An employee with Child Protective Services in Houston, Texas was fired last week after allegedly telling a 14-year-old girl in the state’s care that she should become a prostitute.
According to FOX 26 Houston, mom Keisha Bazley (pictured above, top-right corner) turned to CPS for help with her teenage daughter this year. The girl had apparently been “running away and causing trouble at school,” according to the news report. So, the concerned parent called in the governmental agency to help with care.
But according to Bazley, the worker didn’t help her daughter. Instead, the CPS-sent woman allegedly told the girl to become a prostitute in order to get out of her difficult family situation and make sure her personal needs were being met. WTF?!?! At 14 years old???
The angry mother explained to the news outlet how her daughter was shocked at the worker’s suggestion. So shocked, in fact, that the girl decided to get it on video to confirm it actually happened:
“My daughter told me that the worker had been telling her she should do these things, so she said she decided to video her.”
In the video, the CPS worker — who was not identified by the news outlet, and whose face was blurred out (pictured in center, above) — can be heard saying to the girl:
“If you’re gonna be a hoe, be a real hoe.”
Bazley, who was horrified by the suggestion given to her daughter, filed an official complaint with the agency. The department was shocked at the evidence, and state-level director Jamie Masters reportedly went to Houston to apologize personally to the family. Late last week, CPS fired the employee who suggested the girl sell her body. In a statement to the media about the horrific situation, Department of Family and Protective Services spokesperson Melissa Lanford said:
“DFPS is aware of the video and has taken action. The person in the video — who was employed as CPS support staff — was dismissed from her position August 10. The safety and appropriateness with which children in care must be treated is our paramount concern. Nothing less will be tolerated.”
Now, there are concerns the situation could go much deeper than one rogue worker giving awful, shocking advice to an underage girl. FOX 26 Houston spoke to family law attorney Mike Schneider, who stated his worry about whether this story could get bigger:
“I’ve never seen that happen before where the commissioner of CPS comes in from Austin, just to apologize about something horrible that’s been done to a child involved with CPS. It’s bad enough if it’s just one bad rogue worker. It concerns me that it may be bigger than that, and they need to make sure it’s not just one person, and they’ve got to find a way to protect these kids.”
As for Bazley, she was incensed her young daughter was given such shocking advice:
“If me, the parent, was to do something like this to my child, I would be bashed. I would be called a horrible parent. I would lose my kids. This should not happen to girls in their care. It should not happen. It’s unacceptable.”
Now, CPS is housing the girl at a hotel.
However, also last week, the state went to court to try to dismiss the 14-year-old’s foster case and get her out of their care. A judge did not agree to cut the girl’s case, and she remains under CPS watch. In his interview with the news outlet, Schneider explained how the video may have played a role:
“I think they’re threatened by the fact that this video even exists. They [CPS] know about it. They apologized and the head of CPS has apologized about this. What they didn’t do is tell the court dealing with this case that was going on Thursday, when they wanted to dismiss the case. The fact that they didn’t think it was relevant that their own agency is trying to prostitute a child, that’s incredibly disingenuous, to have a hearing and not bring that to the court’s attention.”
Ugh. What a terrible situation. Here is more on the story from FOX 26 Houston (below):
Just awful. That poor girl…
[Image via FOX 26 Houston/YouTube]