Mother sues DCF over boy's death
Mother sues DCF over boy's death
A year after Broward's medical examiner determined 'blunt force head
injuries' caused a 7-year-old boy's death, his mother has filed suit,
blaming state child welfare agencies for not investigating complaints of
Posted on Wed, May. 28, 2008
BY CAROL MARBIN MILLER
Dean McGregor's death was ruled a homicide.
His brothers found him, lying in bed, unresponsive, his dead eyes fixed
in space. ''Doll's eyes,'' a doctor called them.
Dean McGregor -- 7 years old, a twin, and a casualty in a years-long
custody battle -- had survived plenty of trouble befo His mother lost
custody to his father after a 2004 neglect charge. The boy later told
state doctors that his father had beaten him with a belt and that he had
injuries to his back and head. In June 2006, he was fished from the
bottom of a swimming pool in a near drowning.
But on July 27, 2006, when he arrived at Plantation General Hospital
with a severe head injury, Dean could fight no longer. ''From a
neurosurgical standpoint, I unfortunately have nothing to offer this
poor child,'' Dr. Guillermo Pasarin wrote in his consultation notes.
``The patient has evidence of clinical brain death.''
A year after Broward's medical examiner determined ''blunt force head
injuries'' the cause, Dean's mother, Kareen Dryden, is blaming state
child welfare administrators for her son's death, which was ruled a
In a wrongful death lawsuit filed this month, Dryden claims the
Department of Children & Families, and its contracted foster care
agency, ChildNet, failed to investigate spiraling allegations of child
abuse in the home of the boy's father, failed to adequately vet the
father's home and failed to take steps to protect Dean McGregor and his
Desmond McGregor, the boy's father, could not be reached for comment. An
attorney who has represented him in the past, Gawane C. Grant, declined
Dryden ''wanted to find out what happened to her son,'' said her lawyer,
Russell Thompson. ``That's why we opened this case.''
DCF administrators, who are reviewing the lawsuit, say they, too, will
seek to learn what went wrong.
''The department is committed to working with ChildNet to understand the
full extent of their involvement with this family,'' said Jack Moss,
DCF's Broward regional administrator.
``Right now, I cannot speculate on what we will learn . . . but I can
assure the public that a thorough review will be conducted to determine
how the casework was handled and what, if anything, could or should have
been done differently.''
Moss added: ``The loss of a child is tragic and our sympathies are with
Emilio Benitez, ChildNet's executive director, declined to comment,
citing the pending lawsuit.
An investigation into Dean's death by the Broward Sheriff's Office
remains open and active, said Alesia Russell, a BSO spokeswoman.
Dean's two brothers now are living in foster care -- in separate homes
-- and both parents are allowed visits as they work toward regaining
custody, Thompson said.
Both of Dean's parents had seen trouble during the marriage, and
Thompson, Dryden's attorney, acknowledges the dispute is less about
whether his client was an ideal mother than whether authorities erred by
not removing the children from their father's care given mounting
evidence of risk.
In July 2003, Dryden had been charged with aggravated battery after a
dustup between her and McGregor at McGregor's job site in West Palm Beach.
In February 2004, she was arrested by the Broward Sheriff's Office on
felony child neglect charges, according to the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement. Thompson said the case arose when Dryden left one of her
children in a house when a man -- not McGregor -- threatened her with a gun.
Electronic court records do not make clear how those cases were resolved.
Regardless, in October 2004, Dean and his two brothers were taken into
state custody; Thompson said DCF accused Dryden of neglect after she was
found living in her car with the boys.
FATHER HAD CUSTODY
On Oct. 6, 2004, a Broward judge awarded custody of the boys to their
father, the lawsuit says. According to FDLE, McGregor also had a
criminal history: He had been charged in 1999 with aggravated battery,
and pleaded no contest in 2000. In 2001, he was charged with violating
probation. Adjudication in the probation violation case was withheld.
On Feb. 16, 2005, DCF's abuse hotline received a report that Desmond
McGregor's girlfriend had used a belt to discipline Dean's twin brother,
leaving a scratch on the boy's back, the lawsuit says.
A caseworker from ChildNet dismissed the allegation as a ''form of
revenge'' by a family member to try to gain custody of the three boys,
the suit says. No action was taken, the suit says.
Though reports to the state's hotline are confidential, Thompson says
records show the report came from a private child welfare caseworker.
In April 2005, a caseworker on a supervised visit was told by the three
brothers that one boy had been injured on his back.
'The monitor observed `a long abrasion' on [the boy's] back,'' the
lawsuit states. The boy 'reported to the monitor that `Desmond hit me'
with a belt.''
The boy also accused the teenage son of his dad's girlfriend of biting
him in the head, the suit states.
Later that month, a caseworker reported McGregor to the state's abuse
hotline, the suit says. As a result, doctors from the state Child
Protection Team examined and interviewed the three boys on April 13, 2005.
