In Loving Memory of Alexandria Hill Who Died While in Foster Care Aged 2 Years Old

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Fight Child Protection Department Corruption: 
In Loving Memory of Alexandria Hill Who Died While in Foster Care Aged 2 Years Old

 Father of foster child who died speaks to KVUE


… Another baby protected to death while in the governments’ care…

Note: When I look at these photos, and they are coming through everyday, beautiful little children who were loved, kidnapped and murdered by government departments who move onto the next family the next day, I can't help but be reminded of my own little angel Lukey Pookey. These government predators need to be jailed..

A loving father lost custody of his little girl last November in Austin, Tx, after he admitted to.smoking marijuana at night after he put his child down for bedtime.

The precious little girl was not ill, or harmed by her fathers nightcap, nor was she exposed to the marijuana he smoked, yet this loving parent had his two year old baby girl taken by CPS and placed in foster care last fall.

At visits, the father noticed bruises on his daughter, and voiced his concerns for the welfare of his little girl at the foster home she’d been placed in. Those concerns went ignored by CPS.

Now this beautiful baby girl was MURDERED in foster care by an abusive foster mom who was in it for the money! Below is an article where the woman admits, after changing her story a few times, that she slammed the little two year old girl down on her head at least two times before losing her grip the third time, dropping the girl on her head. Causing her death.

The foster mother was angry at the little girl for waking up hungry and getting herself something to eat and some water to drink out of the kitchen. So she killed her.

This child was removed from her natural home because of a father’s recreational marijuana use. The same natural herb that is rapidly being decriminalized in many other U.S. states!! Really.

As an advocate for the foster children and families torn apart wrongly by the system, I have stated before, my stance, on the issue of drug use and CPS. I strongly believe that absent evidence of abuse or neglect, and absent injury or harm to the child,there should be no reason for the removal of that child from their natural home solely because of a parents’ drug use and/or drug addiction particularly if there is no reason to believe that the drug was never used in the presence of the child. If the use of the marijuana was kept outside the child’s awareness, smoked after bedtime, I do not agree with the removal of that child solely due to that recreational marijuana use if it truly had no deleterious effect on the child, and where there is no other sign of abuse or neglect, and no injury to the child!

If the social worker truly believes a parent has a drug problem.. there are plenty of outpatient rehabilitation programs available for the parent to receive help that the CPS worker could refer the parent to, while keeping the family unit in-tact.

Had an approach such a that been utilized in this situation, this baby girl would not have suffered abuse by the FOSTER PARENT and would not have been brutally and senselessly murdered! I also question the worker monitoring the visits who failed to investigate the signs of abuse that the father pointed out with obvious concern. What happened there?
What this is .. is a child welfare system failure at its worst!

I hope this case grinds deep into the minds of every cps worker. I hope this reminds them to rethink when they begin to needlessly remove a child from an abuse-free/neglect-free home where other in-home services are available.

CHILDREN ARE NOT A SOURCE OF INCOME …. THIS WOMAN, when convicted (seems inevitable since she’s already confessed though, technically, she is still innocent til proven guilty in the court of law) (supposedly) SHE DESERVES  DEATH…(and in my opinion,a slow painful death)

It should be recorded and televised for foster parents to-be to watch in training class. Then maybe the “monsters to-be” who are getting into foster parenting to “earn an income” like this monster did.. will reconsider fostering and go get a JOB away from our children if they saw something REAL AND JUST being done about those who abuse and kill foster children!

God be with this baby girls’ family in this time of grief.

I hope this tragic loss changes something in the system, for change is so drastically needed.

May this little girls death not be in vain.


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist ERIN COKER Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

ROCKDALE, Texas — Tucked away behind the trees in Rockdale, Texas is a normally quiet neighborhood, but the peace has been shattered.

“It shocked me. It really did,” said Lois Rash, who lives in Rockdale.

“It’s a shame. Never should have happened,” added neighbor Larry McAdams.

Their neighbor, 54-year-old Sherill Small is now charged with the murder of her foster daughter Alexandria Hill, better known as Alex.

Monday night, police, fire and EMS crews were called out to the Small home. Small, who was the only person home at the time, called and said the two-year-old wasn’t breathing.

Alex was taken to the hospital, then airlifted to the children’s hospital in Temple. Alex’s biological parents rushed to her side.

“When I got there, it was about 1:00 in the morning and I found out that Alex was in a coma,” said her father Joshua Hill.

Wednesday night Hill and Alex’s mother decided to take her off life support.

“There’s not words to describe trying to make that decision,” said Hill.

Back in Rockdale, police say Small’s story about what happened kept changing.

“Originally, Mrs. Small reported that the child was running backwards and had fallen and this is how she had received the injuries. Later, it changed to kind of we were playing ring-around-the-rosy and I was swinging her and she fell,” said Rockdale Police Chief Thomas Harris. “And at some point somebody had gotten information that she was supposed to have been riding a bicycle and fallen off.”

Chief Harris said things just didn’t add up.

“I mean a two year old child doesn’t run backwards and fall hard enough to get this type of an injury,” explained Harris.

