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DCFS under fire over beating death of 4-year-old

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Lukes Dad's picture
on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:54

CHICAGO— Cook County Public Guardian Robert Harris is sharply criticizing the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services after a 4-year-old boy was beaten to death.

"Untill a child dies, it doesn't seem to get much attention," Harris said.

Christopher Valdez was found severely bruised and beaten November 25th at his home at 51st and Trumbull in the Gage Park neighborhood. It was the day after Thanksgiving as well as his birthday.

Chicago police say his mother Crystal Valdez watched and did nothing as her boyfriend Cesar Ruiz allegedly killed her son. Now, they both face charges of first degree murder.

Christopher's death in November, however, wasn't his family's first encouter with DCFS.

"They didn't do what they should have done when you have a child that's abused," Harris said about DCFS. "They should have stepped in, should have made more visits to the home, but also to the mother."

Back in July, Christopher's mother took him to the emergency room with a black eye and bruises over his body. Doctors didn't buy her story that he had fallen, so they reported her to DCFS and an investigation was launched. A month later, DCFS dismissed the case even though the mother had reportedly admitted she had beaten the boy and admitted she had anger issues.

According to documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune, DCFS apparently closed the investigation sooner than normal, ignored key elements of the police investigation and accepted the mother's initial claim that Christopher hurt himself on his own. A few months later the boy was murdered.

Robert Harris says the Valdez case represents a pattern of neglect within DCFS.

"I'm not saying these peolpe, DCFS is a cold hearted agency -- it's not -- but I think there is a pattern and reluctance to really get in there and do the hard work that needs to be done," Harris said.

While DCFS declined an interview with WGN-TV, DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe told the Chicago Tribune: "We need to handle each individual investigation properly and take action to protect every child who is in harm's way...At the same time, we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past and remove children from their families indiscriminately."

Dan Ponce, WGN-TV WGN News

Comments

They lived in between two sets of family members

how about the family NOBODY seen anything the family was living right behind the grandparents and the other family lived in front of the boyfriend and mother. they lived in between two sets of family members. did the family see the same crap the doctors seen or the cop who talk to the mother come on was dcfs just ignoring signs or was the family also covering up for the boyfriend and mother lets dig deep here they said in the article the mom said the kid was starting school did the school see anything this kid wasnt invisible and to have that many bruises on his body and a lump on the head. the judge said abuse in its purest form over two dozen photos okay now people the judge just seen photographs and knew this kid was abused what about the family living very close to him follow the stories reported it seems like there was alot of cover up not only by dcfs to protect children but what about good o grandpa and grandma who should also protect the kid so who did they protect i think mom lets dig deep folks something aint adding up here and it aint just dcfs

wgntv.com

Comments

kirstykimberlee's picture

ANd yet another parent whos child accidently hit his head on the bed, has their son removed for 9 months because docs claimed mum slapped the child and bruised his forhead????WTF????

And NOTHING is done for this baby????why why why??????

All the best, 

KirstyKimberLee.