Date: 1993-12-07
Source: newsbank.com


December 7, 1993
Janice Haidet
Dayton Daily News
In a strongly worded decision, a judge ruled Monday that two disabled Carroll children must remain in foster care because their adoptive parents have no plan to properly care for them - and because the couple continually refuses outside help.

"This is a major victory in the mother of all custody battles," said Greene County Assistant Prosecutor Suzanne Schmidt, after Judge Richard T. Cole filed his decision in Juvenile Court. The decision was based on five days of testimony late last month. John H. Rion, Mrs. Carroll's lawyer, said the judge's decision stemmed from the fact that "the government has more resources than the Carrolls."

Isaiah, 12, and Samuel, 5, will remain in foster care because "it would take more than the ability of Kathleen and Timothy, along with the help of James, to provide the care required for the bare physical needs of these children," Cole said.

James, 17, and Hosea, 10, will remain in the Carrolls' Cedarville home, which has been under scrutiny since four of 10 adopted children died there between September 1992 and June.

Some of those adoptions should not have occurred in the first place, Cole said. There weren't enough people in the home to care for the children's special needs and "the Carrolls have failed to recognize the need for outside professional help." Further, he said, the Carrolls had no plan for dealing with the children's wide range of disabilities.

Isaiah's brain damage prevents him from speaking and keeps him to a wheelchair. A Down syndrome child, Samuel speaks only a few words. Cole ordered special education programs for both.

While James and Hosea may continue being schooled at home, Cole ordered that they see tutors and psychotherapists - provisions Children Services proposed despite the Carrolls' assertion that the services conflict with their Christian beliefs.

Cole urged the agency to "attempt to obtain qualified persons with religious beliefs similar to those of the Carrolls."

While Cole said he understands people's aversion to government interference in their lives, "the Carrolls, particularly Kathleen, have not acted in good faith and cooperated with (the agency)." He said Mrs. Carroll made derogatory comments to the children about case workers and rejected case worker suggestions.

However, the Carrolls have complied with probation that was imposed after they pleaded guilty to neglect in the bleach-burning death of Hannah, 6, almost a year ago, Cole said.

James was cleared of charges in Hannah's death, but remains a suspect in the June 14 death of Josiah, 12, which has been ruled a homicide. Officials say they lack evidence to press charges in two other suspicious deaths.


* History: Judge Richard T. Cole removes two Carroll children from their home Aug. 17, after a coroner's inquest probes four suspicious deaths among the family's 10 children.
* The latest: He keeps those children in foster care and adds psychotherapy and tutoring for the two remaining in the Carrolls' custody.
* What's next: Review hearing is set for Feb. 19 to determine if the Carrolls have met goals.


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