When children are abused and/or neglected by their parents, social services are supposed to treat them better. Sadly, sometimes that doesn’t happen. And tragically, it didn’t happen for the Turpin children, 13 siblings who were famously rescued from their monstrous parents after one of them escaped.
Independent investigators were hired by Riverside County to investigate the social services system that was supposed to care for the Turpin children. Their eight-month investigation found that the system “failed” the siblings.
Six of the siblings have now filed two lawsuits against the county and the private foster care agency they were placed with, alleging they suffered “severe abuse and neglect” for years while in foster care. The suits allege that the six youngest children “were the victims of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by a foster family they were placed with after they were rescued by law enforcement in 2018.” The children also allege that the social workers “failed to report” the “severe” abuse and neglect when warned of it.
The foster parents the children were placed with were charged in November with over a dozen criminal offenses.
The report from the 8-month investigation was released last week and Tuesday some residents of Riverside County attended a hearing about the findings from the report. They are disgusted with the state of their foster care system. “It’s time for you to resign or face a recall by citizens,” resident Rory Connell told Riverside County Supervisor Karen Spiegel.
They accused county officials of having a “total lack of leadership” and running a “broken social services system.”
“How many more children will be hurt or killed? How many more millions of dollars will Riverside County taxpayers have to pay for investigations, reports and lawsuits?” one person asked. “Remember, actions speak louder than words.”
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This is unfathomable. To think these children spent their whole lives being horribly abused, only to be abused again by the system that was supposed to rescue them. It’s disgusting. And it happened in a state that collects a lot of taxes from its residents. Where is all that money going? Certainly not for quality and/or quantity of social services staff. What should happen to the people running and working in the Riverside County social services department that was involved in the Turpin’s care?