State agencies warned prior to death of foster child

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kvue.com

Posted on October 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 7:29 PM

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Prior to the death of a one-year-old foster child in Cedar Park, a court heard concerns over her safety. The girl's father warned Child Protective Services that she lived with a man with prior abuse allegations. The child's biological father expressed concern back in September. He told the court about Jacob Salas living in the home where his child was placed and that Salas was a threat. The foster mom, who is the baby's aunt, denied he lived there.

Jacob Salas is in jail without bond charged with injury to a child. Police say he crushed the baby's head between his knee and the floor a month after the biological father called him a threat. Salas is the ex-husband of the foster mom, who is the girl's aunt.

"There were two different parties who questioned the foster mother about Jacob Salas living in her home. And she denied it and told both Child Protective Services and the attorney that he was living out of state. So the CPS case worker at that point in time was satisfied with the answer," said Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokesperson Julie Moody.

The aunt continued to deny that Salas lived here, however all it took was one search of public records to find that that the address listed on his drivers license matches the Cedar Park foster home.

"Whether or not we could've, should have done more is a question; it's something that we missed. It's obvious," Moody said.

Salas has history with protective services, including allegations of neglect and abuse to children with another woman in 2004, 2005 and 2012. He also fathered three more children with the foster mom in Cedar Park.

Following this death, the state wants to remove those children from their mother.

"It is Child Protective Services job to ensure the safety of the other children in the home. And in this particular case, we do have concerns that this mother may not be as protective as she appears," said  Moody.

The organization that placed the child, Lutheran Social Services, says they didn't know about Salas.
And are now are implementing an action plan that includes doing background checks of all ex-spouses who have children in the home.

The Commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services wants a final action plan from Lutheran Social Services by Friday and wants to receive at least weekly status reports.

 

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