In the newspapers is yet another report of a child abuse death in Vermont. This time in Winooski a 15 month old baby boy died from what appears to be child abuse. The medical examiner determined that the baby died from “trauma to the head and neck” on April 4. The unbelievable and very scary thing is that a caseworker from DCF (the state agency responsible for child abuse investigations) had been in the home conducting an investigation and actually observed a bruise on the baby’s back and under an eye. During my 20 years of doing social work for the state of Vermont. I did many child abuse investigations and was trained that when observing any signs of possible physical-child abuse to the head or face to immediately get the child to a doctor for examination. In other words, you do not leave the child until a doctor examines the child and if needed you contact police and the court for a court order granting custody to DCF. The child would remain in the hospital or be placed in foster care pending a court hearing. If criminal charges can be made at that time by police.
It would appear that given this case and the Dezirae Sheldon case that DCF caseworkers have not been trained correctly and that supervision of workers is lacking. Getting that training and supervision is needed right away.