DC Council questions director of DC's Child and Family Services - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC Council questions director of DC's Child and Family Services about Relisha Rudd

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WASHINGTON -

There are new questions surrounding the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd as the District begins a citywide review of the case.

Could more have been done to protect her in the first place as she lived in one of D.C.'s largest shelters?

D.C.’s Child and Family Services is assigned to check in on 50 kids living at that shelter. Director Brenda Donald told council members that 30 families living at D.C. General are in-home cases. Social workers are assigned to check in on children after problems have been reported.

Donald knows about many of the problems at the large shelter, but on Monday, she admitted that she has never personally been there.

Some consider it a small town. 1,200 people living in hospital rooms at the old D.C. General Hospital. Relisha Rudd and her family lived here for years.

600 kids live in the cramped shelter. We learned about 50 kids in all are under the supervision of children and family services. The director was questioned on Monday.

“Have you yourself been to D.C. General?” Councilmember Jim Graham asked Donald.

“Actually, I have not,” she replied.

“You know, I think I might recommend that,” Graham told her.

Donald said the Relisha Rudd case is different from most in-home cases her agency carries out.

“In all my years in child welfare, this is the only case where we have been actively involved with a missing child who is from an in-home case,” Donald said.

Councilmember Marion Barry wanted specifics about Rudd's disappearance.

“After she was reported missing, at what point did you get involved?” Barry asked.

“I'm not sure how to answer that question,” said Donald.

After careful questioning by Barry, Donald admitted her agency learned of Rudd’s disappearance when police did.

“So what have you done since then in your agency to try to push this forward?” asked Barry.

“That will be part of the review that I can't talk specifically now,” Donald replied.

Donald did say details from each meeting between her social workers and the Rudd family would be included in this citywide review ordered by Mayor Vincent Gray.

There is a plan on the table on getting people out of D.C. General, but the issue is getting the families new homes.

The agency that runs D.C. General is expected in front of the council later this month.


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