With shrinking resources, each state and all counties need to remember the burden placed on county workers & what happens when that burden is excessive. As a long time Hennepin County volunteer guardian ad-Litem, I appreciate the work social workers do to help at risk children and understand the value cared for youth bring to our communities. I also know what happens to children that are not taken care of. This article from the Las Vegas News points out a small part of the cost of failure:
I-Team: Settlement Reached in Missing Girl Case
A settlement has been reached in the civil lawsuit surrounding the disappearance of a 2-year-old foster child. The natural parents of Everlyse Cabrera sued Clark County when their daughter went missing from her North Las Vegas foster home three years ago.
Not long ago, Everlyse’s mom said she wasn’t sure she’d ever settle. Marlena Olivas wanted a trial, she claimed, to expose Clark County’s failure to protect her little girl. But after intense negotiations, the parties reached a $500,000 deal with $250,000 earmarked for Everlyse, should she be found alive on or before her 25th birthday. If she is not, the money is returned to the county.
Some remaining funds will be distributed to her little brother Benjamin, who shared the foster home with Everlyse, and to her biological mom and dad. Benjamin stands to receive $35,000. Her parents get $22,000 each.
The settlement also provides for a scholarship fund in Everlyse’s name, a reward for information about her disappearance, and monies to continue the private investigative effort to find her.
The agreement releases Clark County from any future claims and its employees do not have to admit any wrongdoing. “The most important thing for my perspective is not necessarily a punishment for the county, but to take care of Everlyse. So my concern was not seeing that the county had to turn over the money and had to risk losing that money, but realistically that if Everlyse is found there’s going to be money to provide for her,” said Everlyse’s guardian ad litem Dara Goldsmith.
Before a judge can formally approve the settlement, it must be accepted by the Clark County Commission.
A second battle is brewing over a $200,000 payout from Clark County’s foster parent insurance carrier. Those funds are not part of the negotiated agreement.
Anyone with information about the case, no matter how small, is encouraged to share it with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or James Conklin with ExFed Investigations at (702) 204-7654.
Support at risk children, start a KARA group in your community.
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