May 13, 2009
Children’s Administration to be topic of Today Show segment
I’m writing to give staff a heads up that tomorrow (Thursday) NBC’s Today Show is scheduled to run a segment on our handling of a child welfare case in Everett. KING5 News also is scheduled to run another in its series of features on this case Thursday evening.
If you watch KING5 news, you may have seen Susannah Frame’s reporting on the Langley family’s fight to keep their foster child after a Snohomish County judge ordered her removed from the home and placed with another foster family. Because of privacy issues, and to protect the child, we’ve been limited on what we can say about the case, both on the KING-TV segments and what is scheduled to be broadcast by the Today Show.
Based on the previous coverage this case has received, and on the questions asked by the Today Show reporter, I expect we will receive some criticism for our handling of this case. There’s no question that it’s taken far too long to achieve permanency, and we bear some responsibility for that. But this case is very complex as are many of our cases.
We frequently are criticized for what we do or don’t do. Sometimes it’s justified. Sometimes it’s not. In this case, a lot of hard work has gone into protecting the child and putting her in a home where she is safe, happy and can thrive. Most often our case information cannot be disclosed and always our responsibilities include protecting the child’s identity.
Each year at this time we take a few moments to recognize the work of public employees. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the work all of you do on behalf of the state’s children and their families. We may take only a day to officially recognize your contribution, but it’s understood and appreciated each and every day by me and the Leadership Team.
Interim Assistant Secretary