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US state official resigns after deaths of multiple neglected kids

US state official resigns after deaths of multiple neglected kids

Washington, Nov 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) Marketa Garner Walters, chief of child welfare agency in the US state of Louisiana, has resigned in the wake of multiple deaths of neglected children on the agency's watch.

In a statement on Thursday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that he accepted the resignation of Walters, who has served as the state's Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Secretary for more than six years,reports Xinhua news agency.


In the past four months, three children have died after warnings to the agency, including a two-year-old overdosing on fentanyl, a local media report said.

Three reports had been to DCFS made about his family before the toddler's death in June but the agency never made contact with the family or tried to remove him from their care, said the report.

Then on October 31, a 20-month-old child died from acute fentanyl toxicity though 10 days before his death, an anonymous caller had warned that his family members were using drugs around him.

The corpse of another 2-year-old boy was found stuffed in a duffel bag inside a trash can this summer, also after DCFS had been warned about and had opened an investigation into his family.

Walters wrote in her resignation letter that working for DCFS has become increasingly difficult amid a national fentanyl epidemic.

The DCFS has been trapped in crisis in recent years as reports of abuse and neglect across Louisiana are skyrocketing, according to the local media report.

Out of more than 400 vacancies it has currently, 174 in the agency's child welfare department.

Louisiana, like many US states, is facing major child welfare challenges, said the Governor.

"Those issues include staff retention, high worker caseloads, increased substance and domestic abuse, and sadly the tragic deaths of innocent children," he added.

Source: IANS

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US state official resigns after deaths of multiple neglected kids

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