Tag Archives: MisplacedPriorities

DHS Ignores Child Safety And Well-Being

.jpg photo of substandard DHS facility
Dauphin County Children and Youth Services

A grand jury probe into the agency…. which was independent of the DHS review, revealed similar issues and children’s safety impacted to the point of death.

Dauphin County Children & Youth inspection marred by 84 citations

Dauphin County, PA – An annual licensing review of the Dauphin County Children & Youth agency resulted in 84 citations for offenses ranging from misfiled paperwork to caseworkers working without required child abuse clearances.

The state Department of Human Services reviewed the agency on several different occasions for its yearly inspection, as well as “for the purpose of investigating complaints” and ultimately placed the agency on a six-month provisional license.  Its report on the ruling was released to the public Thursday.

The inspection process includes a review of a sampling of all the cases under the direction of the county children and youth agency.
“In the past year, the overall level of services with the children, families and service providers has declined,” the state wrote in its review, commenting on the quality of services being provided to area children and families.

The state highlighted a number of problem areas, including issues with screen-out and referral paperwork, missteps in the process of assuring the safety of all children and a lack of family engagement.

Quality of care diminished as a result of an increased staff turnover rate, a restructuring of the agency that did away with specialty units and an increase in cases referred to the agency, according to the state’s report.

Several issues were found with mandated Safety Assessments including, missing entirely or conducting late assessments, not listing all children, children not seen within required timeframes, missing or late supervisor reviews and signatures and children listed as “safe” when their realities should have been deemed and listed as “unsafe.”

Children at risk

Some violations put children’s immediate safety at risk.

In some cases, “there was no indication that the safety of the victim child and other children in the home was ensured immediately,” according to the report.

Caseworkers should also assess the risk under which all children within a targeted home live, but this didn’t happen in all cases.

The findings outline issues that some may find trivial — a forgotten photograph, putting down the wrong race for a child on paper work, not collecting the correct records or signatures and missing case review deadlines by a day.

Others, a bit more troubling — examples of caseworkers finding clear safety threats, but not documenting any protective steps; no proof that families were ever visited and cases where a child was placed in out-of-home care and not put through the “child grievance procedure” to explain what was happening.

Caseworkers closed out cases without seeing and re-evaluating children within the mandatory 30 days of the caseworker ending the case.  A number of cases showed a child was classified as “unsafe” and in placement but was listed as safe on assessment sheets.

Some cases were closed out without a safety assessment or visiting the child’s home at all.

Conversely, in one case, a child was found to be “safe” but a safety plan — which is not necessary for the determination — was still found in the file.

The county submitted a corrective plan to address some of the issues in last year’s licensing rotation, but the violations remained, only to once again be spotted as a problem area during the annual-April inspection.

Dauphin County will undergo additional reviews as the state provides greater oversight until the agency is granted a full license.  A county can receive three provisional licenses before its license would be revoked by the state, but the state also can revoke a license if it finds the agency is negatively impacting the safety of the children it serves.

The county provided the state with a list of cases, to which the department selected a random sample. The findings were enough to downgrade the agency’s standing.

The state considered “the number of violations, the nature and severity of those violations, whether the violations are systemic and cross numerous cases and repeated from one year to another,” according to an email from Kait Gillis, press secretary for the Department of Human Services.

“Violations that impact the safety and well-being of children are given greater weight,” Gillis said.

A grand jury probe into the agency — which was independent of the DHS review — revealed similar issues and children’s safety impacted to the point of death.

On the state’s part, all fatality and near fatality cases are examined for regulatory violations as part of the department’s fatality and near fatality review process.

A number of the violations were repeat offenses that had been previously identified in the agency during other licensing cycles, but the citations did not stop at the case level.

Staff members were hired without proper criminal, child abuse and FBI clearances.  An unnamed caseworker was employed with the agency for nearly a year before termination and the proper clearances had never been supplied. Others waited more than a month to supply the proper clearances to be working with children.

While Dauphin County officials could fight the downgrade, they don’t intend to pushback against the state’s determination.

‘Serious mistakes’

“The department has acknowledged that serious mistakes were made in the past and will not be appealing today’s issuance of a provisional license,” said Amy Richards Harinath, county spokeswoman, in a statement released in response to PennLive’s request for an interview with Children & Youth interim administrator Joseph Dougher and oversight Commissioner George Hartwick.

The agency, Richards Harinath said, is confident that it’s corrective decisions already implemented address all of the violations and, “most importantly, will serve to better protect the children and families of Dauphin County.”

In fact, a majority of the issues identified by the state had “already been addressed” by the April inspection, according to the statement. Richards Harinath acknowledged that several of the violations came down to compliance issues and not quality of care.

“Many [violations] had to do with a failure to properly document how cases were handled and not submitting reports to the state on time,” she said.

By Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico’s standards, the county is “heading in the right direction,” and he called for state officials to address issues that can’t “easily be fixed at the local level.”

“Not all the issues uncovered during the grand jury investigation can easily be fixed at the local level,” Marsico said in a released statement. “Some issues, such as a review of caseworker training and high caseloads need to be addressed at the statewide level.”

DHS will rule again on the status of Dauphin County’s license when the provisional license expires on Jan. 24, 2016.

By the numbers

Dauphin County Children & Youth saw a “significant increase” in staff turnover rate with 28 members of the staff leaving the agency:

  • 1 Administrative Staff;
  • 3 Clerical support;
  • 2 Fiscal staff;
  • 1 Case aide;
  • 1 Legal staff;
  • 20 caseworkers.

The state reviewed the following Dauphin County Children & Youth records:

  • 20 of 988 Child Protective Service records;
  • 30 of 1,961 General Protective Services intake records, including 10 “Once & Done” records;
  • 20 of 296 Ongoing/In-home Services records;
  • 10 of 319 Placement records;
  • 43 agency Resource family home records, including 37 new resource homes
  • 4 of 32 Adoption records; and
  • 169 personnel records, including 24 new employees.

