the district of columbia social services strikes again. and this time, too late.

four girls are now dead, allegedly by their mother’s hand. the mother, clearly a very sick individual, would not let social workers into the house (apparently, she refused entry to a police officer without a warrant, too.) hmm. you would think that at some point, doors would have been broken down. at one point, social services thought that the kids had moved (and, i suppose, had become someone else’s problem.)

saddest was that a school employee contacted social services after one child was missing from school for 33 days. the mother would not let the school social worker in her house; and when the school social worker reported that the mother appeared to be having mental health issues and expressing concerns that [the child] was being held against her will, not a whole lot happened. the mother had also withdrawn the other children from public school, stating that she’d educate them at home. and somehow, a police officer was judging whether the kids were making educational progress? how about day-to-day living progress!

what the hell is up with THAT?

murders are always horrific. but somehow, i am always particularly horrified when a parent murders her own child. the level of distress and illness she must be experiencing must be all-encompassing. i am heartsick, too, that the DC system failed.


every encounter i have ever had with DC services — from the police to the people who monitor DC child care to the DMV — has been completely frustrating and excruciating. i actually had to have two members of congress intervene on my behalf when i could not move my way through the bureaucracy after six months of trying. that’s how frustrated i was. i knew how to do that. i suspect plenty of people, though, don’t. it should not take two members of congress to accomplish things that are a daily task of an agency. it shouldn’t even take one. it should just take one citizen talking with one district employee. and it should be an employee who actually cares about the mission of her agency.

the children of DC deserve better. the people of DC deserve better.

those four children surely deserved better.


One Response to “heartbreaker”

  1. TOTALLY! When we moved to Maryland, I one of the things that made the city-to-suburbs transition much easier was the idea that I’d never again have to experience the DC DMV and government bureaucracy. This is a tragedy on so many levels.

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