My sincere condolences to the family and those who loved those troubled boys. Each case like this should be thoroughly investigated so that a tragedy like this one will never occur again...in a foster home...or a non foster care residence.)
When Saturday night's local TV News reported two children had just died in a house fire, I wondered if DSHS was involved. Specifically, I wondered if this was a foster home.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The Seattle Times
ARLINGTON--- Two boys died in a house fire late Friday, but their foster parents and six other children escaped.
The blaze had spread so fast, with flames shooting out several windows, that firefighters couldn't go inside to rescue the boys, ages 11 and 12, even though they had arrive just six minutes after the 911 call....
The firefighters said they think it was an electrical malfunction. I am not a fire investigator but am concerned about the reason for the fire and that this 4,000 sq. ft. house with ten bedrooms went up so fast. The article did mention that the foster kids were placed in this home through Compass Health which is "a local social-service agency that works with foster children who suffer from depression and other mental-health issues. (Like "setting little fires around the house?" Please see previous PRR)
We learn about this from the reporters who have interviewed the neighbors. DSHS will make no reports. We may see something after a settled law suit...but usually the details are sealed as part of the settlement.
This reporting is not aimed at failings of the foster parents. I understand that one parent is a juvenile court worker who takes in troubled kids and is a very kind hearted man. He is paid for this work...so he and his wife make probably $80,000 a year to do what they do. But, this blog is about built in safe guards for the kids, use of taxpayer money, and lack of citizen oversight. Good people should have better support (home inspections, a definition of hotel v. home, full mental health reports, from the same department.)
What we will never know:
How many fire alarms were in this huge house that was being remodeled to provide more beds?
Was the reconstruction finished?
Were there hazardous situations on the premises because of the construction?
Was there a child in this mix that had a "little problem" in the fascination with fire department?
What was the report that CPS had on this home and its safely?
How much money was the foster couple making by taking in the kids with "mental-health" issues?
When does this house with ten bedrooms full of kids with mental problems move from being a foster home to a mental institution? (I guess it is all under DSHS so it doesn't matter.)