A Ralston couple still faces a child abuse charge in court but have their kids back home from foster care.
Meredith Dearth says, “It’s a helpless feeling because there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”
Dearth and her boyfriend Jason Feldman did do something to investigate the investigator on their case for child protective services. They found the case worker’s personal Facebook page with opinionated postings.
One says, “I’m tired, it was a long day taking away babies.” In a job description also posted on the personal Facebook, the case worker writes, “I investigate child abuse/neglect and help families so it doesn’t happen again.” But adds, “and yes that means I will take their kid.” The posting also says “we really don’t want to take kids away.”
Accused of child abuse following the case workers investigation Meredith Dearth says, “Its like she is letting the world know, I can take your kid away.”
Attorney Mickey Meckna is also concerned some postings seemed derogatory toward children. One posted after Halloween said, “Passed out candy to little f***ers.”
Meckna says, “It’s bad because a person in this position just by some things you read on here you’d question her character.”
None of the postings give specifics about the case and the page has been shut off from public access.
Nebraska Health and Human Services will look into the personal Facebook postings of one of it’s case workers. Child and Family Services Director Todd Reckling says, “As to determine if there’s any violation of confidentiality or state equipment use and determine what potential action should occur.”
State employees do have a right to free speech. However Attorney general Jon Bruning says, “We need to make sure we’re not writing things on myspace or facebook that we’re going to be embarrassed about.”
The state agency points out that only law enforcement can order a child removed from a home, though CPS case workers often do much of the investigation.
The couple Meredith Dearth and Jason Feldman will go to court in late may. The abuse charge filed after someone reported one of their children with bruises on her arm.