Girl’s murder a “wakeup call” for advocates

    Rather than call for more reform, child advocates say the incident should be a wakeup call for everyone.

    Some authorities are calling the death of a 10-year-old Philadelphia girl “one of the worst cases of child abuse they have seen.” The girl’s stepmother has been charged with murder, along with her father, who committed suicide in prison Sunday. But rather than call for more reform, child advocates say the incident should be a wakeup call for everyone.

    Listen:
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    The case of Charleeni Ferreira is reminiscent of 14-year-old Danieal Kelly’s gruesome 2006 death. That case exposed problems in the city’s Department of Human Services, and prompted child advocates to demand a major overhaul of the city’s child-welfare system.

    In the most recent case, reports show DHS provided services to the girl’s family, but medical examinations did not confirm allegations of abuse, and the case was closed.

    Shelley Yanoff is the Executive Director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth.

    Yanoff: People from the school were concerned and neighbors seemed to see major differences and major problems with the child and it’s not clear whether they responded or not. This is not it seems to me an occasion for more finger pointing but rather for all of us to realize how deep our obligation is to look and protect children.

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