Trigger(disturbing)Failures in DCF lead to tragic death of autistic teen

Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
edited April 1 in General ASD
14 year old David Almond is remembered as a capable,caring and courageous teenager.

Described as a strong reader who was developing abilities,Almond love academics and was described as the mayor of his former school.A highlight for him and his triplet brothers as they did a school play together.

All of the brothers were diagnosed as autism spectrum but Almond's life ended october 20th 2020.When police were sent to 107 Green st in Fall River for an unresponsive person.Police found him in emaciated and living in abhorrent conditions,literally in total filth.He was rushed to Charlton Memorial hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after.

One of his brothers was also found physically wounded but survived,the third brother was in custody of another home.

John Almond and Jaclyn Coleman have been indicted on 2nd degree murder charges as well as neglect of a child causing serious harm.

A report found that multi system failure complicated by Covid-19 led to lack of supervision.

In early 2020 David and his brother were living in a group home run by the Massachusetts  Dept. of Children and Families.But were returned to the father and his girlfriend later in 2020,the third brother refused to leave DCF custody and refused to be returned to the biological father.

Four years previous all three children were taken from the care of biological father John Almond for extreme abuse and neglect.

Later no one questioned the return of the children to the home and no one requested any plan in place to supervise the parents in the process of the returning of the children.And the biological family that had previously lost the children weren't deemed or marked as "high risk" and hence no extra check ins were ever done.

The Office of the Child Advocate and the Office of Governor Charlie Baker are advocating legislation to make this never happen again.

masslive.com

Comments

  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    This is truly shocking, that they had a care order in place and there doesn't seem to be any intention to permanently remove them.

    If I understand you correctly there were returned several times, and each teach time they were removed it was because.

    I have heard of a parent voluntarily asking for respite for mental health issue an never getting their children back. The justification was the kid were already settled in their new family, it woudl be too disruptive to remove them.

    I have heard of doctor and social worker missing sign and also deceptive parent, but it doesn't seem to the be the case here, unless the paperwork was not followed up on.

    What do you think is the motivation of the DFC? It doesn't seem to be a an oversight unless you have different department not coordinated. Or was pure about cost or was it some ideological bias to returning to biological parents? Were the father and girlfriend drug addicts?
  • BenderBender Citizen
    By now I guess none of us is surprised anymore (unfortunately) by the horrible things parents do to their children.

    What still enrages me every time is the epic failure of the services meant to protect these children to do their job. It's plain and simple criminal and it happens all over the world 

    Rest in peace, David 
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    How powerful are child protective services in Massachusetts?
  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    This is truly a tragedy. 
  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    verity said:
    How powerful are child protective services in Massachusetts?
    It's hard to know because you only hear when there is a problem.

    I guess it was in the mist of Covid and Fall River is a poor and challenged city but I am not qualified to say how professional DCF is.Much likely depends on the individual community served not DCF's overall performance.
  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    Bender said:
    By now I guess none of us is surprised anymore (unfortunately) by the horrible things parents do to their children.

    What still enrages me every time is the epic failure of the services meant to protect these children to do their job. It's plain and simple criminal and it happens all over the world 

    Rest in peace, David 
    Maybe this will wake people and changes will be made and under served communities like Fall River will get more financial recources to supervise with.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    Statest16 said:
    verity said:
    How powerful are child protective services in Massachusetts?
    It's hard to know because you only hear when there is a problem.

    I guess it was in the mist of Covid and Fall River is a poor and challenged city but I am not qualified to say how professional DCF is.Much likely depends on the individual community served not DCF's overall performance.

    Can they just turn up without a warrant? Can they demand to see a child?
  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    verity said:
    Statest16 said:
    verity said:
    How powerful are child protective services in Massachusetts?
    It's hard to know because you only hear when there is a problem.

    I guess it was in the mist of Covid and Fall River is a poor and challenged city but I am not qualified to say how professional DCF is.Much likely depends on the individual community served not DCF's overall performance.

    Can they just turn up without a warrant? Can they demand to see a child?
    If there foster parents,DCF can show up unanounced to evaluation,you consent to such when agrreeing to be a foster parent.

    In this case the children were in the custody of a biological father,in that case they may need warrants.

    That's why it was said the parents should have been flagged as high risk and have made to agree to random inspections as a condition of the re-homing process.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    Ah ok.

    In the UK they can request an inspection and refusing can get you into legal hot water. Generally they need a judge to do anything permanent, but as I understand it protective order can happen overnight.
  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    verity said:
    Ah ok.

    In the UK they can request an inspection and refusing can get you into legal hot water. Generally they need a judge to do anything permanent, but as I understand it protective order can happen overnight.
    I don't how many teacher/neighbor or community complaints to DCF it would take to get a home inspection in a parental situation.A lot would ride on how overworked the local DCF office may be.

    In foster care regular inspections of the home and talks with children are part of participating as a foster parent.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    make sense.
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