Baby in Foster Care Dies After Being Left in Hot Van in Jackson Co.

Reported By:  Doug Evans   Edited By:  Leigha Baugham

Last Edited: Thursday, 04 Sep 2008, 12:02 AM EDT

JACKSON COUNTY, Ga. (MyFOX Atlanta) – Investigators in Jackson County said an infant was left in a hot mini-van, while the girl's foster mother was inside the home taking a nap.  The child died.  The baby was in DFACS care and had been recently placed in the foster home.

Investigators are now waiting on the autopsy report and said they will present the case to the Jackson County district attorney.

The foster mother is under investigation for the death of the 9-month-old girl.  Investigators identified the woman as 29-year-old Wendy Osborne.

Osborne told police that she accidentally left the infant in the van for more than two hours.

Investigators said the child was placed in foster care with Osborne and her husband.  The couple was also caring for two other girls, ages 15 and 16.  The couple also has two adopted 3-year-olds.

Osborne said she got home around 2:00 p.m. and brought the 3-year-olds inside for nap.  Around 5:00 pm., the two teenagers asked the woman about the infant.  The baby was later found in the car seat out in the hot van.

Investigators said they notified the child's biological parents about the baby.  Police said the young couple from Jefferson, Georgia was devastated.

Investigators would not say why the child was in DFACS care in the first place.

No charges had yet been filed as of Wednesday night.

This story content provided by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA
http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7354608&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.1.1

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A lost chance to parent

I was reading-up on the Fox Atlanata update on this case, and I was very sad to read the following:

The little girl's biological parents, Robert Scovil and Evelyn Carter, found out Wednesday that their daughter was gone.

The 19-year-old mother said the state took her daughter in April and placed her in foster care.  Carter said she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but that her medications allowed her to live a normal life.

Carver said she wanted to be a good mother, attended parenting classes every week during her pregnancy and then continued them even after her child was born.

Jackson County officials said the child's foster mother, 29-year-old Wendy Osborne, returned home from a doctor's appointment Tuesday and removed her two adopted daughters from the car.  After waking from a two hour nap, Osborne remembered the baby was still in the car.

Carter and Scovil said the wanted charges filed against Osborne. 

The couple said they missed their weekly visit with their baby because of the Labor Day holiday and were looking forward to seeing her this week.  Now, Carter and Scovil are planning a funeral.

This story content provided by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA [video link can be found within the posted news article, or readers can try here, and click on the image:  http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/myfox/MyFox/pages/sidebar_video.jsp?contentId=7362059&version=1&locale=EN-US]

Isn't foster care (and adoption services working with CPS) supposed to prevent these sort of things from happening?

HOW CAN YOU FORGET A CHILD???

I am the first to say that I have been a horrible mom at times!  I put my children at risk by just being in this home!  I
had my 13 year old go outside naked and be found by the neighbors who called the police!  I have failed in so many
ways!  BUT, I can not get my mind around the fact that someone who is a FOSTER PARENT, FORGOT a tiny baby
in the van and left her there to die?  What horrors that puts in my mind! 
Just three months ago my precious daughter of nine was forced to sleep in the same room with a 13 year old abused
foster child who molested my baby two times!  WTF!  NO 9 year old should be placed all night with an abused 13 year
old without supervision!  There has been NOTHING DONE! about that home or that other 13 year old girl!  But I will say
that my voice was heard and my babies were placed with loving friends of many years... but what about the damage
that is already done?  What about the parents of that baby who died?  What did they ever do that was SO bad that the
baby could not be kept in the home with services to keep the family together?  I weep for those parents...

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.\
One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

"unfit to parent"

What did they ever do that was SO bad that the baby could not be kept in the home with services to keep the family together?

According to the article/news footage, the mother has a mental illness that requires medication.

You know what's funny about that?  My amother was on all sorts of medication for her mental/emotional conditions, too. 

 

That sucks!

IF this mother was doing her parenting classes before and after the birth; hooked up with help, then why was that
 baby taken out of the home???  There is either a cover up on why the baby was taken which was probably lame
to begin with, or EVERYONE is covering their butts in this situation and NO ONE will know the truth!
I don't CARE what problems she had; if she was getting help there should have been more than weekly visits to
keep the bond going with that poor baby!  JUST THINK about that poor thing sitting in that hot car alone and DYING!
And I am SICK of hearing about visits canceled because of the foster parents having a long weekend!!!  It's NOT about
the foster parents!
I lost my visit with my oldest daughter on her 16th birthday because of the FOSTER PARENTS having already made
plans and the SUPERVISOR forgetting to tell me. I showed up and was refused!  Then I was judged insane because
 I was mad! 
I spit on FOSTER PARENTS!

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

Not the parents, the system

Over and over again, as I read and educate myself about the entire CPS system, it's not the parents that suck, it's the system of neglect, denial and ignorance that sucks.... BIG TIME.  [For instance, go back a few months, and read about Dmitry Yakovlev, the 22 month old who was also "forgotten" by the foster/adoptive parent.  At least with that case, adoption agencies were barred from practice, suggesting those working under the umbrella of "safe child placement", and failing to do  so, should be held accountable each time they put children in danger.  I do not think it's at all acceptable to take a child from one set of "questionable" parents only to place that child with/among people who "forget" they have young children with them, or worse, abuse a child, in the name of God, discipline, or any other excuse foster/adoptive parents are using these days. 

What I see is a system of denial taking-over Child Placement, and this denial of care has a very sad, strange domino effect.

Deny parents support, deny them care, deny them concern, replace these essentials with laziness and corruption... you know what you will find?

A state of family failure and domestic disrepair.  It seems like each step of the way, agencies are failing parents and children, but still passing the bucks so future prosperity in select areas of service can still be had by "the chosen ones".

It's so tragic to learn in this case, the real mother was taking parenting classes, "proving" she wanted to do the right thing for her child.  Her reward for her efforts?  The pleasure of attending her own baby's funeral because her "replacement" fell asleep for two hours, forgetting she had another woman's child sitting in the back of her car.  [Quick question:  how many think the single worst thing a parent has to do is bury their own child?]

I'm curious... do foster/adoptive parents have to take parenting classes before they are awarded a child?  If so, how would this situation grade in parenting books?  More importantly, are there any yearly updates/certifications required by state law, validating the safety of a foster/adoptive home... or is this too much follow-up care/paper-work for state services? 

It's obvious to me, people in CPS are sleeping on the job.  Now what?   What would other parents do if this situation happened within your own family?

If it were me, I wouldn't sue the foster parent.  I'd sue the state and the agency that did not protect the baby whose mother was taking parenting classes.

Kerry asked: "I'm curious...

Kerry asked:
"I'm curious... do foster/adoptive parents have to take parenting classes before they are awarded a child?  If so, how would this situation grade in parenting books?  More importantly, are there any yearly updates/certifications required by state law, validating the safety of a foster/adoptive home... or is this too much follow-up care/paper-work for state services?"

There are many foster parenting classes to be taken before the family is allowed to have children placed.  One is called
Foster Discipline which is a separate two day weekend of sessions.  There has to be a home study and a layout of the house given, to prove there is available room for foster children.  There are also yearly updating of information and the situation
of the foster home.
But that does NOT mean the foster home is a good, safe home for ANY child...  just read my recent experiences with a
foster home!  And to add about this home:  The home is in the country and off the beaten path (and I MEAN beaten PATH) where you must stop at a gate, get out and open it to travel nearly straight up hill on a deeply rutted road to reach the house
at the top of the hill.  You must buffet encounters with: sheep, goats, horses, pigs, dogs, etc.  all along the path.  The front
rutted road has on each side: junked cars and buses plus LARGE ANIMALS that also run wild and spit on you...  THIS alone is a
hazzard to ANY child in care!  They have a foster child that sexually abuses smaller children; both the FP's work and the
shack on their property is inhabited by the grandma who babysits often in her tiny house where she feeds the kids junk food and lets them either watch tv for hours or play unsupervised in the wilderness that is call a Foster Home.

