Washington will not reinstate fired child welfare workers
Despite a ruling by an administrative hearing officer recommending reinstatement for four District of Columbia child welfare workers who were fired last month in connection with the deaths of four young girls, the district’s interim Attorney General Peter Nickles says the terminations will not be reversed, according to media reports. Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty fired six workers in the district’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), saying the caseworkers did not do enough to prevent the deaths of the four girls, who police say were killed by their mother and found Jan. 9.
In his ruling, the administrative officer said the city should reinstate the fired workers because it had violated their due process rights. However, Nickles said the officer’s findings are only advisory, and Nickles’ spokesman Alan Heymann says CFSA decided Friday to maintain the terminations. “The culture in this town is that there is not a strict sense of accountability when people do not do their duty, and, as a result, people are hurt,” Nickles said. “In this case, we had the ultimate situation where these four kids were killed. We’re not going to accept that.”
Previously, Fenty said the girls’ mother, Banita Jacks, had applied for assistance from the city and had been turned down. Later, Fenty said, CFSA failed to follow up on reports that the children were being neglected and closed the case after believing the family had moved. Jacks and the girls were still living in the same house.