Social Services Probed in Lost Kids Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A week after two toddlers in protective custody were found wandering the streets of South Los Angeles, the Department of Child and Family Services admitted to NBC4 News on Wednesday that the case showed a lapse in responsibility. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Koreatown for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014)

    A week after two toddlers were found abandoned on the streets of South Los Angeles, the agency that was supposed to protect them is under fire. The Department of Children and Family Services admits mistakes were made.

    "In this case something wasn't done that should've been done,” said Philip Browning, the director of the DCFS. "I don't think we can say anyone failed, I think we can say we need to do a better job."

    Police ID Mother of Abandoned Toddlers

    [LA] Police ID Mother of Abandoned Toddlers
    Police have identified and are looking for the mother of two toddlers who were found alone wondering the streets of Compton. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from South LA for NBC4 News at 5p.m Tuesday, March 4, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014)

    He's referring to the 2- and 3-year-old boys found wandering the streets alone last week, simply looking for food. The LAPD picked them up at a liquor store, only to find out they were under direct supervision of the DCFS.

    "No one entity can be solely responsible for the protection of children in this county,” Browning said.

    The DCFS says the family maintenance program is initiated through children's court - meaning the judge who handled their case ultimately made the decision.

    But NBC4 was told it needs to file a public records request to find out if DCFS social workers were the ones who suggested it to the court.

    "It's always upsetting to me,” said David Green, a County social worker.

    Green is a county social worker who did not work on this particular case but says the public needs to know the difficulties social workers face.

    In the south LA case, the mother, Sidnicka Wilson, faces child abuse and neglect charges, sending her kids back into the "system."

    Their case, Browning says, is already in the hands of internal affairs.

    "They're gonna look at this case to see what could've been done differently and what should've been done differently," he said.

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