OROVILLE, California (WDTN) – A national organization joins the conversation about children’s safety, sparked by the death of 10-year-old Takoda Collins. That California-based organization is focusing on the Collins case to bring more awareness to similar abuse cases nationwide.
The group trains first responders and case workers to better recognize signs of abuse and neglect. The national organization is called the Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center. The executive director says the Takoda Collins case is unfortunately all too familiar.
Sue Webber-Brown says, “It’s horrific, I was super upset, couldn’t sleep most of the night.”
Every night Webber-Brown searches databases across the country for child abuse deaths or cases that need more attention. Her organization is now focused on learning more about Takoda Collins.
“Our timeline would show: here’s how this child came to our attention and what was going on, and then the timeline would show the next time the teacher made a call, the time after, the time after. In between that, are there any other red flags?”
Webber-Brown has decades of experience in law enforcement, investigation, and child protection. She’s trained tens of thousands of Children Services, law enforcement, and health professionals in dozens of states. She says too often the warning signs are there that could save a child.
“If you have this information from multiple sources, at what point in the timeline could you have written a search warrant to get in the door?”
Webber-Brown says often the priority for Children Services or law enforcement agencies is to keep families together. She says the focus must be on what’s best for the children.
“We do this exercise because we want them to see that all these kids that we have didn’t have to die if we’d all been doing our job.”
Webber-Brown says she learns of as many as five, ten, even fifteen child abuse deaths each day. She believes the number of children surviving abuse numbers in the thousands.
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