Late last month, another young child involved with Los Angeles County’s child welfare system died in the Antelope Valley under unknown circumstances. Unlike the headline-grabbing cases of other children dying at the hands of a parent, 19-month-old Joseph Chacon was found unresponsive in a car seat inside his foster mother’s vehicle.
The lack of information about how Joseph had died and conditions at his foster home remain a source of concern for some children’s advocates in L.A. County.
“The tragedy of Joseph’s death, and of all the child deaths in our county, is compounded when information is not shared in a way that we can learn from it to better protect children and better serve the children in the county’s care,” said Leslie Heimov, executive director of the Children’s Law Center of California, which represents children in L.A. County’s dependency court system. “[W]hen the court closes cases without having received a full report regarding the cause of death an opportunity to learn from the past to the benefit of other children is lost.”