Mayor Adrian Fenty called the lapses "egregious," saying at a news conference that social workers prematurely closed their files on a family that struggled on the fringes since arriving in the city in December 2005.
The parents asked for food stamps and were turned down. They asked for housing assistance and were turned down again, officials said.
Those red flags included reports from a nurse in July 2006 that both parents were substance abusers and that the children were living in a van, the mayor said. The case was closed because the family did not have a fixed address -- the opposite of what should have happened, Fenty said.Maybe the deaths weren't preventable. Maybe the drug use and mental problems of the mother made all of this tragically inevitable. But we'll never know. What else is there to say?
I admit that sometimes this blog title is misleading. I guess it's because I was always raised to never say "hate." My mother would always tell me that "hate" was always too strong a word. But I honestly think it applies here. Hate. I have nothing but hate right now for D.C. I have nothing but hate for a place that could allow this to happen.
The deaths of four girls once shook the core of the entire nation. In D.C., the deaths of four girls is just another in a long line of mistakes and incompetence. I obviously had nothing to do with this case. I didn't know the family, don't work for a school one of these girls attended or social services. But simply living in the same city where this happened fills me with shame. I am ashamed to be from a place where a family cried for help and no one heeded that call.
UPDATE: Commenter EdTheRed sent me a link to The Washington Post's story. It's even more depressing than the CNN link.