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DSHS says it should have consulted with authorities about Josh Powell visiting his sons

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Aug. 2, 2012 at 9:45 am with 18 Comments »
August 2, 2012 10:00 am

The state might have banned Josh Powell from having his two young sons at his Graham house if they had known Utah authorities considered him a person of interest in the 2009 disappearance of his wife, according to a Department of Social and Health Services report released today.

Having that information means “the department could have evaluated him differently for domestic violence and not allowed in-home visits with the boys.”

When a case worker brought Powell’s sons – Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5 –for a supervised visit Feb. 5, Powell attacked the boys with a hatchet before setting the home on fire with them inside. The children had been staying with their maternal grandparents while a judge decided who they should live with.

DSHS is required to conduct a fatality review when a child’s death is believed to be caused by abuse or neglect and the child has received services in the last year.

A 12-member committee comprised of law enforcement and child experts reviewed more than 2,700 pages of documents and interviewed the seven workers involved in the Powell case while putting together its 13-page report.

The panel also ruled that DSHS employees could not have known Josh Powell planned to kill his sons, and that they showed “the highest concern for the children’s health, safety and welfare.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. tommy98466 says:

    What a revelation by DSHS. Pathetic.

  2. lovethemountains says:

    What? DSHS lives in a cave with no communication with the outside world?

  3. MrCarleone says:

    This is what happens, and will continue to happen, when you have an organization (DSHS) that believes in condoning, minimalizing, and accepting behaviors of parents.

    They believe in the Hug-A-Thug, Kumbyah Treatments, with no accountability or responsibility.

    DSHS is in dire need of an enema, from top to bottom.

  4. fanciladi says:

    Well, let me say a big ‘DUH’………how idiotic….just like the government…after it’s over it’s a maybe ooops…GRRRrrrrrrrr………

  5. ruledbysun says:

    Another example of how DSHS is so understaffed, overworked and can’t give good service. Individual attention is lacking on each case, not to mention the caseworker rotation, people’s lives and well being are placed in their hands and its a big responsiblity. The state is first to cut these services and this is the cost.

  6. mojjonation says:

    This just in…humans need to breathe air to survive. Masters Of The Obvious (MOTO) get a gold star today.

  7. mojjonation says:

    DSHS was one of poorest (if not THEE poorest) performing state entity long before cuts were made.

  8. skippythedog says:

    That he was a “person of interest” was made pretty clear by any news account I ever saw or read. Even if the cretins that run DSHS live in a media black hole, given his high profile, you’d think someone would have made the one phone call.

  9. itwasntmethistime says:

    I didn’t think there was a person on the planet who wasn’t aware that Josh Powell may or may not have had something to do with the disappearance of his wife.

    If the entire DSHS organization claims they hadn’t heard this, they are all big fat liars. The real truth is that DSHS values biological ties more than the safety of children. They consider it a success story when a child returns to a drug-addicted unstable parent after bouncing around the foster system for years. They don’t care about how the child is raised during his formative years, only that the ultimate result is the same address as Mom.

  10. doesthatmakesense says:

    Unfortunately state law makes keeping the family intact/family reunification a priority. Per RCW 13.34 “the legislature declares that the family unit should remain intact unless a child’s right to conditions of basic nurture, health, or safety is jeopardized.” It is easy in hindsight to say that the say that mistakes were made. I remember reading comments like: “I am still unclear why they took the children from their father when the grandfather is the one arrested and is still in jail.” and “You don’t take children into custody without violating their rights if there’s no abuse.” These comments were made in response to a News Tribune article about the boys being taken from Josh when his dad was arrested. The writers were questioning how the state could take kids from Josh when he had not even been charged with a crime let alone convicted. I would not want to live somewhere where mere allegations could result in the removal of children from a parent. I am not a defender of CPS, but like the courts, the police, school employees, etc, they can only base their decisions on what they knew at the time.

  11. NewDragon says:

    There is NO ONE to blame here but Josh Powell. Don’t blame DSHS and then give those morons more power over parents. You bleeding heart idiots are ready to steal our freedom over just about anything. Pathetic?

  12. SandHills says:

    CYA – a day late and a dollar short…but normal for any government entity. Never any repercussions for their mistakes, but if you are a private citizen dealing with them, they usually throw the book at you using the full weight of their authority.

    This isn’t just state level – in fact it is worse at the Federal level. At least the military has the UCMJ to administer punishment – but even there, it is still weighed more heavily against a junior enlisted member for minor infractions, as opposed to letting senior officers get a slap on the wrist and a fat pension for significantly more serious offenses or lapses of judgement.

  13. Tracianne says:

    How low can the News Tribune go by showing this monsters face. And to top it off show it as a part of his family.

    The Tribs about as sick as he was.

  14. Rowdy_Rob says:

    I see The News Tribune continues to beat the dead horse…

  15. Tuffgal88 says:

    Traci…I was going to post the same thing! The Trib needs to take that photo of him down! I can’t stand to look at it. ugh!!

  16. ThomasSkidmore says:

    As always the most incompetent agency in state government! They need to stop hiring their clients!

  17. biblethumper says:

    Well ??? guess who is going to pay for all this “criminality”?
    The state licensed Attorney criminals are hurting for money so this is a way for one state licensed DSHS to pay another with Joe Q Public taxpayer money… So? just how big a criminal is penny anny Cy Sun compared to these big buck state criminals?? well any way ,,, Praise King Jesus for Salvation and Healing …

  18. For years, I have been part of the DSHS criticism squad. But how about we hold DSHS accountable for its actual errors rather than seeing it as an ATM when a kid(s) dies.

    I maintained from the start of this disaster that the boys were fine until our local gendarmes decided to shake the tree. I have seen nothing to change my view. If the AG is paying attention to the Trib and the Seattle Times comments, this lawsuit against the state goes nowhere but in the circular file.

    As I asked in the other thread today, does Grandpa Powell get to share in the payout from the state (assuming there is one)? He is a grieving relative, after all.

    I am not sure this case enhances the attorneys’ reputations.

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