A CPS worker in Texas has been caught on camera telling a 14-year-old child to become a prostitute in order to raise money to purchase food.
The child’s mother Keisha Bazley told Fox26: ‘My daughter told me that the worker had been telling her she should do these things, so she said she decided to video her.’
Bazley told the station that when she began having problems with her 14-year-old daughter, she reached out to CPS for help. That’s when a CPS worker told the child to sell her body
She said that the unnamed teen was causing trouble at school and running away from home.
The teenager is one of a large number of children in the foster system in Harris County, Texas, who is being housed in a hotel. The children in the hotels are awaiting placement.
According to the Fox Houston report, the video shows the 14-year-old asking the CPS employee for food. The worker responds by telling the child that she should become a prostitute.
As a result of the astounding interaction, the CPS worker has been fired. Their identity has not been made public.
In response, Bazley made a formal complaint to the CPS. She told Fox26: ‘If me, the parent, was to do something like this to my child, I would be bashed.’
Bazley added: ‘I would be called a horrible parent. I would lose my kids.’
She continued: ‘This should not happen to girls in their care. It should not happen. it’s unacceptable.’
Houston-based family lawyer Mike Schneider told the station that the teenager’s request for food is met with ‘almost a threat of not having her needs being met, if she didn’t do what this woman very explicitly told her to do.’
When asked if a child would be removed from a parent if they made the same comments as the CPS worker, Schneider said: ‘They should, and they would.’
The Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services in Texas Jamie Masters made a pilgrimage to Harris County to personally apologize to Bazley and her daughter over the comments.
Schneider said: ‘I’ve never seen that happen before where the commissioner of CPS comes in from Austin, just to apologize about something horrible that’s been done to a child involved with CPS.’
He added: ‘It’s bad enough if it’s just one bad rogue worker. It concerns me that it may be bigger than that, and they need to make sure it’s not just one person, and they’ve got to find a way to protect these kids.’
The Texas Tribune reported in March 2022 that a private childcare facility that was operated with a state contract was shut down after staff members were found to be trafficking children who were being care for.
In June, US District Judge Janis Jack made public her concerns that Texas’ CPS was not performing adequate background checks on potential caregivers, reports the San Antonio Express-News.