''Dean McGregor reported to CPT that his father hits him with a belt,''
the suit says. He also told the team that his dad's girlfriend and her
son also hit him. Again, child welfare workers left the children where
Dryden, in November 2005, said in an abuse report that Desmond McGregor
had attacked her, and she 'fears for her life and the kids' safety.''
Then, in March, 2006, after DCF received another abuse report, a state
Child Protection Team found, ''medically confirmed abuse, failure to
provide a safe environment and failure to protect,'' the lawsuit says.
Dean remained in his father's custody when, the following June, he ''was
pulled out of the bottom of a pool after a brief submersion episode,''
hospital records show. He was 7 at the time.
''As of June 16, 2006, the department and ChildNet had actual knowledge
.. . . of the hostile and dangerous environment in which the McGregor
boys were living when under the care and custody of their father,'' the
''Notwithstanding all of the known risks, warnings and dangers, the
department and ChildNet did not remove the McGregor boys'' from their
father's home, the suit adds.
On July 27, 2006, Dean was admitted to Plantation General Hospital with
''Eyes fixed and dilated . . . without any response,'' a report said.
``No cough. Negative doll's eyes.''
He was pronounced dead the next day. No one has been charged in the case.
''They ignored all her warnings,'' Thompson said of Dean's mother. ``The
people at DCF seemed to be taking the side of the father. They just
didn't believe her. They just didn't believe anything she said.''
An Inconvenient Truth about Child Protective Services, Foster care, and
the Child Protection "INDUSTRY"
Child Protective Services Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of CPS.
every parent should read the free handbook from
connecticut dcf watch...
Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS
Perpetrators of Maltreatment
Physical Abuse CPS/Foster care 160, biological Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS/Foster care 112, biological Parents 13
Neglect CPS/Foster care 410, biological Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS/Foster care 14 biological Parents 12
Fatalities CPS/Foster care 6.4, biological Parents 1.5
Imagine that, 6.4 children die at the hands of the very agencies that
are supposed to protect them and only 1.5 at the hands of parents per
100,000 children. CPS perpetrates more abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse
and kills more children then parents in the United States. If the
citizens of this country hold CPS to the same standards that they hold
parents too. No judge should ever put another child in the hands of ANY
government agency because CPS nationwide is guilty of more harm and
death than any human being combined. CPS nationwide is guilty of more
human rights violations and deaths of children then the homes from which
they were removed. When are the judges going to wake up and see that
they are sending children to their death and a life of abuse when
children are removed from safe homes based on the mere opinion of a
bunch of social workers.
THIS IS AMERICA'S HIDDEN HOLOCAUST
Currently Child Protective Services violates more constitutionally
guaranteed liberties & civil rights on a daily basis then all other
agencies combined, Including the National Security agency/Central
intelligence agency wiretaping programs…
THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
BY: Nancy Schaefer Senator, 50th District of Georgia
This is Child Protection?
By Gregory A. Hession, J.D.
Mercenary Motherhood: "Memoirs of a Babystealer."
FOSTER CARE IS A 80 PERCENT FAILU. A Brief Analysis of the Casey
Family Programs. Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. By Richard Wexler
HOW THE WAR AGAINST CHILD ABUSE BECAME A WAR AGAINST CHILDREN
Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness
DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families
By Nev Moore Massachusetts News
A recent study has found that 12-18 months after leaving foster ca
30% of the nation’s homeless are former foster children.
27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated
33% were receiving public assistance
37% had not finished high school
2% receive a college degree
50% were unemployed
Children in foster care are three to six times more likely than children
not in care to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems,
including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school and
impaired social relationships. Some experts estimate that about 30% of
the children in care have marked or severe emotional problems. Various
studies have indicated that children and young people in foster care
tend to have limited education and job skills, perform poorly in school
compared to children who are not in foster care, lag behind in their
education by at least one year, and have lower educational attainment
than the general population.
*Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support
80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system.
The highest ranking federal official in charge of foster care, Wade Horn
of the Department of Health and Human Services, is a former child
psychologist who says the foster care system is a giant mess and should
just be blown up.
Four rigorous studies have found that at least 30 percent of America’s
foster children could be home right now if their parents had decent housing.
This study found thousands of children already in foster care who would
have done better had child protection agencies not taken them away in
the first place.
Front-page story in USA Today.
Read the studies online.
Casey "alumni" study: "Improving Family Foster Ca Findings from the
Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study,"
MIT study: "Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects
of Foster Care,"
Texas comptroller's "Forgotten Children" reports:
The bottom line? - Child Protective Services and the Foster Care system
for the most part turns out young adults that are nothing more than
CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CONSTITUTIONALLY
GUARANTEED LIBERTIES & CIVIL RIGHTS ON A DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER
AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY/CENTRAL
INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WIRETAPPING PROGRAMS....
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...
BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...
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