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It’s been a while since we touched on the Ava Conway story and until a Turtle Rider sent us the completed case review for the foster home of Kimberly Malpass, we hadn’t really had a chance to talk about it. But it certainly answers a lot of questions. For one thing, the children suffered from heat stroke:
I know a lot of people were talking about laundry detergent tabs and bath tub accidents. But it was heat stroke.
The DCF worker who was assigned to the case also cut a lot of corners, including not screening Kim Malpass in the manner required, not making sure there was enough space in her house for 6 kids, not paying attention to how many people lived in the house, not interviewing Kim’s kids, not interviewing the family doctor who had concerns about the children’s medical needs, and not exploring why none of the children’s fathers were in the picture:
Kim Malpass put her utility and other bills in her children’s names:
The Auburn Police Department was called to her home 25 times over a 5 year period (2008-2013), but the DCF employee did not check with the APD. However, it is not required under current regulations that this be done. Probably should be though, don’t ya think?
Kim Malpass had been lying to DCF workers who asked her whether her ex-con boyfriend was living in the house:
The DCF supervisor was aware that Kim Malpass’ kids were having trouble in school, and had spoken with a school guidance counselor. School officials filed a 51A after noticing bruises on one of the children, and reported verbal and physical abuse by the live in boyfriend. One of the kids had 23 absences, and another was such a big behavior problem that his teachers suggested that he or she “can’t be brought back:
The resource worker assigned to the case did not fill out the required paperwork, and their supervisor did not hold them accountable for this:
The family resource worker is required to make monthly visits to foster homes. She missed several of them, according to the records, but claims she did in fact go but forgot to complete the paperwork:
Miss Malpass, despite being on government assistance, lived in a home that was basically a revolving door for foster children. Ava Conway was literally placed in the home the DAY AFTER a 24 day old baby was placed in the home:
DCF policy states that no more than two foster children under the age of two may live in a foster home at the same time. When Ava Conway was brought there on September 20, 2014, she became the third, which violates DCF policy:
Shortly after this one of the foster children was reported to have bruises on her, which Kim Malpass blamed on the day care provider:
After Ava came in September two more children (siblings) were placed there, but no “overcapacity” forms were approved. Soon afterwards another child, just 14 days old, was placed in the home but the “overcapacity” forms were approved this time. DCF was required to make sure the sleeping arrangements were appropriate, verify Kim Malpass was capable of taking care of all these kids, and make weekly wellness visits. None of these things happened.
In a November 28, 2014 report from the family resource worker, they contradicted themselves by saying that the house was not big enough to meet the required safety standards, while at the same time noting that “the home meets all physical and safety standards.” Somehow no one picked up on this.
In March of 2015 one of the foster children’s birth mothers told the social worker that Kim Malpass’ boyfriend TOLD HER that he hit the children, lived in the home illegally, and knew that he did drugs. The social worker followed up on this by requesting a CES officer visit the home. When they did they saw what appeared to be the boyfriend in the upstairs window, but Kim Malpass refused to let them enter the home.
Kim Malpass denied it was her boyfriend, and claimed it was her brother in the window. However, the social worker and their supervisor determined from pictures on Facebook that he was in fact living there:
Soon afterwards this child was removed from the home, but Kim Malpass was not happy that they went through her publicly viewable Facebook page.
After an internal review the claims against Kim Malpass and her boyfriend were deemed to be unsupported. But yet she had just bailed him out of jail and he was a frequent “visitor” in the home:
On August 15, 2015 Kim Malpass called 911 after finding Ava and Samara unresponsive. However, she gave conflicting reports about where she found them.
Kim Malpass’ boyfriend was in the home on a weekday at noon when the bodies were discovered, despite the fact that she still claims he didn’t live there:
Kim Malpass got drunk the night before Ava died and her 8 year old adopted daughter took care of her after 11:30 PM when she came home.
The medical examiner believes there is strong evidence to suggest that the children were left in a car and suffered heat stroke because there is physical evidence they struggled in the car seats. This would mean they as a result of neglect.
Turtleboy still doesn’t blame DCF for this. He blames people who worked for DCF. There’s a big difference. If the DCF protocols were followed then Ava Conway would not have been allowed to live in that house. Blaming DCF for the incompetence and laziness of two or more of their employees is like blaming the entire Worcester Police Department because that one cop raped a woman on Bancroft Tower Hill. This doesn’t justify all the DCF policies that were ignored in this home, but the people who screwed up have been “reassigned” while they await termination hearings.
As for Kim Malpass, she needs to be in jail. The fact that she blatantly misled authorities during the investigation of a baby’s death is grounds for imprisonment alone. I don’t know WHY she kept trying to bring kids into a home that was not suitable for raising children, but the fact of the matter is she went out of her way to cover it up to DCF and lied and lied and lied so that she could keep collecting kids. I don’t blame anyone who has it in their heart to want to bring in foster children, but if you’re lying about your life in order to do so then you are a bag of crap.
It’s terrible what happened to this girl, but there are steps taken going forward that can prevent this from ever happening again. Obviously there needs to be more oversight. I feel like every home visit should be documented with pictures and selfies to prove you were actually there. The social worker who didn’t show up three times but claims they did show up could easily document it with pictures. And that worker’s supervisor should in turn demand to see the pictures before signing off on it. Then that person’s boss does the same. I don’t care how many supervisors we need to hire, it’s simply unacceptable to let any more kids die.
Here’s another way the system can get fixed. Common sense tells you that a million kids shouldn’t have been living in a house with a single mom on government assistance. I understand that there’s probably not a line out the door to take in foster kids, but people in Kim Malpass’ situation should immediately be eliminated from the list. If you can’t get your own shit together then you can’t collect foster children. Period.
I will say this – I had no idea what social workers did until I read this report. Each one of these kids basically has their own chauffeur. The foster parents pick them up at day care and school and bring them to supervised visits with their birth parents while they just sit there and watch. I can’t imagine you can be very effective at your job if you have more than a handful of caseloads. And from what Joe Social Worker tells Turtleboy, there’s a lot more than a handful assigned to each worker.
Last thing I’ll say is this. The best way to not get caught up in the system is by being a normal parent who gives your kid the life they deserve. Being a shitty parent and having your kids taken away from you means that their well being is no longer in your control. You can bitch and whine about it afterwards when something goes wrong, but the bottom line is you are a huge part of the problem if your kids are getting taken away from you by DCF.
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