When Elisa Izquierdo, a 6-year-old, was killed by her mother in 1995, she became a symbol of a dysfunctional bureaucracy, one that allowed a drug addict to retain custody of her daughter despite numerous reports of abuse.CPS sure goes to a lot of trouble to cover up their screw-ups. These reports do not even mention the caseworkers' names.
The resulting outcry led to an overhaul of New York City’s child welfare system and the passage in Albany of Elisa’s Law, a measure loosening the secrecy regulations in child-abuse investigations. Among other reforms, the law required a public accounting of the events leading up to the death of any child in New York State who had been reported as abused or neglected.
But for the last five years, the state’s Office of Children and Family Services has been working quietly and persistently to limit access to those case reports, which in most instances are the only record of the circumstances leading up to the deaths.
In 2007, the office tried to have the law changed. When that failed, it made its own rule. According to a policy enacted by the office in September 2008, it will not release the fatality reports mandated by Elisa’s Law if there are siblings or other children in the home and officials decide that revealing the family’s abuse and investigative history is not in their “best interests.”
Even when CPS cannot get the change to the law that it wanted, it just decides to cover up the reports based on the BIOTCh (best interest of the child). BIOTCh does not apply to dead kids, but CPS applies BIOTCh anyway because the dead kid might be related to a living kid!
How far does this reasoning go? Someday no adults will have any rights because there might be a child somewhere who is affected somehow, and some govt bureaucrat used the BIOTCh as an excuse.
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