From birth, 7-year-old Julissia Batties “grew up in a blur of city agencies, social workers, judges and case workers” before she was beaten to death last month in her home in the Bronx.
Not long before, she had been returned to her mother, who lost custody of her 5 other children after they showed signs of physical abuse but had shown significant progress.
Sharply criticized for being too quick to remove children from their biological families, New York City’s child welfare services have recently prioritized reuniting families when deemed safe.
- Julissia’s death puts the system’s failings under a microscope: How robust are these safeguards? Were calls about Julissia’s welfare thoroughly investigated?
And concerned neighbors—who’d seen her with a black eye or running errands alone—are also left wondering: Had they done enough?
The New York Times