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DYFS Failed To See 'Red Flags' In Tierra Morgan-Glover's Case

State report says DYFS failed on several fronts in slain toddler's case

The state’s child protection workers failed to see signs of child abuse and violence in the home of 2-year-old , a state report says.

A three-page summary of the report was issued Tuesday by state Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake says child protection workers with the Division of Youth and Family services did not see “red flags,’’ failed to follow up and did not interview the right people in connection with the family.

, still strapped to her car seat, in a portion of the Shark River in Wall on Nov. 22. The girl’s father, Arthur Morgan III, .

In the letter, Blake says caseworkers never consulted with the agency’s domestic violence liaison, that workers and supervisors also did not follow-up on recommendations made by the special response unit that first investigated child abuse claims and that the proper information was never gathered on the family.

“DYFS leadership will be implementing steps to address these issues as we continue the improvement of overall case practice,’’ the letter says.

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The full letter is attached to this story. Click the icon under the photo to download.

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The first contact DYFS had with the troubled family was on Oct. 29, 2010, when Tierra’s mother, Iman Benton, called a hotline to report a violent incident with the child’s father, Arthur Morgan, according to the letter.

The allegations were determined false and the case was closed on Feb 25, 2011. The agency was contacted three more times before Tierra’s death regarding allegations of abuse or the safety of Tierra from both Benton and Morgan, the letter says.

The final contact was on Nov. 22, when Benton called to report that Tierra had not returned home from a visitation with Morgan.

“We are deeply saddened by the circumstances of this case and remain committed to working collaboratively with our system partners to improve our practice on cases where domestic violence and child abuse exist,’’ the letter says.

April February 14, 2012 at 06:20 PM
1.6 million DYFS hotline calls per year. 187,000 or so DYFS employees. 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. DYFS is overwhelmed by the sheer number of cases and yet their funding has been cut every year for the past ten years. Unless we are willing to spend more money and hire more staff, there will be failures by DYFS. I spent 6 months as an intern in Asbury Park DYFS and honestly, those are some of the most dedicated, committed and honest state employees I've ever met. They are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cases and prioritize the cases based on their merits. Until you walk a mile in their shoes, point your blame at the real perpetrator: the monster who killed this poor baby. If we could write laws making false allegations punishable by jail or fines, DYFS would be able to uphold their mandate...DYFS is not for warring partners/spouses/neighbors but they spend too much time investigating issues that are not abuse/neglect but in fact people abusing the system.
mike February 14, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I agree, no one can baby sit America. As long as there are rotten people in the world, little children will be killed....RIP Tiera.
Hearme February 14, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I do agree that you can't watch everything and every one. I understand that there are so many people that use the system to "Piss off" a feuding spouse, neighbor or what ever. I have also seen abuse of power by the agency themselves. The system is broken all the way around. Today when someone disciplines a child even by yelling there will be the people that call DYFS and DYFS will many times over react. I have seen it happen to several people over the years. I always laugh when the people that complain that parents don't discipline their children anymore say something to the same parents. There is no wining. DYFS and every agency have always used the under paid and understaffed excuse as a reason for screwing up as well. When a DYFS worker has been to a house and was to lazy to do things like a walk through or an interview but puts in a report that it was done , that is not an understaffed or under funded issue. In many of these cases that is exactly what happens. Read the case histories on so many of these poor kids that wound up dead. I can go back years to that little girl Lisa in NY that was killed by her adopted father. Or the kid that was found years after she was kidnapped even thou the case worker had been to the house for years but never bothered to walk to the back yard where the girl was being kept and not hidden. These aren't cases where they didn't have time to get there. These are cases where the case worker didn't do the job they were being paid for.
WhyohWhy February 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Absolutely right Hearme... its seems you are a between a rock and a hard place these days. Its a shame that the 'over worked, under staffed, no funding' card is always pulled at the right time. And why is it the kid who wants to get back at a parent for not letting them have their way calls DYFS and thats the one time they do come out and investigate? The parents that were doing their job, thats the one that gets written up.?? Its a very sad state of affairs.
elizabeth bell July 17, 2012 at 04:38 PM
You got that right!!!!!

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