One death is too many especially when it is the death of a child. This month, in the Houston area there have been three reports of death to children at the hands of caregivers, family members, and acquaintances.
Mother arrested in 2009 death of 8-year-old daughter
Special needs, 8 yr. old Halle required constant medical care and a feeding tube, all provided by state and federal government services and allegedly discontinued by her parents, “because they didn’t want people coming in and out all the time.” According to the Houston Chronicle, “”When the police arrived at the residence given by the mother the home contained no furnishing, no food and only contained a feeding pump and formula,” court documents stated.” Almita Nicole Lockhart, the mother was arrested this month but this was not her first encounter with either law enforcement or CPS officials. CPS had visited mom accused of starving girl several times over the course of the past 17 years, and involving Lockhart’s 9 other children, all of which had been placed in other homes.
An AP article states, “CPS admits there were warning signs and , in hindsight, the situation, a spokesperson says, should have been handled differently.” “We think that we could have talked to our legal department about possibly taking custody of these children in 2006,” said Gwen Carter with CPS. “We think we could have looked closer at mom’s problems and what services we provided to her. We think we could have done more to help mom deal with the problems she might have had.”
According to this report from KHOU. CPS said it is reviewing what it could have done differently. “We don’t have the right to just go check up on people, unless we have a new report,” Olguin explained.
Man charged in death of 4-year-old Spring Branch girl, Feb. 16, 2010; A four year old’s death is under investigation. court papers accuse Herrera-Gomez of intentionally and knowingly injuring the child Sunday by striking her with his hand or striking her with or against an unknown blunt object.
Also in the Feb. 16th news, a Houston mom was charged in death of 5-month-old son by repeatedly shaking him until he stopped crying, police said.
Parenting Classes in Houston
Parents and caregivers, take advantage of the many parenting classes available in the Houston area to help you be a better parent, learn parenting skills and avoid harming your child.
Escape Family Resource Center
DePelchin Children’s Center
Check with your local hospitals and pediatricians for other classes available to you.
Friends, family, neighbors – please report suspected child abuse
Maybe if someone had reported chronic crying and screaming of the 5 month old child mom could have gotten help. To report suspected child abuse contact your:
Harris County Sheriff’s office
Harris County CPS
Houston Police Dept.
Not in Houston? Contact your local CPS, Sheriff’s Department or Police. Ask your pediatrician’s office or a school or daycare teacher where in your area to report abuse.
Some may say, “Why report? CPS probably won’t do anything anyway.” More importantly let’s ask, “What if CPS can do something?” and “What if I don’t call?”