules”, according to a report released by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO).
It all came to light, the OCSO reports, when the sheriff’s office began investigating allegations of child abuse at Kenwood Elementary School in May.
OCSO launched an internal investigation when child protection investigators with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) revealed the resource officer did not help or cooperate with multiple ongoing child abuse investigations at the elementary school.
Officials say Officer Dwayne Vasiloff wrote seven initial child abuse reports between August 2016 and June of 2017. However, during that same time, DCF investigators made 46 investigative visits to the school.
The internal investigation deemed Vasiloff neglected his duty and was “content” with DCF handle the investigations and the resulting workload.
While Vasiloff denied any wrongdoing, he was suspended without pay, reassigned and put on probation. The sheriff’s office said Vasiloff retired in July before finishing his probation.
The State Attorney’s Office said the investigation has “no bearing on the ongoing criminal investigation in the Marlynn Stillions case”, according to OCSO. Channel 3 News reached out to Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille, who said Vasiloff is “not a suspect at this time. The investigation is ongoing and if additional facts come forward it is possible that status could change.”
The special needs teacher faces four counts of child abuse related to allegations she abused a boy with Autism.
On Monday, the school board will hold its regular meeting less than an hour after the superintendent holds a press conference.
The father of the child who was allegedly abused believes the school district tried to cover up signs of abuse.
Others in the community said it’s time for more oversight.
The saga began in 2015 at Kenwood Elementary School, when Eddie Perillo’s nonverbal autistic son moved into the classroom of Marlynn Stillions.
Eddie’s son spent more than a year in the teacher’s classroom. At the same time, Eddie noticed changes to his son’s behavior.
“He became aggressive and he had aggressive behavior and just was acting a little different,” Perillo said.
It took until May of 2017 when Perillo was able to obtain a copy of a school district investigation, which accused Stillions of abusing the children in her care, for Perillo to learn about the alleged abuse.
“I believe she knew about it. To be honest with you, that’s my thoughts on everything. and if she didn’t, which is very hard to believe, she definitely should’ve been aware of it and taken action,” Perillo said.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigated the claims and made three arrests, including the teacher, the principal of Kenwood Elementary and the school district’s investigator.
Other members of the autism community, like Angela Hager in Okaloosa County, said it’s a crossroad for the district.
Her autistic son spent almost two decades in Okaloosa County schools.
“I was shocked and very disturbed that not only those events happening, that there were so many witnesses that had seen these things happen and did not come forward until there was an employee intervention being conducted,” Hager said.
She’s on the agenda to speak at Monday night’s meeting.
“I think that there are things that can be done to fix this. That’s what I want to see. It’s not that I’ve lost all faith, it’s just that there are deficiencies that need to be addressed,” Hager said.
I turned the knob and the door cracked open, suddenly the all too familiar smell was all around me, and on me. As I finished opening the door, the smell of my 3rd son drew closer around me, holding to me tightly.
The next afternoon I turned the knob, and as I opened the door and held it, my Mother looked into my eyes and nodded, then my Niece did also, as they proceeded into the big room, moving to the chairs I had marked with my eyes.
The table was filled with gamblers, all holding the winning hand, including the nurse at the far end of the table; she knew her part by heart, and in fact was certain of an academy award, until she looked into the eyes she knew so well….
These people had lied to me since the day before, and evidently thought we were dumb as dirt. Never in my life had I ever imagined the day when the people I respected so much would instead prove to be as low as the most evil criminals.
I listened as each one at the table had their say, then, while slowly standing up, I looked from one, to the next in turn all around the table. I explained the difference in “no activity” with a swollen head, and a “brain stem test”, then I looked into each set of eyes, and said NO ONE WILL BE TURNING MY SON’S VENTILATOR OFF TODAY, NOR EVER.
My Brother called me 3 years ago, and told me to hurry. When I got to the place, he met me at the door, and we went to the young Lady’s room.
Nurses were all standing around staring at the relative, as my Brother asked my opinion. I said heroin???? NO WAY, maybe PCP, but you remember when I was in the hospital and went out of my head 2 different times???? He said that’s why I called you.
When I said, “considering how hard she fell when she was blind-sided, I would have to believe bone marrow was in her system and going to her brain, but apparently she didn’t break nothing”. The nurses looked like I had slapped them.
These people failed to X-Ray this young Lady, missed a broken hip, then left the illicit drugs misdiagnosis on her record to cover their incompetence. The sad part of this is that she had been in the hospital for nearly 3 full days.
