COLUMBUS, Ga. -- A search warrant was served at the Muscogee County offices of the Division of Family and Children Services Thursday. In addition, two women were arrested in connection with an investigation into the alleged falsification and destruction of child abuse reports.
The arrest warrants were served on Muscogee DFCS intake supervisor Phyllis Mitchell and former Muscogee DFCS acting director Deborah Cobb. Cobb now serves as director of Social Services.
A GBI investigation found information that supervisors at the Muscogee County DFCS Child Protective Services office allegedly destroyed, delayed, changed and falsified the intake of child abuse reports in order to maintain compliance with internal DFCS guidelines related to the evaluation and response to allegations of the mistreatment of children.
The two women have been charged with one count each of making false statements and writings, concealment of facts and fraudulent documents in matters within jurisdiction of state or political subdivisions, and subornation of false swearing.
If the allegations are found to be true, the falsification of government records would be considered a felony under Georgia state law. Thursday's search was performed to locate and obtain records stored at the Muscogee County DFCS offices.
The warrants were executed by special agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the Inspector General and deputies with the Muscogee County Sheriff's office.
Department of Human Services commissioner Clyde Reese issued a statement that addressed the investigation.
"The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to detecting and preventing fraud and abuse in any of its programs. It has been consistently communicated since January 2011 to all DHS employees in particular the Division of Families and Children Services (DFCS) child welfare and social services' staff that the safety of all children is a fundamental guiding principle. No DHS employee has any reason or incentive to hide allegations of abuse or neglect in order to lower the number of children and families to be entered into the state system. DHS will cooperate fully with all federal and state authorities in their investigation."
Here are some comments left by readers at 11alive.com
Founder and Director at Grandparents Rights Association of South Carolina
"This is the tip of a NATIONWIDE iceberg. Anyone who believes it does not happen all over the country simply has their head in the sand or just does not care. This is exactly what thousands of people have been trying to expose for years. The Federal authorities should recognize this and begin investigation of sister agencies in all 50 states. The problem is systemic, NOT isolated. Want proof? Talk to good law abiding families who have been victimized across the entire United States. Granted there are children who truly need protection, but the system is so firmly based on Federal funding, it is ripe for corruption. The saddest part of this is the children who are being ripped from good families and given to strangers in the name of "protection" when none was needed. National studies have shown children are (on average) three times MORE likely to be abused while in the foster system than when living with family members. Also, over 75% of the adults in Federal and State prisons (not county jails) are "graduates" of the foster system. How is this protection? These kids are used to get Federal funding, not protected."Deb Justice Young Activist Advocate at Justice for Families and Children -THE LOST Children
"EVERY AGENCIES THAT GETS PAID TO PROTECT CHILDREN NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED. WORLDWIDE THIS IS HAPPENING WORKERS FALSIFYING RECORDS, CORRUPTION TO THE HIGHEST AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD HAVE EVIDENCE OF THIS HAPPENING TO THEIR FAMILIES TO GET THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. THE FEDERAL FUNDING AND INCENTIVE BONUSES HAVE BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE CHILDREN .THE AMOUNTS ARE STAGGERING TO TAKE GOOD PARENTS CHILDREN AND SELL TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. ITS BECOME A BUSINESS TO CPS AND COURTS.TO THE TUNE OF TRILLIONS OF OUR TAXPAYERS MONEY .GOOD CHRISTIAN FAMILIES EVERYWHERE ARE BEING DESTROYED CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN HORROR BEING ABUSE RAPED TORTURED AND MURDERED IN THE SYSTEM ALL FOR THE MONEY. WE THE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ARE UNITING ONCE AGAIN TO STOP THE ABUSE TO STOP THE CORRUPTION. WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE . WORLDWIDE PROTEST SEPT 28TH 2012 GOVABUSE AND INTERNATIONAL PROTEST HAVE GOTTEN EVERY STATE IN THE U.S AND INTERNATIONAL INVOLVED TO SAVE OUR GIFT FROM GOD. THERE ARE MANY REPORTS OF WHAT IS TRULY HAPPENING TO OUR FAMILIES TO ALL CHILDREN. IT IS WORSE THAN HITLER AND WE THE PARENTS WE THE GRANDPARENTS WE THE PEOPLE ARE DEMANDING REFORM COMPLETE INVESTIGATIONS IN EVERY STATE . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TcDTJlPWbE "Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Case after case. We have families that are being torn apart by blatant lies or half truths. The family court is a civil court that relies on a preponderance of evidence to take children and clear and convincing to terminate rights. Let's take this case for instance a Grandmother trying to adopt her grandchildren in Kent County, Michigan. She had a cupboard full of food, food in the fridge and food in the freezer. Yet she only had one egg in the fridge. The agency Bethany Christian Services stated she only had one egg in the fridge, true but it made it sounded like that was all she had. Adoption denied. video http://www.youtube.com/Las Vegas, Nevada
watch?v=eryZMMv0iNA&list=UU JlL5WKlba-vO3wcJAbTOHw&ind ex=28&feature=plcp "
" It needs to be done all over the country. Ripping children away from their families just because they can get away with it. Not caring if you are taking great care of your child or not. I cry everytime I think about my grandchild and what they are allowed to get away with..Las Vegas courts told me I couldn't even see my grandchild again, after having her from birth to 14 months."
Works at Registered Nurse in the ER
"This is not just in Georgia this is a national disgrace. Children and families are being destroyed for the love of money. I have never been so shocked at anything in my life as I have been at dealing with these agencies that buy and sell our children with our own tax dollars. You may be one of the people who thinks these types of problems are a few isolated instances but I assure that is not the case. The corruption is pervasive and destructive and as long as good people look the other way the problem will grow. Lets all make a commitment to stop government and judicial corruption and get our country back!"ITT Tech Grand Rapids
"This is happening everywhere....they hide true abuse cases and take children out of loving homes because the later children are adoptable. The falsify reports and testimony and keep the children in foster care until their time limit is up and then adopt these children out to strangers instead of letting them live with family who want them. I proved this and have a court ordered showing that the cps worker had no reason to remove the children and that he didn't even meet a preponderance of evidence to prove his allegations. Are my grandchildren at home...NO! Do I get more then 2 hours a month with them? NO! because it would confuse them when it comes time for their adoption...FYI I am one of the parties who is trying to adopt them."
*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207