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DHS violated own policy

By Nolan Clay Modified: September 26, 2007 at 12:51 am •  Published: September 26, 2007
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/> "DHS observed approximately eight one-half inch slash marks on the child's back and fading marks on both upper arms,” the agency noted.

The oversight agency also noted that DHS officials knew that Chiles had admitted "to implying violence at quiet time by sitting on the couch with the fly swatter and stating to the children, ‘It's quiet time.'”

The oversight agency found that DHS officials decided they would wait until Chiles was charged with child abuse before issuing an emergency closure order. Chiles was charged with child abuse May 16, and DHS workers the next day asked her to voluntarily close.

The agency said the emergency order actually wasn't issued until May 18, after Joshua was dead and Chiles was in jail.

DHS officials say they already have taken steps to improve emergency closure procedures, including expanding who can make a decision.

New rules spell out 10 conditions that could justify an emergency closure. They include serious injury or death of a child and the discovery of illegal drugs.

DHS officials also say they are considering creating a special investigative unit that will focus on allegations of abuse and neglect at day cares.

"In-home and foster home investigations frequently take precedence over child care investigations,” they said.

DHS continuing coverage Oversight agency's report and DHS response