Experts Reviewing How Jayden Villegas-Morales Case Was Handled

Representatives from the Child Welfare League of America are examining how agencies handled the case of the young boy who died in July

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Friday, Sep 13, 2013  |  Updated 12:40 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Experts from the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) are now in Miami-Dade County, reviewing how the Jayden Villegas-Morales case was handled by Our Kids, the case management agency, and DCF.

Experts from the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) are now in Miami-Dade County, reviewing how the Jayden Villegas-Morales case was handled by Our Kids, the case management agency, and DCF.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

DCF Documents Detail Injuries to Jayden Villegas-Morales' Brother

New documents released to NBC 6 by the Department of Children and Families contain details of a disturbing precursor to Jayden Villegas-Morales' fatal injury. NBC 6's Diana Gonzalez reports.

Mother Speaks Out About Death of Her Young Son

Lourdes Vanessa Morales discussed the death of her 2-year-old son Jayden. The boy's father Angel Villegas was being held without bond and faces a charge of second-degree murder.
More Photos and Videos

The death of two-year-old Jayden Villegas-Morales might help improve the system that's supposed to help keep children safe. His family had an extensive history with the Department of Children and Families and other agencies before Jayden's father was arrested on a second-degree murder charge in his son’s July death.

Experts from the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) are now in Miami-Dade County, reviewing how the case was handled by Our Kids, the case management agency and DCF.

They have spent the last week poring through documents.

"The documents say to us that there are even challenges with what gets documented, how it gets documented," said Andrea Bartolo of CWLA.

On Thursday case reviewers spoke before a meeting of the Miami-Dade Community Based Care Alliance. That oversight board includes several judges that handle DCF cases and welcomes an outside review.

"That person can take an objective non-biased view of the system, an objective-non biased view of what’s going on," said Judge Jeri Cohen.

While the review is ongoing, some problems have already been identified.

"There’s compartmentalization. People have their piece of the case and not a lot of understanding of what happens before that step or after that step," said Etta Lappen Davis, a consultant with CWLA.

On Thursday representatives from Our Kids, DCF and their attorneys vowed to the board to do a better job of working together.

"And change a paradigm that existed for a long time, that we make decisions individually and come together whenever there’s a problem. No, we're together all the time," said Christine Lopez Acevedo with Children's Legal Services, which is part of DCF.

It was also revealed that safety training for DCF investigators which started this summer is on hold. Another organization, Casey Family Programs, is reviewing that new system to see if it needs to be changed before it resumes.

The child welfare league will prepare draft of its findings and recommendations in 60 days.

More Local Stories:

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our New iPad App
Now optimized for iPad, NBC 6... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out