A Texas Department of Family and Protective Services employee has been fired after encouraging a 14-year-old foster care youth to enter the sex trade.
The 14-year-old was asking for food while being housed at a Harris County hotel. In reply, the worker, who was videoed by the girl, proposed sex work, according to WOIA-TV.
“The person in the video — who was employed as [child protective services] support staff — was dismissed from her position Aug. 10,” said Marissa Gonzales, the DFPS spokeswoman, in a statement.
“The safety and appropriateness with which children in care must be treated is our paramount concern. Nothing less will be tolerated.”
“My daughter told me that the worker had been telling her she should do these things, so she said she decided to video her,” said Keisha Bazley, the 14-year-old girl’s mother, according to KRIV.
There is a huge misconception that foster care is always safer and better than the home the children were removed from. But that’s not always true. https://t.co/Xkdj5EMwmT
— Darice M. Good (@GoodLegalFirm) August 14, 2022
Bazley said that her daughter, one of nine children, got involved with Child Protective Services because she was in trouble at school and kept running away.
“The worker had been telling her this is how you can make money. I used to do this, and you could do the same thing,” Bazley said, according to KRIV. “When I saw the video with the lady, like my soul left my body.”
Bazley has filed a formal complaint with the department.
Family law attorney Mike Schneider said the video showed “almost a threat of not having her needs being met, if she didn’t do what this woman very explicitly told her to do.”
Bazley said if she did what the worker did, she would be reviled.
“If me, the parent, was to do something like this to my child, I would be bashed,” said Bazley. “I would be called a horrible parent. I would lose my kids.”
Schneider was asked if a parent caught on video telling a child to be a sex worker would result in that parent having that child removed.
“They should, and they would,” he said.
The 14-year-old has since been moved to a foster home after the state lost a hearing to have the girl taken out of the state’s care. Schneider said the state never informed the court about the video.
“I think they’re threatened by the fact that this video even exists,” Schneider said. “They know about it. They apologized, and the head of CPS has apologized about this. What they didn’t do is tell the court dealing with this case that was going on Thursday, when they wanted to dismiss the case.”
“The fact that they didn’t think it was relevant that their own agency is trying to prostitute a child, that’s incredibly disingenuous, to have a hearing and not bring that to the court’s attention.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.