Society

Child Protective Services Seizes Wrong 5-Year-Old, Should The Organization Be Punished?

| by Sheena Vasani
The 5-Year-Old BoyThe 5-Year-Old Boy

Minnesota child protective services mistakenly pulled out the wrong 5-year-boy from school on Jan. 8.

The agency showed up at a school to pick up a boy called Avante, but ended up taking a different child with a similar name, KMSP reports.

"They had him pack up all of his stuff from school and go to another school to pick up an older boy and the older boy in the car said, 'that's not my brother,'” Avante’s mother Rebecca Williams said.

After 45 minutes, the child was returned to class, but his mother says by that point the incident had already affected her son.

"My son was in a vehicle driving around in a place where I didn't know where he was,” Williams said.

"I don't wish anything bad on anybody I guess but they need to understand what they are doing and what damage they cause to other people’s lives,” Williams added.

She says Avante still asks about the other boy and is still confused about what happened.

School officials apologized for the incident, blaming it both on human error by the school’s clerk as well as child protective services.

This is not the first time Minnesota’s child protective services has sparked controversy for incompetence.

In July 2015, requirements were implemented to reform the state’s system after repeated complaints over many child protection failures.

A 4-year-old boy was killed by his father’s fiancee despite 15 reports to Poe County Child Protection to intervene.

In another incident, eight adopted special needs children were reportedly physically abused and were discovered living in filthy, unsafe rooms.

"There was stuff piled everywhere, clothes and soiled pull-ups and cat feces, used syringes, pill bottles everywhere,” family friend Jessica Ballantine told KARE.

"I was abused. Slapped around. Got like nails in the back of my neck. Even got thrown down the stairs one time,” 20-year-old Andrew Davies, the oldest of the children who grew up in the home, told KARE.

Although the house was reported to the county’s child protective services multiple times, it failed to respond, stating in 2010 “child protective services are not needed."

"The system in my opinion had damaged these kids as much as the people they lived with," said a family acquaintance.

Sources: KMSP, KARE (2) / Photo credit: KMSP