Monday, November 24, 2008

Two More Children Die In Yet Another Foster Home Blaze

(I just had a communication from someone who knows the foster parents in this terrible case. The caller stated that they think I am "targeting" the family by way of this blog. Following tragedy is, unfortunately, what you do if you report on CPS. It is not "targeting" the family. Please read the blog. If there is something incorrect send me a message. If the state allows that many kids in a house the upstairs should have a special "way out." This home was a facility and being such...with this many kids...there needed to be special fire escape equipment: slides, outside stairs, whatever. How would you vote on something like that? What is on the state's safety check list? Anything?)
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 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

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 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.)


Anonymous said...

Mark Lee and his wife, Susan, are wonderful people who work very hard to help troubled kids. The fire was an accident and beyond Mark and Susan's control.

They are victims. Why are we picking on victims? Ms. Roach, I think you need to get the facts straight and know of what you are speaking before passing judgment on the Lees.

Anonymous said...

Just terrible, what a sad state of affairs this system is. It will never be corrected the way it is going. They cannot police and investigate themselves. Its like the blind leading the blind. They dont have the mentality to do the right thing on the cases they try to handle. And we expect them to be honest when investigating their own department? When is someone..anyone..going to hold them accountable for playing God?

Anonymous said...

How many "special needs kids" can you foster before its too much for two people? No matter the size of the home.

Anonymous said...

cps gets by with what they do there is a monster lurking about it is cps and foster care now our children and familires are being torn apart for black marketing by the highest bidder they are sold into slavery from kind,loveing non abusive homes who cant get a decent honest attorney,or hearing.they only thinl of getting rich in the long run our rights are ignored and our families,dreams shatttered by this monster close them own hold them responsible put our families back together stop this monster from killing,rapeing,drugging and killing our children and families demand our rights.go Ms.Pam Roach tell our stories carry our voices hurt and pain to dc aswell as ms.nancy shaffer let us know what we can do to help you get rid of this monster so our voices can be heardand our families set free.may god helpyou and your familiy and gide your foot steps.god bless a mad mom