Where are the Turpin kids now: California social services system ‘failed’ the siblings, probe finds

RIVERSIDE, California – The 13 Turpin siblings, who were rescued from captivity at their parents’ California home in 2018, were “failed” by the social services system designed to care for them and help them transition into society, according to a report issued on Friday by outside investigators hired by Riverside County.

The video shown is from a previous report.

“Some of the younger Turpin children were placed with caregivers who were later charged with child molestation,” the 630-page report said. “Some of the older siblings experienced periods of housing instability and food insecurity as they transitioned into self-employment.”

The eight-month investigation was commissioned in response to an ABC News investigation into the Diane Sawyer 20/20 special Escape From A House of Horror, which aired last November and in which two of the Turpin siblings spoke out for the first time about the challenges and hardships they have faced in the years since sheriff’s deputies rescued them from a life of domestic confinement.

“With respect to the Turpin siblings, we conclude that they have received the care they required from the county many times over the past four years,” the report said. “However, this has not always been the case and all too often the welfare system has let them down.”

The Turpin siblings were rescued from their home in Perris, California, in January 2018 after Jordan Turpin, then 17, made a daring escape in the middle of the night and called 911. Authorities later found that their parents subjected them to brutal violence and deprived them of food, sleep, sanitation, education and health care.

David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to 14 counts in 2019 and were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

“In short, while there are many examples of dedicated Riverside County employees succeeding despite the systemic obstacles in their path, there are too many other examples of them falling short or even failing outright,” the statement reads Report.

In response to the report, Riverside County Chief Karen Spiegel said in a statement, “This is the time for action and I will support all efforts to meet the challenge.”

While many of the details in the report have been redacted due to privacy regulations, the investigation outlined a number of specific instances where services failed, as well as when they succeeded. It also included a set of recommendations for reforming the troubled systems that care for both needy adults and children in Riverside County.

In a statement, County Executive Officer Jeff Van Wagenen, who commissioned the investigation, said the recommendations “would guide our ongoing efforts to improve outcomes over the coming days, weeks and months.”

In terms of its examination of Riverside’s broader welfare system, the report found that there were “many examples of dedicated Riverside County employees who have thrived despite the systemic obstacles in their way” — but ultimately that “there were too many There are other examples of the crash falling short or even failing completely.”

High turnover, lack of oversight, access to benefits

Investigators were tasked with both investigating the concerns raised in the Turpin case and examining the entire social services system in Riverside County — the 10th-largest county in the nation, whose $1 billion public social services division serves nearly a million people annually.

In its analysis of the various departments within the county’s social service structure, the report paints a portrait of the system run by staff plagued by “inadequate compensation, overwhelming caseload and inadequate support.”

In the childcare department, for example, high staff turnover and a vacancy rate of around 40% have “reached a crisis point,” the report says. But the entire section of the report detailing the experiences of the youngest Turpin siblings in that department has been redacted, likely due to strict confidentiality laws governing records of minors.

For adult Riverside County residents, the report noted that housing is a “particular concern” and says that when it comes to state benefits, there is “no clear, agency-wide process” for the county to connect people to services bring that they’re entitled to. The adult Turpin children, the investigation found, received an additional security income that was deposited into their treasury.

Specifically, investigators found that none of the funds donated to the Turpin siblings after the story of their escape and rescue made global headlines in 2018 was improperly spent. However, it was noted that a large proportion of these funds went unspent, and failure to do so “may have resulted in food and shelter insecurity for at least some of the Turpin siblings”.

Investigators questioned why the public guardian — the court-appointed conservator responsible for assisting adult siblings in making decisions about their finances, health care and general well-being — did not distribute those funds, noting, that the accounts of these funds were often “filed years after the due date”.

Regardless, while the report primarily discussed the donations raised by the public following the siblings’ rescue in 2018, investigators also questioned why the public guardian “until recently” made no effort to create a separate set of Nearly $1,000,000 in donations to be received from the public raised by the JAYC Foundation following the 20/20 report aired in November. A spokesman for the JAYC Foundation said in a statement to ABC News on Friday that the foundation, for its part, “has actually begun disbursing funds to the Turpin siblings.”

In their review of the Public Guardian’s Office, investigators found that “extremely high and complex caseloads, limited funding and lack of oversight put clients at risk that their needs will not be met and their rights will not be protected.” In fact, staff in this office handle 98 to 113 cases per person — about 3.5 times the recommended standard of 30 cases.

Still, the report praised employees who “use flexibility and creativity to create care plans designed to align with clients’ desires.”

The report also welcomed court-appointed legal representation for the Turpin children. All of the siblings were at some point represented by Jack Osborn of the Brown White and Osborn company, who investigators say “lobbyed vigorously and effectively on their behalf.”

However, the records showed “heated conflicts” between the parties involved in the cases, including the appointed attorney, the Riverside County Attorney’s Office and the Public Guardian.

It noted that the power struggles have “prolonged acrimony and possibly marred the development of trusting and confidential attorney-client relationships, particularly given the Turpins’ vulnerability and lack of experience of the legal system”.

recommendations for improvement

Investigators shared a long list of recommendations for the county to consider to improve programs for children in foster care and vulnerable adults in their community. Implementing the recommendations is likely to incur significant costs, although the report does not provide concrete figures.

To improve workplace performance, investigators recommended the county reduce employee and social worker stress by reducing heavy workloads, increasing training and attempting to create an overall better system to support the county’s social workers. Investigators further recommended that when the district is faced with “critical” incidents, use those events as “system-wide” learning opportunities and conduct policy reviews to assess those situations.

To address concerns about the county’s foster care system, investigators recommended increasing the number of “high-efficiency” foster homes within the community and increasing oversight of these homes to ensure adequate quality of care. That oversight should be headed by an officer appointed to investigate complaints of mismanagement within the system, the report said.

A reduction in the number of critical incidents, increased stability for children placed in institutions and fewer reports of abuse for children in care would measure the program’s effectiveness, the investigators wrote. They said the county needs to improve the quality of care provided by families to care for children and that support and communication with children should be increased to ensure their voices are heard in the process.

Investigators also said there is a need for increased support for public guardians and social workers who serve the vulnerable adults in the system. A reduction in case numbers, increased training and oversight, and a significant pay increase could help alleviate staff shortages, the report suggested.

The report also recommended that the district set a cap on the number of cases an attorney handles and improve communication between the various agencies and the court, while ensuring clients have the opportunity to be heard within the system will.

A Riverside County representative said in a statement that the county is “committed to finding innovative solutions and implementing recommendations from Larson LLP.”

The report is scheduled to be presented to the district board at a public meeting on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.

https://6abc.com/13-turpin-siblings-where-are-the-kids-now-family-social-services/12033999/ Where are the Turpin kids now: California social services system ‘failed’ the siblings, probe finds

Alley Einstein

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button