The family of a local child whose face was smashed and lip cut all the way through at a Muskogee daycare is being told the daycare did nothing wrong, according to the family’s attorney, Steve Money.
The family received a message from DHS stating that “we closed the investigation with a finding of unsubstantiated.” The family is supposed to receive a letter next week to that same effect.
Doctors who examined the girl said the daycare’s story did not explain the massive extent of her injuries and urged police and DHS to investigate further, but those pleas — at least to DHS — apparently went unheeded.
“This is ridiculous,” Money said today. “If a neighbor had called DHS to report this as an injury in the child’s home, the parents would have been arrested and the child placed in state custody.”
Over the years, numerous families have contacted MuskogeeNOW with those exact complaints about DHS, but because the agency maintains secrecy, it doesn’t respond to specific details of cases and therefore isn’t accountable to the public.
“At some point, DHS needs to be held accountable for their abuse and routine disregard of the rights of parents and caregivers,” Money said. “And their ‘unsubstantiated’ findings as in this case.
“Maybe they did not read the same medical report that I did,” Money, who also has a medical degree, said. “If they did read it, they didn’t understand it. I’ll be glad to explain it to them.”
DHS does not respond to requests from the media.
“The parents are appalled by this finding, or lack thereof,” he said. “It’s a travesty.”
If you have had experiences with DHS, please either text MuskogeeNOW (981-869-1482) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).