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Some DHS workers allowed to keep jobs after child deaths

Agency audit discovered ‘substantial violations,' blatant irresponsibility by child-welfare workers in three deaths
BY NOLAN CLAY, RANDY ELLIS AND ROBBY TRAMMELL Published: December 25, 2011
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Ryan, 3, died on Nov. 4, 2008, after DHS placed him back in his mother's Elk City home from foster care. The mother's live-in boyfriend eventually pleaded no contest to first-degree murder.

A foster mother had pleaded with the agency not to return Ryan to his mother's home because he had returned from visits there with bruises. The foster mother complained to a DHS county director that Carter would not listen to her. DHS found Carter had concluded in July 2008 that the foster mother likely was making false allegations.

DHS also found Carter failed to properly look into an injury to the boy in September 2008 and failed to address Ryan's mother's fear that her boyfriend was overwhelmed.

Carter resigned in December 2010, the DHS spokeswoman said.

Medically fragile

An Oklahoma County child-welfare specialist, Glen E. Marshall, was at first offered more training after a medically fragile baby died a few days after he failed to get the child help.

“Your failure to ensure the safety of this infant demonstrated a blatant disregard of your responsibilities as a child-welfare specialist, poor judgment and egregious lack of risk assessment skills,” he was told.

Marshall was fired in November 2009 — more than a year after the child's death — after he continued to mishandle cases and lied to a supervisor, an assistant district attorney and an Oklahoma City police detective, the disciplinary records show.


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