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Saturday, February 19, 2011

6-year-old Alessandra Perez, reported the abuse of the Barahona children, but nobody saved them

6-year-old Alessandra Perez couldn't save her 10-year-old andt and, it's still uncirtain if her uncle will live, but at least she tried! And that, is more than can be said for a lot of people...
This just proves that the workers in schools and daycare centers, should make sure to teach the children that they can report if someone is hurting them, or if they know that somebody else is being hurt.
Alessandra Perez told her therapist that she saw the twins tied up and forced to stay in a bathroom. She also said both 10-year-olds were forced to stand in garbage containers.
The department of Children and Families, DCF, was told about the girl's report, but didn't act in time to stop what happened Monday in West Palm Beach.
The twins were then found in Allessandra's granfather's truck. The girl was already dead and her brother is fighting for his life in the hospital. He's suffering from massive burns, after their adoptive father, George Barahona, tried to kill himself and the children by setting his truck on fire.
How did the agency fail so miserably in protecting these poor children?
The DCF claims that they were lied to. They were told that George barahona no longer lived with the family and therefore the case was never reported to the police, as it should have been. The caseworker who tried to talk to the family was turned away and apparently did not find it suspicious that the children were kept out of view. I realise that the caseworker is often blaimed in a situation like this, when in fact it's the system that needs to be changed.
In Florida for example, the DCF is focusing on keeping the families together, rather than placing children in foster-care, and there by they fail to protect the children.
A child protective service system can focus on preserving families, protecting children or assuring permanent caregiving to children. Many observers and administrators of child protective systems believe they can achieve all three goals. But they cannot!
Assuring Permanence of caregiving is fragile in both homes where children have been mistreated and in foster-care homes, but they are at least improving the ods by taking the children away from homes where they are cirtain abuse has occured, even if they can't garantee that it won't happen in foster-care as well.
As for being able to both preserve families and protect the children, anybody should be able to see the paradox here, as Asuring the childrens safety usually means getting them away from the abusive family to avoid putting them at risk.
How would it be possible to preserve the family at the same time? And which is more important? They are a child Protective servece after all, or at least they are suppose to be.
The DCF responded to the last public tragedies, before this one, the beating death of 6-year-old Kayla McKean and the disappearance of 4-year-old Rilya Wilson, by increasing investigations and increasing the number of children placed into foster care. I just wonder what it'll take for them to report all cases and, quit assisting psychotic child-murderers in achieving their goals, by simpley not doing anything, cause fact remains, that these poor twins could have been saved if the people at the agency had done what they were suppose to do...
You can read the articles here:
6-Year-Old Child Abuse Whistle-Blower a Hero
How did the Barahona children slip through the cracks?

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