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Child Deaths

February 13, 2010 | By Garrett Therolf
Los Angeles County's embattled child welfare agency has clamped down on the release of information about 12 recent deaths among children who have passed through the child welfare system. The decision follows a series of articles in The Times last year that detailed flawed casework. The cases prompted some reforms at the county's Department of Children and Family Services, including enhanced training for social workers. But the state law that allowed much of the information to reach the public has been a source of discontent for Department of Children and Family Services Director Trish Ploehn.
June 10, 2013 | By Robert Greene
The killing last month of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez of Palmdale led Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles to demand a state audit of L.A. County's   Department of Children and Family Services. On its face, the demand appears to make some sense. An outside investigator such as State Auditor Elaine M. Howle might be able to provide some valuable insight into why an agency like DCFS didn't remove Gabriel from a situation that, in retrospect, looks only too clearly to have been cruel and abusive.
June 2, 2013
Re "County missed signs of boy's abuse," May 31 As a resident of Los Angeles County, I am appalled and sickened and most of all saddened by the death of 8-year old Gabriel Fernandez from horrific injuries allegedly inflicted by his mother's boyfriend - even after social workers had investigated the couple for child abuse. What is wrong with the county Department of Children and Family Services? How many more child deaths and injuries have to occur because its social workers are undertrained and overworked?
September 8, 1999
Re "U.S. Nearing Key Juncture in Iraq Policy," Aug. 29: If the UNICEF report states that child mortality rates have doubled in Iraq since sanctions were first imposed and that Baghdad and the sanctions should share the blame, please inform the readers that the death rate for children under 5 years of age is approximately 5,000 every month. To leave this statistic out is unconscionable. When are you going to report the killing of a nation? R.J. PISAPIA Westlake Village
April 4, 1987
The parents of an 18-month-old boy who was beaten to death last summer shortly after he was taken from them and placed in a Pomona foster home filed a $1-million lawsuit against Los Angeles County on Friday, charging officials with failing to properly monitor the facility.
September 6, 1992 | JOHN CHANDLER
Here are some of the previous child death cases in the Antelope Valley: Feb. 21, 1992--Palmdale resident Ricky Lee Earp, 30, who authorities said was a drug user, is sentenced to die for the rape and murder of his 17-month-old goddaughter. She died in the hospital two days after being left alone with Earp on Aug. 25, 1988. Sept.
September 16, 2009 | Garrett Therolf
Filling a job that has been vacant for three years, Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday narrowly approved the hiring of an attorney to investigate the cases of children who die while in the county's care. To take the post, Rosemarie Belda will leave the Office of County Counsel, where she has represented the Department of Children and Family Services, the agency that will now be a central target of her reports. In addition to investigating child deaths, she has been asked to recommend reforms that might prevent future fatalities.
June 12, 2002 | From Associated Press
Alarmed by the slayings of 12 children so far this year, Detroit officials announced a plan Tuesday to raze thousands of abandoned homes and put more police on the streets. At least two of the children slain this year had been caught in the cross-fire of drug-related shootings, and drug dealers routinely operate out of some of Detroit's 10,000 or so abandoned homes. Police Chief Jerry Oliver said the department will also reorganize itself to put more officers on the street.
There was nothing different about the trip Nury Estela Cooperman and her children took to Las Vegas last week except that it was their last. And no one--not her husband, parents or in-laws--can really say why the former Canoga Park resident wheeled the family's 1989 red Toyota sedan off Interstate 15 outside Barstow, climbed into the back seat, shot her two baby girls in the chest with a .380-caliber pistol and killed herself. It was her 30th birthday.
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