Doctors say Alex had hemorrhaging in her brain and eyes. An autopsy shows she had blunt force trauma to the head.

Harris says Thursday morning, Small finally told them the truth.

“She had evidently been frustrated with the child all day long. She had… the child… had evidently gotten up before the Small’s did and she had went and got into some food and some water,” said Harris. “That is what Mrs. Small was initially upset with her about…. had made her stand in a dark room, according to our reports, for at least three-to-four hours, wouldn’t let her sit or anything.”

Then around 7:00 that night, the young child, so full of life, was knocked unconscious.

“She actually admitted that she had slung the child down on the floor,” said Harris.

Small told investigators she raised the toddler over her head and slung her down toward the floor twice.

“On the third time down she said she lost her grip and dropped the child. Slammed the child down on the floor,” explained Harris.

Harris says Small’s husband, who wasn’t home when the incident happened, became emotional and even cried when talking to police. But not Small.

“I did not see a whole lot of remorse. I think it’s more like a lot of times these people’s, they’re sorry that they’re in trouble. This is the sense that I get. It’s still about them, it’s not really remorse about the child. I never got that feeling,” added Harris.

The Small’s had another foster child who is eight-months-old. That child has been removed.

Police say neither Small or her husband had jobs, but were instead planning to foster between five and six children as a source of income.

Small is in the Milam County Jail. Her bond has been set at $100,000.

ROUND ROCK -- He never thought his visit with her Thursday, July 25 would be his last.

“We got to sit down at McDonalds and have lunch and play for a while,” said Round Rock resident Joshua Hill.

“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.”

But on Monday night, Hill’s daughter Alexandria, or Alex as they liked to call her, was rushed to a Rockdale hospital with severe head injuries, then flown to Scott and White Children’s Emergency Hospital in Temple and immediately placed on life support.

Alex was living with foster parents after DFPS removed her from her parent's home last November for "neglectful supervision."

Hill admits they were smoking pot when their daughter was asleep.

“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.”

For two months, Alex was placed in a home that Hill says was dangerous.

“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."

In January, CPS placed her with Sherill Small in Rockdale, and Hill says things seemed safe there.

“They listened, they paid attention when we had concerns, they tried to keep us in the loop, but in the end, it wasn't enough."

Hill got the call Monday night that his daughter was in a Temple hospital.

“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."

For two days, they held out hope she would regain consciousness but on Wednesday night Alex was taken off life support.

Rockdale detectives say Small's explanation didn't match Alex’s injuries, so Thursday they arrested the foster mother on murder charges.

Hill says he was less than four months away from getting Alex back and now he'll never get the chance.

CPS removed another child from the foster home on Monday after Alex was rushed to the hospital.

Small’s bond is set at $100,000.

Officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services tell KVUE they rely on private child placing agencies to perform background checks on all foster homes.

The agency in this case is called Texas Mentor and state records show 15 total deficiencies for the Austin branch of that agency over the past two years.

Four of those deficiencies were for failing to perform proper background checks on people who live in foster homes.

The state does not specify which homes were involved in those cases.

by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN


ROCKDALE (August 1, 2013)--A Rockdale woman was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging murder in connection with the death of a 2-year-old foster child who was placed in her home in January.

Sherill Small, 54, was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bond on the murder charge, Milam County Jail records showed Thursday.

Bell County Justice of the Peace David Barfield pronounced Alexandria Hill, 2, dead at Scott & White's McLane Children's Hospital on Wednesday after she was taken off life support.

Barfield has ordered an autopsy.

Officers were sent to Small’s home at around 7 p.m. Monday in response to a report that the girl was unresponsive and not breathing.

The child was taken first to Richards Memorial Hospital's emergency room and then was flown to Scott & White.

Rockdale police said Small was the lone caregiver at the time of the child's injury and said the explanation she offered was inconsistent with what doctors found, police said.

Texas Child Protective Services and the Mentor Texas Program placed the toddler with Small and her husband Clemon in January, police said.

How can this happen again? The whole world needs to be informed of all this. Discusting. Shockingly close to the picture of Luke in hospital. I bet Luke's father is having a hard day today from the memories of his own ordeal. Wake up everyone. And by everyone, I am talking to the people supposed to be in charge of the children, in their best interests.

The parents, who are not together, handed Alexandria to Hill's mother to care for - until the state intervened on November 26th.
According to the Department of Family and Protective Services, the family disagreed who should take custody of the girl and decided to involve the CPS themselves - until both mom and dad got their lives in order.

big mistake there.

Indeed. Never involve the court system in your life if you can help it. They have a huge amount of power and an extremely limited amount of information upon which to base their decisions about your life.

THIS.  I have lived with no child support from my ex for the last 15 years, simply because I REFUSE to open that can of worms.  I was a social worker and I know first-hand what kind of troubles you're in for if you allow 'the state' into your lives.


AUSTIN -- A foster care agency that placed a two-year-old girl in a home where she recently died, has a history of violating state child care standards.

The Department of Family and Protective Services hired Texas Mentor to match Alexandria Hill with Sherill Small in Rockdale.

