Later this month the results of an "independent" investigation of the actions of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare as they pertain to the the death of Robert Manwill and the safety of Idaho Children generally.should be available to the public. IDHW says that it followed all procedures required by law in the situation and Robert was not under their jurisdiction (though his infant half-brother was).
Trial testimony, as reported in yesterday morning's local newspaper, revealed that, in the twenty-four days immediately prior to Robert's murder, welfare workers and investigators were regularly in the apartment where Robert was staying . In fact, they were there almost daily. They asked to see Robert, they never saw him, they never saw his injuries, they never saw his weight loss, they never saw other indications of abuse. They accepted a variety of contradictory explanations for his absence. The underlying message for me was: if you participate in an organization that is bureaucratically structure, one plus one equals two if, and only if, that knowledge is part of the standard operating procedure. Failure to see a problem and deal with it was, in this case, sheer stupidity!
The committee that is investigating the IDHW consists of seventeen persons including a variety of doctors, lawyers, cops, child welfare experts and child advocates. I'm thinking this may be more positive attention than Robert got through the entire eight years of his life. I hope the report will be worth reading, but i am not counting on it.
If the "biobabblers"* are right and this is the most non-violent era in the experience of the human specie, i feel really sorry for children who lived in any previous era.
* If "psychobabble" is the spouting of theories of human behavior based on inadequate knowledge of psychology, perhaps we need an equivalent term for those who make statements about human behavior based on biological assumptions that ignore the historical, structural, cultural and mental bases for said behavior.