Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tucson Region

Tucson Region
Another 2 local kids die under CPS' watch
Intervention was attempted for infant, 4-year-old boy
By Josh Brodesky
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.10.2008

http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/224406


Two Tucson children who died in January under questionable circumstances
had been under the watch of Child Protective Services.


Officials with the state agency confirmed last week that a child-abuse
hot line report had been filed for 5-month-old Jahyr Holguin, who died
on Jan. 19. His mother's live-in boyfriend, Alejandro A. Alvarez, 21,
has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse.


The second child, 4-year-old Fabian Silva, had been under CPS' watch
since Halloween after family members say he was taken to a hospital for
a concussion and other injuries. His mother was not home at the time,
and he was being watched by her live-in boyfriend.


The boy's grandmother said doctors at the hospital alerted CPS after
noticing some suspicious bruising. CPS officials confirmed that they had
a file on Fabian, but they would not say who called them or release a
case summary because the death is still under investigation.


Fabian was taken to the hospital again on Jan. 26, arriving at
University Medical Center "life less" according to police reports.


Again, the mother was not home, according to police reports. Fabian died
the next day.


The case remains under investigation, and no one has been charged in the
boy's death.
Although Fabian's grandparents said the CPS case was closed the day
before the boy died, CPS officials said they have an open case on him,
but they wouldn't elaborate.


CPS officials also refused to comment on the Jahyr Holguin case or
release the case report, even though his mother's boyfriend already has
been charged.


Spokeswoman Vicki Gaubeca said the file would be sent to the Pima county
attorney for review to make sure its release doesn't hinder the
prosecution of the case, in accordance with agency policy.


However, four days after the file was requested, she was uncertain
whether it had been sent it to the County Attorney's Office yet, or when
it would be available. "But we want to get that to you as soon as
possible," she said.


The two boys are the fourth and fifth Tucson children to die in the last
year despite having some type of CPS involvement. The agency has been
under intense public scrutiny since the deaths last February and March
of Ariana Payne, 4; Brandon Williams, 5; and the presumed death of Tyler
Payne, 5, whose body has never been recovered.


The deaths also come at a time when state legislators are considering a
number of changes in CPS regulations, including making CPS records —
particularly those involving child deaths or near-deaths — more open to
the public.


"Five kids in a period of a year is a red flag by anybody's standards,"
said state Rep. Jonathan Paton, a Tucson Republican who has led
legislative hearings on CPS. "And it calls out the need to have access
for these records."


While CPS officials have acknowledged that the agency was involved with
both Fabian and Jahyr in the times leading up to their deaths, the
extent of that involvement remains unclear.


"We can confirm we have an open case," Gaubeca said of Fabian's death.
However, the records can't be released because "there is an ongoing
investigation that is looking into the circumstances of the death," she
said.


But she said that just because there is a case doesn't mean there was
necessarily abuse or neglect. "The circumstances around the death are
still being looked into."


CPS officials would not comment on the nature of the original hot-line
complaint that led them to Jahyr.


Alvarez, the live-in boyfriend charged with murder in Jahyr's death, has
said the baby was injured when he fell from a bed onto a magazine rack,
according to Star archives.


Efforts to reach Jahyr's mother, who was at work at the time of her
son's death, were unsuccessful.


Reportedly rebuffed by CPS
In the case of Fabian, several family members have said they asked to be
interviewed by CPS officials after the initial report of abuse on
Halloween but were rebuffed.
They said they were concerned that CPS would separate the 4-year-old boy
from his older brother, and they were worried about the safety of both
children.


"They never came over here to interview us," said Martin Rodriguez, one
of Fabian's grandfathers. "How can CPS conduct a good investigation with
only interviewing the mom and the boyfriend?"
Rodriguez said he and his wife, Marina, saw their grandchildren nearly
every day and felt they could have at the very least provided insight on
the family and expressed concerns they had. They made numerous efforts
to speak with the investigator, they said, but they were never formally
interviewed.


Since making those attempts to speak with CPS, there has been a split
with their daughter, they said, and during the months leading up to
Fabian's death they were not able to see the boy. If they had, Rodriguez
said, they would have done "spot checks" on their grandchildren.


"Once CPS puts their nose in that situation, they are obligated to make
sure the child is safe," he said. "We're not trying to put the ax to
CPS, but you learn from your mistakes. You correct them and improve."


Fabian's father, Oscar Silva, also said he never was interviewed by CPS.
Silva acknowledged that he wasn't very involved with his children at the
time, but he did see them on occasion. After Fabian's first
hospitalization, he said that he questioned Fabian's older brother about
what was going on in the home, even asking his older son to write down
any problems that might have existed.


"I was never interviewed," he said. "They felt that I wasn't there at
the present time, and they felt that I shouldn't be interviewed at all."
Gaubeca said she couldn't respond to the family's criticism because of
the ongoing investigation.


Rodriguez said Fabian's older brother has been placed with another set
of grandparents. Efforts to reach those grandparents and Fabian's mother
were unsuccessful.


Gaubeca said CPS rules require investigators to interview all children
and adults in a home, as well as anyone else who might have information
on the case.


Pending legislation
Several legislators have proposed legislation that, to varying degrees,
would make CPS records more transparent.
Paton, the Tucson Republican who has led recent legislative hearings on
CPS, said these new deaths, and the lack of information available, only
underscore the need to make CPS records public.


In Fabian's case, "the grandfather felt there were issues, and we have
to see the record in order to determine that's correct or not," he said.
In addition to opening CPS records in death or near-death cases, Paton
has proposed requiring CPS workers to follow protocols in terms of
contacting prosecutors and law enforcement when criminal issues arise
during CPS investigations.


Fellow state Rep. Pete Hersh- berger, also a Tucson Republican with
long-standing ties to the non-profit sector, said Paton's proposal is
too broad and doesn't take into account concerns about the privacy of
siblings.


He has proposed an alternative that would leave it to county attorneys
and the courts to decide if information should be made public.


Contact reporter Josh Brodesky at 807-7789 or jbrode...@azstarnet.com.


CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CONSTITUTIONALLY
GUARANTEED LIBERTIES & CIVIL RIGHTS ON A DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER
AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY/CENTRAL
INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WIRETAPPING PROGRAMS....


CPS Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.


every parent should read the free handbook from
connecticut dcf watch..


http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com


Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS


*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*


Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13
Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS 14 Parents 12
Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5


Imagine that, 6.4 children die at the hands of the very agencies that
are supposed to protect them and only 1.5 at the hands of parents per
100,000 children. CPS perpetrates more abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse
and kills more children then parents in the United States. If the
citizens of this country hold CPS to the same standards that they hold
parents too. No judge should ever put another child in the hands of ANY
government agency because CPS nationwide is guilty of more harm and
death than any human being combined. CPS nationwide is guilty of more
human rights violations and deaths of children then the homes from which
they were removed. When are the judges going to wake up and see that
they are sending children to their death and a life of abuse when
children are removed from safe homes based on the mere opinion of a
bunch of social workers.


CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...


BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION