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