A Corrupt System

by Pegi R - A Former Children Services Investigator
(Ohio, USA)

I was a Child Abuse Investigator for 7 years. When I was there one month and was about to get my own cases, we visited a home, a mother had a premature child. As the worker talked to the mom, I walked over to see the baby, because I thought it was odd to leave him on the floor in a carrier, away from the living area. The baby looked grey and lifeless. I felt it's chest and it was barely breathing. I held his finger, and he didn't move. There was barely a sign of life. The worker was leaving, so I told him. He said he looked fine to him ( he didn't look). I told the Supervisor who told the Supportive Worker on his case, to go check the baby. The Supportive Worker was mad, because I was new and she had already visited the home. (I had a college degree and she had a High School Diploma, she thought I wanted her job.)

She left mad and quickly returned to announce to everyone "That baby is fine!" She talked bad about me to everyone because of it.

Three days later, everyone in our Unit was huddled in the Supportive Workers Office whispering. I overheard the baby's name mentioned, so I went in (though I knew I wasn't welcome) to inquire if he was okay. The Supportive Worker snapped at me that they just messed up his blood work is all. She told everyone they are just out to get this Mom.

Later I checked his file, and saw that she lied. The baby was taken by squad to the hospital, and he had failure to thrive and was very dehydrated. The doctor was refusing to release the child to the mother, he would only release to a foster home. He stated the mother could not care for this child. The doctor said this worker was incompetent in providing services to this mother.

The child was placed in foster care for 30 days just to "get the doctor off her back." She intended to return that child to show him she was right.

A few months later I had to investigate the mother. She said she was worried about the baby, she described what sounded like seizures. She said the doctor told her if it continued to bring him in. She wanted to take him to the doctor but didn't have a way, or a phone. I knew this mother was under supportive services, therefore I wasn't allowed to transport, that worker had to. We were close to the agency so I quickly informed the Supportive Worker. She blew up and said she closed that case because the mom went to parenting class.

So I told my Supervisor that I have to call 911 to get a squad there for that baby. My Supervisor told me NO, and walked over and pressed down the receiver, and glared at me. I could see everyone thought I was just making it up, to try to discredit this supportive worker. They cared more about friendship than this baby!

I said I will take them in my car then! (I wasn't on call either.) My Supervisor said No, I wouldn't. I knew it was almost 4:30 pm, and lights got turned out and it would be so black you couldn't see. Doors would be locked, it was time to go home. I was furious because our Supervisor was a alcoholic, and I felt she couldn't wait to go home to her beer and cats, that's all she cared about!

Again three days later, everyone is huddled in the Supportive Workers Office. The baby was at Children's Hospital. He was now a vegetable. The mom couldn't get a ride, and the seizures got worse, lasted longer, and now it was too late.

I called the hospital and spoke to a nurse, and asked the question I already knew the answer to. If this baby had got there sooner would he be a vegetable? I needed to document the answer. She said the baby was born with problems, but with the seizures not being treated sooner, he is now a vegetable for the rest of his life. I had a Substantiated Case of Neglect causing injury by our Children Services in my hand.

I arranged for an Aunt to get custody of the baby. I told the Prosecutor about this case, he said if the family would sue, it would be an easy million dollars and our county couldn't afford that.

I could tell these horror stories all day, it was one after another. We were all told the only way we could ever get fired was to have sex with a kid on the courthouse steps.

If anyone complains, the State says these Directors are like Gods, and the County is their Kingdom, they can do what ever they want. If you take it to an attorney, nobody wants to go up against this giant.

If you take it to USDHHS, they agree to whatever stupidity that the worker wrote down in the case notes. It isn't disputed. The Government doesn't want to fine the Government, like they do big businesses. They cannot take a child in the worst of situations, or they can take it forever because the Mom had a anxiety attack when CPS called. (Emotional Condition of the Mother.) They don't even have to Interview you or do a Investigation now, they can just document that they were afraid to go.

Our Sheriff's Department tried to have a client kill me twice while I was on the job. They know there is nothing anyone can do to them as well.

I have written about these issues for 20 years, to every site, and agency I could find. I wont give up, and I wont shut up.

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Comments for A Corrupt System

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Jun 16, 2015
by: Darlene

Such a corrupt system. So very deeply disturbing. Keep speaking out, Pegi. Abused children need you as an advocate for when they cannot speak out for themselves. I commend and applaud you for all you do. I can only hope that someone will step up and clean up the mess that seems to be CPS in Ohio. Thank you for sharing with my visitors and me.

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Darlene Barriere
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From Victim to Victory, a memoir

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