Dauphin County has participated in the Quality Service Review process:

  • First review in 2012;
  • Second review in 2014;
  • Third review scheduled for 2016.

The public welfare agency serves “a diverse population”:

  • About 271,000 residents make up the population.

Man Charged With Killing 2 Adults, 6 Children

.jpg photo murderer
David Conley, 48

I can’t help but wonder how many people will attend the candle-light vigil next year, in this world of misplaced priorities.

HOUSTON, TX – A woman who previously dated the man accused of fatally shooting her, her husband and six children texted her mother before her death that she was being held at gunpoint, a Texas district attorney said Monday.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said after the man appeared in court that authorities had been alerted of problems at the home by the mother of victim Valerie Jackson.

“My heart goes out to the mother who received the text from her daughter that she was in trouble, and the mother was many states away but of course did what any mother would do and called 911,” Devon Anderson said.

David Conley, 48, who has been charged with capital murder, stood handcuffed and shackled before State District Judge Vanessa Velasquez as the probable cause warrant naming him was read.

There was no mention of a lawyer either appointed or hired during the court hearing. His only response was to acknowledge his name when asked by the judge, who also read him his rights.

Those killed, who all were shot in the head, were identified as parents Dwayne Jackson, 50; his wife, Valerie Jackson, 40; and their children Dwayne, 10; Honesty, 11; Caleb, 9; Trinity, 7; and Jonah, 6. Also killed was a 13-year-old, Nathaniel, who was believed to be Conley’s son from the relationship with Valerie Jackson.

Most of the victims had been handcuffed and some had been shot multiple times, police have said.

“We do not – cannot – fully comprehend the motivation of an individual that would take the lives of so many innocent people. Especially the lives of the young ones,” said Chief Deputy Tim Cannon of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. “The killer’s motives appear to be related to a dispute with Valerie, who was his former domestic partner.”

Anderson said it would be three to four months before she decides whether to seek the death penalty.

The request from Valerie Jackson’s mother Saturday sent deputies to the home in northwest Houston.

“Upon arrival, deputies made multiple attempts to establish contact with residents inside the home. No contact was made,” Cannon said.

After authorities learned that Conley, who had once lived in the home, had a warrant for his arrest for an assault charge, the sheriff’s office High Risk Operations Unit was called.

“While awaiting response for the (unit), the body of an unidentified child was observed through a window at the residence,” he said. “Deputies on scene forced entry into the home and were immediately met with gunfire. The deputies withdrew from the home … and awaited the arrival of the unit”.

A standoff ensued for several hours until Conley surrendered, said Sgt. Craig Clopton, the lead investigator.

Investigators declined to say when on Saturday the victims were shot or if any victims were alive when deputies first tried to enter the home.

According to an arrest affidavit, Conley told authorities that he discovered on Saturday morning that the locks had been changed at the home after he had moved out. He entered the home through an unlocked window, the affidavit said.

According to Clopton, Jackson and Conley had a relationship, which ended, and “then (Dewayne Jackson) began a relationship with Valerie, which led to five children.”

That relationship ended and Conley and Valerie Jackson began another relationship, before breaking up again, Clopton said.
Court records show Conley’s criminal history dates back to at least 1988, with the most recent incident last month, when he was charged with assault after allegedly assaulting Valerie Jackson at the home where the bodies were found.

Conley pushed Valerie Jackson’s head against a refrigerator multiple times after she tried to stop him from disciplining her son with a belt, the documents alleged. The case was still pending.

In 2013, Conley was charged with aggravated assault for threatening Jackson with a knife. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months in the county jail.

In 2000, he was sentenced to five years in prison for retaliating against his then-girlfriend after she had filed an assault charge against him. It was unclear if that woman was Valerie Jackson.

Authorities declined to comment on assault charges Conley had faced in the past.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

A THIRD TO A HALF OF ADULTS ARE CHILD MOLESTERS

Sex Offenders
Child Abuse is WRONG!!!!

A few short hours ago I posted a very sad, heart-ripping story of a woman who should never be allowed around children again.  This atrocity has become an everyday thing, just like Violence

Racism and Police Brutality have not only been revived as excuses, both are used on a daily basis as some lame attempt at a battle cry, all the while, the problem is right in front of you….  when you are looking in a mirror.

A 9-month-old little boy was not only put into a bathtub that burned him, he was in there long enough where his….

BUT THIS HAPPENED IN MISSOURI, AND I POSTED IT A MATTER OF HOURS AGO.

WELL I GOT SOMETHING FOR A BUNCH OF YOU, ESPECIALLY YOU FACEBOOK.

While taking care of Our new Facebook page, since we are having a “LIKE” and FOLLOW” drive, I was asked to go REPORT A PEDOPHILE PAGE that also had Child Porn on it.

I started reading every post after seeing no porn, much less No Child Porn,  What I found was very close to what I found here at WordPress 5 months ago;  I found a young man here that several of you don’t care for(because you aren’t worthy enough to sharpen his swords) THAT is intended for the jealous idiots who never give 100% at anything.  Oh what the heck, I’ll even give you a hint, HE IS A BIT OPINIONATED….

But this young man I am impressed with KNOWS words, and he is also here on WP.  Is he as good as the young man who got my attention 5 months ago….  Now  HE IS BLOOD KIN TO WORDS, so I’m figuring since Joshua is younger(I think) there is no way for me to know.  The wordman could change the meaning of 1 or 3 complete languages if he doesn’t tire of defeating windmills.

Here’s a surprise…. 

http://reservwa.com/2015/01/18/transcendent/