My writing was inspired by Jane O. Hansen (writer for Atlanta Journal Constitution)
In 1996 we were introduced to Terrell Peterson, A 5 year old who was beaten to death by his siblings. This case brought controversy to the Dept. of Family and Children Services of Georgia. The first visit from Social Services/Child Protective Services should have been enough for dfacs to keep visiting this family on a monthly basis which is the correct protocol for their child abuse services. The laws provided to the state of Georgia OCGA codes and procedures suggests that the state visit these children on a month to month basis. If they had followed their procedures then maybe Terrell Peterson would still be alive. The protocol procedure states as follows;
The court shall also determine as a finding of fact whether reasonable efforts were made by the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Resources and any other appropriate agencies to preserve and reunify families prior to the placement of a child in the custody of the Department of Human Resources, to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from that child́s home, and to make it possible for the child to return safely to the child́s home. Such findings shall also be made at every subsequent review of the court́s order under this chapter. (1) In determining reasonable efforts to be made with respect to a child, as described in this subsection, and in making such reasonable efforts, the child́s health and safety shall be the paramount concern; (2) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify families: (A) Prior to the placement of a child in the custody of the Department of Human Resources, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from the child́s home; and (B) To make it possible for a child to return safely to the child́s home; (3) If continuation of reasonable efforts of the type described in paragraph (2) of this subsection is determined to be inconsistent with the permanency plan for the child, reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child;
If the Department had made reasonable efforts in regards to Terrell Peterson, he would have been removed until the Department completed their 30 day investigation. After this child’s death, our Governor signed in The Terrell Peterson Act in 2000. However, even though this BILL was signed by legislators, there are still children who are dying that have came in contact with the Government, Child Protective Services!
After Terrell Peterson, Georgia legislators tried passed laws that were to protect vulnerable children in abuse situations. The Dept. of Family and Children Services (DFACS) failed in certain areas of their protocol. There are children who are still dying but this time they are dying in foster care homes as well as in their biological homes.
In an article written by Craig Schneider Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) writer writes a scathing report for the deaths of children who had prior contact with DFACS. Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 : The article reports 35 children with such a history died between Dec. 1 and Feb. 12. For all of 2011, there were 92 such deaths.
“While advocates worry the agency is not properly investigating neglect and abuse allegations, consequently leaving children in dangerous households, officials said the apparent increase in deaths may be a spike that does not signal a problem”. (WHO ARE THEY KIDDING!!). that just because an increase in child deaths have occured that the spike does not signal a problem The history of child deaths with children who had prior contact with this agency has been going on for centuries and people (government) are still in denial that there is anything going on such as the rise in child deaths. This agency is to blame for not properly administering to protocol and this has been seen in previous articles and reports written by other writers of the AJC.