DHS child welfare specialist Rachel Qualls was fired Monday after the agency concluded she failed to fully investigate allegations a special-needs child was being neglected.
Quinten Wood died Jan. 4, 2013, less than a month after his sister first called DHS for help.
The boy, who was 15, died from acute pneumonia.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced in February it had initiated steps to fire Qualls and her latest supervisor.
Qualls contended she had been overwhelmed by her caseload, her discharge papers show. DHS hired her in October 2011.
The supervisor, Paul Kim Myers, remains on paid leave.
Prosecutors in March charged Qualls, 24, of Oklahoma City, with a misdemeanor, willful neglect to perform a duty.
Prosecutors charged Myers, 57, of Edmond, with the same misdemeanor, willful neglect to perform a duty. They also charged Myers with a felony, unlawful use of a computer.
In her discharge papers, DHS officials acknowledged Qualls did observe Quinten at school on Dec. 19, 2012, after being assigned to investigate allegations he was neglected by his father.
She also talked to Quinten’s teacher, a school nurse and a younger brother at school.
However, she never contacted the father and failed to go inside the family’s Oklahoma City home, according to the discharge papers. She drove by the trailer house but never got out of the car.
She also failed to get any of the boy’s medical records, contact his doctor or seek out a medical expert to determine if his medical needs were being met, the records show.
“All of these documented issues demonstrate a gross neglect and do not exemplify the level of accountability and standards for the duties assigned to you,” DHS officials told her in the discharge papers.
Quinten suffered from a rare chromosomal abnormality that left him unable to care for most basic needs. He wore diapers, needed help to eat and clean himself, and had the mental capacity of an infant or a toddler, records show.
His father, Michael David Wood, 47, of Midwest City, was charged in March with child neglect.
Qualls admitted she failed to visit the home and interview the father, according to the discharge papers. She explained she was working instead on another case involving a bunch of younger children.
Police who responded to the boy’s death found the trailer home in disarray — filled with trash and dog feces.
The discharge papers do reveal a severe breakdown in Qualls’ training.
Her first supervisor, Heather Rogers, was fired last year for failures in overseeing workers.
A DHS district director determined that the workers under Rogers “did not have the skills or abilities to conduct thorough investigations or to follow basic child welfare policy or investigative protocols.”
Rogers “didn’t teach them anything,” the district director reported.