Children Services tightening procedures to keep kids safe

A recent child abuse case has spurred changes with the Lucas County Children Services.
A recent child abuse case has spurred changes with the Lucas County Children Services.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Lucas County Children Services is tightening and tweaking procedures to keep kids in foster care safe.

Last week a young couple was thrown in the Lucas County Jail for allegedly abusing their two foster kids and taping it. A complaint of their abuse had slipped through the cracks at CSB.

Deans Sparks said this makes Lucas County Children Services want to pay more attention to details now more than ever.

"We're deeply committed to child safety and child protection, all of us that are here. Do we ever make mistakes? Sure, we make mistakes. Sometimes we can do things better, and that's when it's time to adjust our policies and procedures," said Sparks.

A video tape that allegedly showed Joshua and Courtney Waxler beating their two young adoptive daughters is what landed them behind bars. The Waxlers had served as foster parents to the girls prior to their adoption. During that time, children services received a call the kids had welts on their bodies from abuse.

Sparks said a case worker was visiting the family the day the call was placed, but was not made aware of the claims until the next day, and the kids were not examined.

"What we know is that she saw those kids and there were no apparent injuries," said Sparks. "But we didn't do an undress exam, which probably in retrospect, we should have."

That case has spurred changes. From now on, all claims of child abuse will be considered as a report and will be investigated with referrals to law enforcement. Investigators used to have 72 hours to see a child in nonemergency claims. That time frame is being shortened to 24 hours. Additionally, all people working for CSB are responsible for collecting evidence when they see it.

Sparks said he is meeting with all his employees on the changes this week, as they are effective immediately.

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