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The Bailey Case: "We Know We Can't Protect And Prevent Everything"

Dcs_logo_2It would appear that Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and Department of Child Services Director Jim Payne are at odds over who's to blame for TaJanay Bailey's death earlier this week.

Quoth Payne:

"'We have taken what I believe in our system are extraordinary efforts to look into the allegations of this death and specifically look into our file,' Payne said. 'We have a team going through that file to look at all the issues . . . so we can make a very informed analysis' of what happened.

"At this point, he said, nothing indicates a system breakdown or individual misconduct contributing to the death. He said the review will take about two weeks.

"'These tragic events will, unfortunately, occur,' he said. 'We know we can't protect and prevent everything.'"

Such empathy. Such sensitivity.

Not surprisingly, Brizzi sees the situation in a slightly different light than Payne:

"The Marion County prosecutor says state child welfare workers will be questioned about why a 3-year-old girl was returned to an abusive home where she died.

"Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says while it's too early to say he'll begin a criminal investigation into the actions of state workers, he believes it's clear the system failed TaJanay Bailey of Indianapolis.

"The girl died Tuesday, the same day a national advocacy group honored the child protection efforts of the administration of Gov. Mitch Daniels.

"A judge on Friday entered not guilty pleas for the girl's mother and her boyfriend on murder and neglect charges.

"There was no immediate response from the Indiana Department of Child Services to Brizzi's comments."


Look for Daniels to try to "reposition" himself by firing Mitch Roob and contain the damage that way.

I would be absolutely shocked if the Guv threw Roob under the bus.

I fully expect they'll hang the caseworker out to dry and pledge more reforms while talking about all the things they've already done.

Collateral damage might include a police officer or some administrative staffer at DCS.

The Guv takes care of his own, which means Roob and Payne will probably come through this wholly unscathed.

A child died. The fault is the mother's and the boyfriends not anybody named Mitch. Government can not protect us from crack or the results of valuing it more than a child's life.

I'd like to see all the writers in this column and it's counterparts blast the drug culture that created this situation as much as they do the governors, both Democrat and Republican, who try to clean up drugs.

1:41pm. Unless you are a deity, no evidence has been presented that says the two adults involved in this tragedy were drug users or abusers. Yes, the adults that beat that child bear responsibility. But so did a government that took the child from a loving, caring foster home and placed that child back into danger. Government must be held accountable, as should those two adults.

So, ray jay, who would you propose oversee a crackdown on said "drug culture"?

Might your answer be...wait for it...wait for it...the police?

In case you haven't noticed, the police are part of government. So is the Department of Child Services, which happens to be run by a guy the Guv hand-picked to clean up the mess he said prior administrations created.

All I'm asking for is a little accountability. The Guv couldn't say enough bad things about child welfare during his campaign, especially in light of the Anthony Bars case.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, and I expect him to take some responsibility for the system -- a system he controls -- that failed TaJanay Bailey.

For those of us who lived thru the 04 election this feels very strange. The Indianapolis Star and Mitch Daniels piled onto Joe Kernan when a similar situation occured. The Star was unrelenting, day after day of coverage of how the STATE had failed to protect children and the Daniels campaign was very quick to agree. The Gov promised big changes, hiring more caseworkers, changing protocol....well now his people are making excuses.

What does Mitch Roob have to do with this? He is the head of FSSA.

Child protection is a different agency now - Department of Child Services run by Jim Payne.

Several issues.
1) A clean drug screen requirement once a week for at least 3 or 4 months, as a condition of the CHINS case, before a child is returned permanently would have made sense.
2) Why is Payne delegating this downward?
Has he got more important work than this?
He ought to be personally actively involved in the investigation and formulating the remedial steps, rather than allowing some
lower level employee to handle it.

Why on Earth would you blame the mother and the boyfriend when there's a Republican nearby?

You people amaze me. This sh%t happens day in and day out no matter WHO the fricken Governor is. It's a systemic societal problem that can't and won't be solved by throwing rocks at the current or future occupant of the Governors office, no matter what party they belong to.

Have the decency to leave this poor girls death out of your petty political gripes.

I assume, Tim, that you'd have said the same thing to the Guv back in 2004 when he was using Anthony Bars as the poster child for a broken system.

Is it so wrong to ask for answers from the people who are in charge?

In your world, apparently so.

Tim, if this scenario happens regardless of what party is in office, then why did Daniels blame Kernan in 04 if not for
political advantage.

Maybe if Payne would get off his butt and start by interviewing the caseworker and supervisor in the field himself, instead of passing the buck to a team of lower level employees to do so, the likelihood of this happening in the future might be lessened.
Finding out what went wrong should be the focus.

Let me clarify, NO politician should use these types of circumstances to further their political aspirations, Mitch included.

As for what 8:07 said: "Finding out what went wrong should be the focus."

What went wrong was, two incredibly evil people took the life of an innocent kid and neither should see the light of day again.

Payne will survive because he is part of the lawyer/legislator/judge complex and has lots of friends in high places. Mitch Daniels will replace Roob (soon) because he has become a lightening rod for the gratuitous gutting of many aspects of human services state wide (while funneling money into cheap services that get press but are of little effectiveness.) Roob has played Neidermeyer while Daniels has played Dean Wormer. Education, Mental Health and other sectors of human service delivery have been treated as if they were Delta House by the hostile state administration. Legislators have begun to get angy that what they've voted for has--at times--be simply ignored or over-ridden by Mith and Mitch.

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