My Little Brother was the victim of a poorly trained employee at Insurance Market Place. We got their attention by contacting Our Elected Officials.
However, while filing an appeal, I had to rush My Brother to the ER. Later he was diagnosed with pancreatitis, but sent home without a Doctor doing anything.
To say he was in agony, is like saying a blow torch is warm, because Our Circle on Google had told me so. After over a month, we won his appeal, and he was checked into Parkland Hospital, where he stayed for 4 days then released.
All this time He has been losing weight, and still hurting badly almost all the time.
This week I went with him to his appointments, before Chemo, and for whatever reason, between our questions, it fell out of these people’s mouth that he hasn’t been getting any real treatment due to the drugs in his system.
I believe my Brother got their attention by telling them between Parkland Hospital and Insurance Market Place, they were responsible for him losing nearly 40 lbs and everything else, plus knowing the pain he was in, yet not prescribing him anything.
But now I don’t mind telling everyone that I got my Brother the medicine for pain. I am unable to take anything like this and muscle relaxers, so I didn’t know….
I’m sorry Little Brother, and I have to admit this to all of you, I knew how he was hurting, and I knew his stress and depression first hand, yet I made him even more miserable because I kept thinking I was going to go wake him up one day and he wasn’t going to wake up.
SO, this is for all of you….
First, I checked if anything had turned up on the VA Hospital Drug Thefts, and oddly enough nothing has been posted since roughly the end of May.
BUT, I did come across some very interesting facts:
Doctors and Nurses are more likely than other occupations to form a substance addiction.
Studies suggest that Medical Professionals are more likely to misuse prescription drugs than their patients.
Substance Abuse is grossly unreported in medical community by an estimated 50% and most likely much higher.
*15% of all physicians and nurses will experience substance abuse issues, although this number could quiet possibly be as much as 50% higher
**20% of all physicians and nurses will experience substance abuse issues, although this number could quiet possibly be more than 50% higher
Lack of reporting of suspected Child Abuse by schools an ‘epidemic,’ prosecutors say
Thousands of Tennessee schoolchildren may be vulnerable because of lax reporting and investigating of possible child abuse, according to the findings of a Tennessean investigation.
‘We have one shot to get a good statement’
There are several reasons an educator might not report an abuse suspicion directly to police or child services, said Kristen Houser, spokeswoman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
“Sometimes, people err on the wrong side; they think they want more information to feel more sure that it’s real before they report it. Frankly, that’s really dangerous,” Houser said.
Crump, who serves as prosecutor for Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties, said school officials could divulge information to the possible perpetrator, posing a safety risk to an abused child.
School officials are not trained as forensic investigators, so trying to interview a student about possible abuse can have other drastic consequences.
“We have one shot to get a good statement from a child,” Crump said.
The student may not tell a school official everything that happened, Crump said. That could create conflicting statements in the future, or push the school to decide there is no problem when in fact abuse occurred.
Crump knows of one case in which a counselor decided no abuse occurred, but police and Crump’s office filed charges after conducting their own investigation.
‘I’d go with more of a carrot than a stick’
Scott Berkowitz, executive director of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, said schools nationwide must tell teachers to report directly to authorities if they even suspect abuse.
More training for all educators may work better than prosecuting those who do not report, he said.
“I’d go with more of a carrot than a stick on this,” Berkowitz said.
Crump said he’s spoken in schools, telling teachers to go directly to school resource officers once they suspect abuse.
But these officers are typically not in private schools like Brentwood Academy.
While Brentwood Academy officials have said all of their staff is trained on mandatory reporting, the student handbook lays out a conflict resolution process that does not specifically mention what to do if sex abuse is suspected.
There can be broader, cultural issues when it comes to abuse and reporting in private schools, said Houser, the spokeswoman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
“Whenever you end up with an environment that really prides itself on being elite, it can sow some seeds, because you have other priorities that are (seen) as most important,” Houser said.
“Those are vulnerabilities an offender can then exploit to perpetuate abuse and protect themselves.”
Tennessee child abuse hotline
Any adult who suspects or knows of child abuse in Tennessee is required by law to notify the Department of Children’s Services or local law enforcement. The DCS abuse hotline is 877-237-0004.
Who is reporting child abuse?
While some states require only professionals, such as teachers or doctors, to report child abuse, Tennessee requires any person who suspects any form of child abuse to report it to child services or the police.
In 63 percent of cases across the country, professionals report the abuse, according to the 2015 Child Maltreatment report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Here’s a breakdown of who submits reports for cases that received an investigation or some form of response.