Records Obtained by NBC Bay Area Reveal the Santa Clara Dept
of Social Services Recorded Numerous Complaints About the Injuries from Caregivers, Relatives and Teachers Before Taking Action
When a 4 yr old in Foster Care was admitted to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in 2014 with wounds covering nearly every part of her body, doctors quickly concluded she had been a victim of prolonged physical abuse. What they didn’t know was that the Dept of Social Services, the agency in-charge of protecting the child, had done little to follow-up on multiple previous allegations of abuse against the guardians.
In a system shrouded in secrecy, the case offers a rare glimpse into an agency that’s faced documented issues with how Social Workers respond reports of child abuse.
The 4 yr old girl’s story of abuse did not begin when she entered the Foster Care system, she had been removed from her biological parents early in 2013 when her father allegedly struck her in the face according to Social Services records.
Doctors were able to save the 4 yr old but more than a year later, questions remain how Social Workers from Santa Clara County handled this case.
While the case is a tragedy in itself, the 4 yr old’s situation is emblematic of a larger systematic problem. The agency refused to answer questions from NBC Bay Area investigators but a 2013 Board of Supervisors Audit blasted the agency for not answering 41% of the calls to the county’s emergency child abuse hotline.
The audit also found hundreds of callers waited an average 20 minutes and some more than an hour just to speak with a Social Worker. — The failure to answer more than 7,000 calls each year the audit stated, resulted in abused and neglected children remaining in dangerous homes.
Unfortunately This Problem is Not Uncommon and Occurs Nationwide.
- Who can forget about another 4 yr old South Florida girl Rilya Wilson who had been removed from her biological mother’s home due to neglect and placed in Foster Care. For 15 months after she had gone missing and had been murdered but the Florida Social Services agency in charge of monitoring Rilya Wilson was unaware of her absence.
- Then there is the tragic case of 2 yr old Alexandria Hill who had spent time in two Texas Foster Homes and was allegedly murdered by her second Foster parents after being removed from her biological parents home due to their illegal drug use.
- In Columbus, Georgia 19 mo old Alexis Long died of blunt force trauma after being thrown onto a changing table by her adoptive mother who was charged with murder–her adoptive father was charged with second degree cruelty to children.
In all of these tragic cases, each of these children would be alive today if there was a caring, loving home for abused, abandoned, neglected and unwanted children to go which is why were working diligently to establish St.Teresa Benedicta and St. John Bosco ‘Homes For Kids’ across the country.
Our St.Teresa Benedicta and St. John Bosco ‘Homes For Kids’ will be a very special place for children, many of whom may never have known a clean, safe, caring and loving environment, free from fear and where many children will for the first time in their young lives have a real place to call home and a family.
Throughout the country, we want to construct St.Teresa Benedicta and St.John Bosco “Homes For Kids” that upon completion, we’ll be offering to donate them to area Archdiocese or Catholic organizations to manage, staff and administer but unfortunately we can not begin such an undertaking of this new mission project without the assistance, networking and help of Christians from communities throughout the country that wish to have new homes constructed for our most vulnerable young Americans.
What can you do to help? While it will take financial donations from individuals, corporate philanthropy, community benevolent organizations and Christian charitable foundations to underwrite the costs to fund St. Teresa Benedicta and St.John Bosco new mission project across the country, we likewise need those who may be able to network with us, donating their talents and abilities by providing essential services to us so that we may help as many children as possible.
During this Season of Thanksgiving and Christmas cheer, what can you do to help and save children such as the little 4 yr old girl from the San Francisco area that was abused and neglected or Rilya Wilson, Alexandria Hill and Alexis Long whose little lives were so tragically lost, never knowing the loving and caring homes where they felt safe, could play with other children and could look forward to tomorrow?
What can you do to help? We at St. Teresa Benedicta and St. John Bosco hope and pray, that we may hear from you.
Please visit us at: St. Teresa Benedicta and St. John Bosco@Facebook
By email: StTeresaBenedictaStJohnBosco@gmail.com
Cristy Li: CristyKaiRuiLi@gmail.com