March 2nd , 2024



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3 months ago

A baby who was returned to her drug-addicted father died of a drug overdose after lawmakers overturned a social worker's decision to take custody of the infant.

Authorities in Santa Clara County, California, changed their rules regarding child removal days before newborn Phoenix died of a fentanyl overdose.

The county was under investigation at the time of the child's birth after involved social workers raised the alarm that "progressive" lawyers were overriding child welfare decisions.

And after his death, County Executive James Williams, who served as lead attorney until July, acknowledged Saturday that "the county dropped the ball."

"In my opinion, baby Phoenix should not have been in the care of his father," he said, adding that the school district had erred in assessing whether her father, David Castro, was suitable to care for Phoenix. He also acknowledged that he did, but declined to say whether his lawyer cared for Phoenix. The lawsuit overruled the social worker's decision.

He added, "I think there's an extraordinary passion on all sides: What can we best do to take care of children and their families? We want to improve, we want to learn, and we care deeply. I don't have anyone like that.''

The 3-month-old girl was discovered dead in a "opioid-ridden apartment" in May, but the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office claimed the child was too young to eat solid food. I spoke with someone who was not too affected by the baby's death.

The autopsy report said the child died of a fentanyl overdose after being poisoned by drugs found next to a plastic bottle at Castro's 38-year-old San Jose home, despite repeated warnings from neighbors. He was found dead.

                                                                        Mr. Castro, had eight drug convictions

Older children had previously been removed from Mr. Castro, who had eight drug convictions, but Santa Clara County recently changed the "standards" for exclusion, citing its commitment to racial justice. changed.

"There's no reason this baby had to die," her neighbor Nancy Wetherington told the Mercury News. "CPS or the police or someone should have intervened and taken that baby away. How did this baby, a beautiful girl, survive? She thought the baby should be alive."

Family member Edward Morillo told NBC: "Somebody dropped the ball and they're going to have to pay for it, whether it's social services or not." We did our best to keep Emily calm, so someone needs to be held accountable.

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