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Foster Child Injured, Killed by Foster Parents Highlights Outdated Laws

November 7th, 2014   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy, Court Cases

In a case of egregious physical abuse of an injured foster child, a girl taken from her parents and handed to foster parents, who then fatally injured her, represents a horror story for any family facing outdated and dangerous laws. This case was in Texas, but it could have been anywhere. Alex Hill was 2 years old when she was taken from her birth parents for their marijuana use while the child slept in her bed. Her foster mother, whose husband had a long rap sheet for a variety of crimes, including drug use, recently was sentenced to life in prison for murder.

“By all accounts, towheaded Alexandria ‘Alex’ Hill, was a healthy and happy toddler, living with healexhillr parents,” wrote the Houston Press. “But [once she was removed from her home], Alex’s parents began to notice red flags about the conditions in the first home during visitations with their daughter…Alex had noticeable bruises, and the couple also found mold & mildew in the little girl’s bag.”

The case exemplifies not only how outdated drug laws that some states still have on the books and put foster children in jeopardy of physical abuse and wrongful death. But more importantly, as in Florida, the relationship between the state and its contracted community-based care providers raised ample questions.

The third-party private agency that hired the foster parent had its own “shady track record” with more than 15 violations, the Houston Press cited via the Dallas Morning News. The agency ultimately logged more than 100 more violations. The father was never informed, and by July 2013, little Alex Hill was beaten and sent to the emergency. On life support, she would never regain consciousness.

The foster mother admitted to policy that she slammed the toddler onto the floor. Eventually, it became known that the foster mother’s husband, an admitted former crack cocaine users, had a criminal record that also included drug charges for marijuana.

Whether in Florida, Texas or anywhere else in the country, it’s critical that state child welfare authorities work diligently to protect at-risk children. But in the zeal to “protect” children, sometimes state agencies turn children over to questionable foster parents and caregivers with their own shady pasts.

Many of these individuals hardly exist in hiding. A simple public records or background search likely would have revealed a dubious history, certainly worthy of further investigation, if not disqualification as a foster parent.

This might have saved little Alex Hill. Yet even at 2 years old, she had much to each the state welfare advocates who should have known better.

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