Comment of the Day

Reader: No surprise children are dying given flaws in system

Last week, Judge Chris Melonakis sentenced Donald Scarlett to 42 years in prison for child abuse leading to the death of a 22-month-old boy -- and in doing so, he blistered the Adams County human services department for what he saw as actions that could have prevented the tragedy but didn't. The following reader shared similar frustrations.

SeizeTheDay writes:

Anyone who has ever been involved with or know people who have been involved with The Colorado Department of Human Services should not be shocked at all that children die under their supervision. You are talking about people who go to school for a few years and get a degree and then are given carte blanche over families who are dealing with serious issues like abuse, addiction and mental illness...being social workers with little to no experience with such issues outside of what they're taught in a classroom. They remove children but do no follow-up counseling or plans to reunite the family, they make case plans for sibling and parent visitation that they do not enforce, they do not remove restraining orders that were suppose to be lifted once a plan is in place which means parents have to go in and do it themselves years later...the list goes on and on. CDHS is so omnipotent that when a family attempts to hire an attorney to fight for their kids or rights, no lawyer will go against them. They are inept bullies who spend months and months on cases where they cite in their report as not being abuse or neglect while children starve to death in closets or are raped and murdered by a woman's boyfriend. They should absolutely be held accountable for failing to do their jobs and stop hiding behind the guise of doing everything they do to protect children...because they don't.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts