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Mom of boys wandering South Los Angeles was supervised by CPS

The mother of two boys found wandering Los Angeles was supervised by the county's child protective services agency.
March 12, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The mother of two toddlers who were found wandering the streets of South Los Angeles last week was under the supervision of Los Angeles County's child protective services agency and enrolled in a program designed to help parents maintain custody of their children.

Sidnicka Wilson, 32, was arrested on charges of child endangerment after her 2- and 3-year-old sons were found wandering on the streets. Six of Wilson's older children had already been removed from her home and placed into foster care.

"Obviously something was missed in this situation and I'm not clear at this point what that was," said Philip Browning, director of Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services.

Browning declined to comment on the specifics of Wilson's children, but said the case was under review.

On March 3, Wilson's two boys walked into a liquor store near their home in search of food. They walked down a busy street before a passerby took them aside and called police.

Wilson was located and arrested two days later. Police said she was in possession of crack cocaine.

Wilson was enrolled in a program designed to help keep her family together, Browning said. The program includes visits by social workers and parenting counselors hired by the county.

"There should have been visits. It's my understanding there were visits, but what I'm asking for is an actual record that shows what the worker did, what the worker saw," said Browning.

David Green, a social worker for the county who is not involved in Wilson's case, says social workers are often overwhelmed with their caseloads.

"Seeing these kids' faces and assessment is our first priority, but we struggle every day," said Green.

He added the ideal number of cases per social worker is 14.

"Our social workers are still carrying double, triple and quadruple that amount of cases," Green said.

To address that issue, the department is in the process of hiring 500 social workers, Browning said.


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