"That means background checks, criminal background checks, home studies," explained DFPS spokesperson Julie Moody, talking about the obligations of placement agencies.

Those background checks don’t always happen. According to records reviewed by the KVUE Defenders, the state found Texas Mentor in violation of child care standards 15 times since 2011.

Four of those involved background check issues. One inspection found ""a frequent caregiver of the children does not have an updated background check."

Another inspection found "an infant and a toddler in care were left sleeping alone for about 15 minutes."

Tracy Harting is an Austin attorney who specializes in child welfare law. She’s also a former foster parent.

"The background checks are a little bit concerning because that seems like it should be the easy thing for a foster agency to look at,” said Harting.

Before Hill's final foster home, the state expressed concern with the first family Texas Mentor placed her with earlier this year.

The state removed her after her father, Joshua Hill, sent pictures of bruising on her legs and filthy clothes to a caseworker.

"That's not common. I mean these kids are looked at on a regular basis by their workers, by their case managers for the child placing agency,” contends Harting.

“I applaud the department for responding to a father's concerns. It's just horrible that it went from a situation that was bad, to apparently one that was worse," continued Harting. 

Texas Mentor declined on-camera interviews, but in an emailed statement wrote, "All of us at Texas MENTOR are terribly saddened by the passing of Alexandria Hill, and we extend our condolences to her family and all those who loved her.  As an organization dedicated to protecting and caring for children, we are appalled by the allegations involving one of our foster parents."

DFPS says another child under the care of the Smalls, prior to Hill, reportedly had bruising and lead poisoning, but investigators say they found no violations at the home.

Texas Mentor says the Smalls met all requirements to foster children and that its staff did monthly checks on them and Hill.

Its last checkup on Hill happened a few weeks ago.

by ANDY PIERROTTI / KVUE News and photojournalist DEREK RASOR

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas -- The family of a child abuse victim will hold her funeral Monday in Pflugerville.

Last Wednesday, Alex Hill's biological parents took her off life support.

Investigators say her foster mother, Sherill Small, admitted to killing the two-year-old. Small told investigators she became frustrated with Alex and slammed her into the ground.

The 54-year-old is in the Milam County Jail charged with murder.

When are these f**ked up child protection agencies going to start hearing us parents!!!!! This is disgusting and ever so heart breaking. It is a parents worse fear when under the scope of preotection agencies!!! And it happens time and time again! They focus on the easy target parents that will jump thru the hoops to have their babies home while the severe and complex parents that harm their children go under the radar!! You know why?? Its too much paper work for these agencies that have powers to take your children! And the result in the end is that the children pay for an graduate social worker with too much power decision to remove a child/ren out of their home!!!!

ROCKDALE (August 14, 2013) -- Two weeks after a 2-year-old died while living in her Rockdale home, the Milam County Grand Jury handed up a capital murder indictment Thursday against the child’s foster mom.

Sherill Small, 54, was arrested this month on a warrant charging murder and remains in the Milam County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond, jail records showed.

The child, Alexandria Hill, 2, died at Scott & White's McLane Children's Hospital after she was taken off life support.

Smalls’ arrest affidavit says, “She became frustrated with Alexandria, picked her up, and in a downward motion with a lot of force came down toward the ground with her.”

“She did this twice and on the third time she lost her grip and the victim was thrown to the ground head first,” the affidavit said.

At McLane’s emergency room, the affidavit says, doctors found that the toddler had “subdural hemorrhaging, subarachnoid hemorrhaging, and retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes,” the affidavit said.

Rockdale Police say they have a statement from Small’s biological daughter who said she was neglected as a child and removed from Small’s custody by CPS.

“We were told by family members that CPS had been contacted sometime recently and were told they didn’t feel like Small would be suitable as a foster parent,” Rockdale Chief of Police Thomas Harris said.

But the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services claimed to have no record of that phone call, or any record of a child being removed from Small’s care.

“We have no record of that phone call, and there are no documents at this time showing where CPS ever got involved with Mrs. Small and her biological daughter,” Texas DFPS Spokeswoman Julie Moody said.

Small became a foster parent through Texas Mentor, a state child placing agency with a dismal history.

State records show it has racked up 59 violations in the past two years.

Some of those violations center around routine background checks that weren’t corrected after inspection.

However Texas Mentor told News 10, “Sherill Small and her husband met the requirements to foster children, including background checks in accordance with state regulation.”

Small has no criminal history, and according to police she was expected to foster as many as six kids children.

Chief Harris said he finds that information shocking as Small’s past regarding children remains unclear.

“It seems that there needs to be more scrutiny on where we place these children," Harris said.

"They have to be put into a safe environment."

Texas Mentor is currently being investigated by Residential Child Care Licensing.

By: Matt Howerton

Alexandria Hill

On July 29, paramedics rushed 2-year-old Alexandria Hill to a hospital with severe head injuries. She slipped into a coma, and died two days later after her birth parents decided to remove life support.

AUSTIN — A toddler’s gruesome death last month in a Central Texas foster home has raised questions about the screening and training of foster parents by a private child-placing agency, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.