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County must do better job protecting abused children

This letter is in response to The News article on the Abdifatah Mohamud child abuse case. This child felt so abused that he actually contacted 911 twice to report being abused at the hands of his stepfather, and reported that the situation was “life and death.” Secondly, it was reported that he showed up at school with bruises, which were then reported to child protection workers.

Despite these warning signs, county workers “decided to handle the case in a less severe manner than a regular child-abuse case” and elected to keep the child in the home with the stepfather (i.e., the abuser). What I’d like to know, and probably many of us would like to know, is if you have a history along with documented evidence of a child repeatedly being abused, as reported by the school, how can you just leave that child in the home with his abuser? How was a tiny 9-year-old supposed to help himself?

Now this child is dead and County Executive Mark Poloncarz can only say, “We analyzed the Abdifatah Mohamud case and this report does not just analyze what the county did up to that point, but it also looks to see, what has the county done since then to try to avoid a similar situation? Sometimes, the conclusion is that nothing more could have been done.”

Really? Nothing more could have been done? What about removing this child from the home and mandating this abuser to attend counseling and rehabilitation so that two lives weren’t ruined and the course was intervened?

The county knew of this case at least a year before this child’s death and, in my opinion, didn’t do anything effective to protect him. If that’s all the county can do, then no child is safe in this county while in the hands of such a monster. Shameful. This county needs to do better!

Jennifer Patterson

Orchard Park