The parents of this baby can NOT have been this bad, and yet their baby was taken from them!  WTF?????
I'm totally pissed!

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
 One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

[sick, twisted me]

They have a foster child that sexually abuses smaller children; both the FP's work and the
shack on their property is inhabited by the grandma who babysits often in her tiny house where she feeds the kids junk food and lets them either watch tv for hours or play unsupervised in the wilderness that is call a Foster Home.

This sure gives new meaning to being "farmed-out" through foster care!

....

LOL!

It's all in how you look at it and from which side!
My home was loving with the mom there all the time; true, I had a dirty house and my child went out naked...  BUT! In my
whole long life, I can not understand how that foster home stays licensed!  Oh yes I can!  They are needed!  I am not.  They
help bring in money; I cost money!  They LIE!  I tell the truth and get KICKED in the teeth for it!  They aren't seen, where I am
very visible!  They faked a home study and obviously so did I; they get by with it and I pay for the rest of my life for my evilx's
lies!  It's all a big LIE where MONEY is god.

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

How do you know...

Teddy wrote:
The parents of this baby can NOT have been this bad, and yet their baby was taken from them!

How do you know what events led up to the removal of their child?

It states that the mother suffers from bi-polar and schizophrenia - and that she's currently taking parenting classes.  If that's the full extent of her case history then no, removal on those grounds alone would be unwarranted.

Was there repeated acts of abuse and/or neglect that precipitated removal of her child?  On what basis do you make your claim that their baby should not have been removed from their care?

Unfortunately, the facts leading up to removal are shielded from the public due to privacy laws, laws which gag governmental bodies from discussing (or defending, as it were) the reasons for removal.  No such law prevents parents (abusive or not) from putting out their side of the story in the press.

The article never addressed why the child was removed, only what the mother was currently doing to regain custody of her baby.  And even that scant information, as far as I've read, has come exclusively from the mother.

If a foster child dies a tragic death in state care due to accidental gross neglect, does this mean the child should never have been removed from its parents in the first place?  Is this your position?

If not, again, what is your rational basis for your claim?

This child's death is tragic.  Investigate and prosecute the foster mother for gross neglect - I'm all for accountability.  But the fact this child died in care does not automatically invalidate the reasons for its removal.

Why do you think it does?

Dad

When taken in context...

Most comments, when taken in context will be self-explanatory.  I was comparing the foster home I have recently (not now)
had experience with, and the fact that children are taken from the home and not provided services IN the home.  Not that
there weren't issues because obviously there are. 
The mother had parenting classes before and after the child was born.  I am FOR home/family preservation, WITH in-home
services and AGAINST children being placed into foster care.  So, naturally I would make the comment that, "The parents of this baby can NOT have been this bad, and yet their baby was taken from them!"    "this bad" meaning as bad as the foster home I have recently dealt with. 
Carry on...

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

Actually...

the news report/video posted from the Fox News site states the mother was taking parenting classes even before the child was born.

Carver said she wanted to be a good mother, attended parenting classes every week during her pregnancy and then continued them even after her child was born.

Mental illness within a family does not automatically mean a parent should not have children.  [After all, I know many mentally unstable people who were "allowed" to adopt...]

This is the very practice taking place in the UK... where adoption targets are based on false accusations.  [The thread "UK Decoy Tactics", http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/13959 offers example and links to sites that delve more deeply into the corrupt practices behind child placement services.]

The point I'd rather keep focused on is how the family was failed by "child protective services".  Who's watching those who claim authority over one family's child?

Big D wrote:   

This child's death is tragic.  Investigate and prosecute the foster mother for gross neglect - I'm all for accountability.  But the fact this child died in care does not automatically invalidate the reasons for its removal.

The fact that this child died whilst in the care of a foster family proves (once again) foster care services are failing families, and killing a child's chance for survival.

As long as the child placement system itself is not being questioned or investigated, more and more cases like this are going to make our abuse pages.  How many do we need to add before others see there are problems that keep getting ignored?   

UUUHHHHH....

"....But the fact this child died in care does not automatically invalidate the reasons for its removal."

