The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) provides an invaluable service. When a baby is born with drugs in its system and the moth tests positive as well, they are responsible for monitoring the situation.
In a report on a baby's death, an oversight agency last week found DHS workers left the girl with her mother even though both had illegal drugs in their systems when the child was born.
Tamberlynn Wheeler died in Oklahoma three months after her birth in December 2007, showing major signs of malnourishment according to NewsOK.
Tamberlynn's parents, Crystal Lynn Erb, 22, and Samuel Eugene Wheeler Jr., 29, both of Seminole, Florida, have been charged with child neglect. Tamberlynn, who was born prematurely, weighed less at the time of her death than she did when she was born. In just over three months, her weight had dropped from 4 pounds 11 ounces to 4 pounds 6 ounces.
In proof that the government is quick in its investigations, her parents this year were charged with child neglect.
The oversight agency said a DHS worker justified the decision to leave Tamberlynn and a 10-month-old sibling in the home — stating in one document that drug use by the infant's parents did not affect their abilities to parent Tamberlynn's sibling.
The severely malnourished baby dies in an apartment littered with unused government milk vouchers. The neglectful mother’s reasoning – she had lost the codes to use them. That is juts criminal!
Cocktail of Trouble
At the time of Tamberlynn's Dec. 31, 2007, birth, Erb tested positive for benzodiazepine, marijuana and an antidepressant. The baby tested positive for marijuana.
The father admitted to a history of methamphetamine and marijuana abuse, saying he had last used methamphetamine about two or three years earlier and had last used marijuana about a month earlier.
Tamberlynn's birth was not the first time DHS received a report of alleged child endangerment regarding Erb and Wheeler.
Six months before Tamberlynn was born, DHS received a complaint that her sibling had been exposed to domestic violence when Wheeler allegedly threw a knife at Erb after another man in the home had flirted with her. Wheeler is known to be a heavy drinker too.
This is a tragedy that could have been avoided had drugs and alcohol been taken out of the equation. No how bad and irresponsible people can be alcohol and drugs are always a negative factor.