O’Ban wants inquiry on why caseworker in horrific child abuse case was promoted

KING5 logoKING 5 Story: Sen. O’Ban wants answers and change. As chair of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee, he sees systemic problems at DSHS where there is little accountability and plans legislative action.

A child is completely disabled after a CPS worker failed to comply with basic protocol. That worker was recently promoted. Sen. Steve O’Ban wants answers and change.

Here are excerpts from the KING 5 story:

“I certainly want to see what criteria was used to promote this person. That sends the wrong message. That creates the wrong culture,” said O’Ban.

When the legislative session convenes in mid-January, 2015, O’Ban plans to have a formal meeting with top DSHS officials. He wants to get to the bottom of three main issues stemming from this case:

  • Why an appropriate safety plan was not followed.
  • If there was an internal investigation into the missteps in this case and if any disciplinary actions or augmented training occurred based on the outcome of the review.
  • What the agency’s criteria is for promoting employees.

If a meeting doesn’t produce adequate answers, O’Ban says the next step would be to hold a public hearing.

“Another method to get at the truth is, we’ll have a hearing. We’ll have a public hearing and I’ll call the key people there and I’ll put those questions to them,” said O’Ban.

O’Ban says the goal is to see if Aiden’s case exposes systemic failures that would require changes in state law to fix.

“You have to do a better job than clearly was done here,” said O’Ban. “This is not something that we should tolerate.”