Only when looking at this situation from ONE point of view.  IF there were services within the natural family
then this child would still be alive.
Mental health is something we all have, good or bad or whatever.  The fact still remains that the child is dead
BECAUSE it was removed from the home.

I agree, "foster care services are failing families, and killing a child's chance for survival."

I'm looking at this situation from several points of view:  former foster parent, adoptive parent, having children in
foster care, etc. and believe me it looks different from just my single view as an adoptive parent.

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

I agree

I agree with you Teddy, the parents of this baby can NOT have been this bad. Being bi-polar or schizophrenic doesn't mean necessarily  bad parent, spcially when the mother was doing her parenting classes before and after the birth of the child.

One of my cousins was bi-polar and schizophrenic when she became pregnant, she didn't even know with whom she became pregnant, she was drugged when that happened.  She raised her child with the support of her parents, her sister and family and  that child has become a wonderful young man.

The mother of jessica did

The mother of jessica did nothing wrong, just cause she had a disability CPS took her.
I know the mother personally. she is dating my cousin. and shes doing great with her daughter now.

Another day, another case...

Many AP's like to admonish "birth parents" for hurting the precious lives of little-ones.

Thanks to recent news in Utah, PPL can present another unspoken problem taking place in foster/adoptive homes:

 a state-approved foster parent has pleaded guilty to reduced charges of child abuse that stem from injuries to a child in his care.

James Ryan Hadlock was initially charged with second-degree felonies for the alleged abuse of a 1-year-old boy. In a deal with prosecutors, last week he pleaded guilty to class A misdemeanor charges instead.

Hadlock called American Fork police in Nov. 2006 after the infant stopped breathing. He initally said he didn't know how the child was injured.

Days later, Hadlock changed his story. He told police he accidentally dropped the boy while tossing the infant in the air as a game.

Doctors said the boy suffered fractured legs, ribs and bleeding on his brain. The injuries were consistent with shaking, not a fall.  [From:  "Foster parent pleads guilty in child abuse case", Sept 8, 2008, http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4209173]

It's comforting to know "parenting classes" are being put to good use, and quality care is being offered through America's foster care system.

Just think...

of all the money spent on the training of that foster parent!   AAARRRRGGGG!  I am so pissed at ANYONE for throwing
a child up in the air... but to shake a baby or drop a baby and come up with that many injuries is horrifying!

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

i would like to say that i

i would like to say that i know the mother, she is a great mom. She had a daughter now. and she is doing great. they had no rights to take away Jessy from her life. May Jessica Rest In Peace. <3

The Mother of Jessica is a great girl, no matter her disability. I love her, and nothing can change that. He daughter now is adorable. to be exact she looks just like Jessy.

i feel that this foster mom shouldn't be out. i feel she should be in jail for what she did. There is no way you can forget a baby in a car if you were a fit mom, Fact is, she obviously wasn't a fit mom.

Thank you<3

Comparing Experiences...

When my two youngest were put in a foster home for 2 months, I was in shock.  And only after that 2 months did I find out they weren't giving my daughter her right dosage of life-giving medicine.  She was forced to live in a room with a 12 year old girl who sexual molested her.  And again, I didn't find out until afterward...  but in time to inform the lawyer, who got my children placed with a couple from our church, and then returned home very quickly.

It's not something that happens a few times; it's something that is going on this very minute.  Children are being placed into foster homes that are worse than what was accused in the child's own home.  I had a dirty house because of a severe case of depression and PTSD, exacerbated by prescription drugs for the depression.  How does that compare to what my children suffered being taken from me?

If EVERY mother and father of EVERY child placed in foster care would do their homework and confirm for themselves that their children are safe, it might get better.  But most parents are intimidated by the SW/state to the point that they accept what is happening.  I encourage every parent to ask for in-home services; to comply with whatever is asked of them; and to present themselves as honest loving parents who will do ANYTHING required of them to get their children back home before something bad happens to their children.  Get your church and/or family to go to every meeting to show their support for you and children.  It does count.

Foster parents do NOT love your children.  They are doing a job...  And this is why things like the above happen to children in foster care.

Teddy

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