Parents needed just four more months before they could get their daughter back
August 5, 2013
The Texas division of Child Protective Services may be ultimately to blame for a child’s death this past week after the child was taken from her parents because they smoked pot and put in foster care with the woman that would eventually end up killing her.
Round Rock, Texas resident Joshua Hill received an urgent call last Monday, July 29 requesting he rush to the Scott and White Children’s Emergency Hospital in Temple, about an hour north of Round Rock. Hill was only told it concerned his daughter, and was kept in the dark as to exactly what to expect.
“They wouldn’t tell me what condition she was in or what was wrong or what had happened. The only thing they would tell me is I needed to be there. When I got there, I found out that Alex was in a coma,” Hill told Austin ABC affiliate KVUE News.
When Hill arrived, he discovered his daughter was on life support, bruised and with head injuries.
Hill’s two-year-old daughter Alex, short for Alexandria, was removed from her parent’s home last November for “neglectful supervision” following her parents’ admission that they smoked pot after she was put to bed, reported KVUE.
“We never hurt our daughter. She was never sick, she was never in the hospital, and she never had any issues until she went into state care,” Hill told KVUE.
The first home Alex was placed in was a dangerous one, according to her father. “She would come to visitation with bruises on her, and mold and mildew in her bag. It got to a point where I actually told CPS that they would have to have me arrested because I wouldn’t let her go back.”She was next passed to the home of Texas MENTOR Sherill Small in Rockdale where she stayed up until her untimely demise. Hill says he visited her several times and that the home seemed much better than the last, his most recent visit being Thursday, July 25 when he got to take his daughter to McDonald’s.
“She got a little ‘Despicable Me 2′ toy in her happy meal and she loved it. She kept climbing up in my lap and she fed me french fries,” Hill recounted.
There was no warning that mere days later his daughter would be airlifted to the hospital where she would later die. An autopsy performed Friday found Alex died from blunt force trauma to the head.
According to KVUE, Hill needed just four more months before he could get his daughter back.
Texas CPS spokesperson Julie Moody says the agency is “still devastated,” but can in no way be held responsible as it was the Texas MENTOR program’s job to fully vet the foster parents.
“Texas MENTOR is responsible for doing their due diligence,” Moody explained.
The Texas MENTOR program is actually a subsidiary of The Mentor Network, a national web of service providers soliciting “Therapeutic Foster Care” in more than 33 states. On its website, it states that “Just about anyone” can be a mentor.
On Friday, the Texas MENTOR program came out with a statement offering their condolences for Alex’s passing, ensuring the foster mother met mentor standards and asserting their commitment to assist law enforcement.
“[...] The on-going law enforcement investigation and privacy laws, as well as the fact that our own internal review is not complete, limit our ability to provide some of the specific information requested. However, we can inform you that Sherill Small and her husband met the requirements to foster children, including background checks in accordance with state regulation (Texas Department of Public Safety criminal history database check, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Central Registry abuse/neglect database, Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) criminal history and federal Office of Inspector General exclusion check)…”
KVUE News found state records “show 15 total deficiencies for the Austin branch of that agency over the past two years,” the branch that most likely acquired Small as a foster parent. They also found that four of those 15 times were for failure to perform proper background checks.
While Small is being held on a $100,000 bond and is being charged with murder, proper light need also be shed on Texas CPS’s initial decision to take Alexandria from what seemed like harmless, loving parents.
The media is quick to lay the blame on the murderous foster parent and the agency that provided her – and rightfully so – but the system that stole Alexandria from her parents in the first place should also be scrutinized.
The ruthless system that can legally kidnap children from their parents, literally tearing families apart, for such trivial crimes as smoking pot is indeed an authoritarian one.
Some blame stringent drug laws for Alex’s unfortunate tragedy, but the true culprit may ultimately be the CPS system that facilitated her abduction.
A similar CPS debacle happened in 2004 when Tausha Cram’s daughter, Adrianna Romero Cram, was taken from her after anonymous tips complained she was unfit for parenting and using drugs. In 2004 Adrianna, under the protective custody of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), was sent to Omealca, Veracruz, a village in southern Mexico, to live with her biological father’s family.
The teachers and principal at Adrianna’s new school began noticing she was losing weight and arriving with multiple cuts, bruises and burns, including one she said was derived from her foster parents placing her hands over a stove. On June 13, 2005, she died. Initial reports to DHS stated she had died of natural causes, but her foster parents were eventually convicted of murder. Oregon’s DHS announced in March 2009 they’d stop sending foster children to other countries.
This should be a red flag warning to parents that the state’s power has risen to the point that it can arbitrarily snatch children for petty, non-violent crimes and wash its hands clean of liability if that child dies while in its “protective” custody.
Infowars contacted CPS spokesperson Julie Moody who directed us to the Williamson County Court. We will update this article soon.
View Alex’s analysis of CPS’s seemingly omnipotent power to authorize parenthood: