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November 14, 2012 permalink
Connecticut toddler Athena Angeles was released back to her mother after hospital treatment for a head injury. Hours later the mother's partner Fredy Chingo Riz beat the girl to death. Connecticut is altering procedures so that families will get the third degree when taking young children to the hospital. It could prevent tragedies like that of Athena.
Child protectors, quick to change procedures in cases like this, drag their feet in the other kind of tragedy. There has been no official response to the foster deaths of Malachi Beaudry in two days or Delonna Victoria Sullivan   in a week. Not only are these cases ignored, child protectors do their best to prevent other cases from seeing the light of day, by, for example, gagging the parents. So policies are slowly ratcheted up toward more power for social workers, and increased rates of child abuse and death.
State to Require Injured Children to Be Screened for Signs of Abuse
The state Department of Children and Families is making a major shift in the way the department deals with cases of child abuse and neglect.
Now, children under the age of 6 who seek any medical attention for an injury will first have their records checked to find prior incidents of abuse. Second, they will undergo a full physical exam to identify any physical symptoms of abuse.
“This is all about a partnership between the department and the medical community and a partnership that is focused on awareness and education,” DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said.
These changes come in the wake of the death of 3-year-old Athena Angeles, who was treated for a head injury at Windham Hospital, then released to her mother last year. Hours later, she was dead.
Fredy Chingo Riz, the boyfriend of Athena’s mother, is accused of beating and killing the little girl.
He was charged with first-degree manslaughter, risk of injury to a child and other charges and is due in court on Dec. 14.
“Keeping children safe is a team activity. Parents of course have the primary responsibility. But if they cannot keep their children safe, then it is incumbent upon the larger community to come together to protect them,” said Katz.
To keep parents from feeling like they are being singled out as abusers, the new guidelines will apply across the board to every child receiving medical attention for an injury. “I want it to be as routine as when children come in and if a doctor thinks a stethoscope has to be used, then a stethoscope has to be used,” said Katz.
Source: NBC Connecticut