Dad BEN DROR had a history of repeated suicide attempts, which suggests he had problems with severe depression and/or other psychiatric illnesses. He had been hospitalized at least once. But everybody thought his supervised visitations with his three young children just went along swimmingly. The nitwit social workers and shrinks found him "sensitive" and "responsive" and "fun"--i.e. "not a threat." So they recommended him for unsupervised visitation. What happens next? The sh** murders his three kids--that's how "sensitive" and "fun" he REALLY was.
So then the excuse making begins. The welfare workers defend their "professionalism" (?) and so does the Social Affairs Ministry.
Unfortunately, this botched up disaster isn't unique. We've seen the same failures repeatedly in the U.S. and elsewhere. For additional background on the problem, read here:
Hat tip to Annie.
Published 00:57 26.07.10 Latest update 00:57 26.07.10
Social workers who okayed custody visits say Ben Dror was 'sensitive father'
Welfare workers in Kfar Yona on Sunday defended their professional decisions and conduct regarding the Ben Dror family.
By Dana Weiler-Polak
Welfare workers in Kfar Yona on Sunday defended their professional decisions and conduct regarding the Ben Dror family, despite being accused by some of sharing responsibility for the murder Saturday of the family's three young children allegedly by their father, Itai Ben Dror. An initial inquiry by the Social Affairs Ministry supports the workers' claims.
The Ben Drors came under the care of the welfare department in Kfar Yona last October, when their marriage fell apart. The couple decided that after their divorce their children would remain with Lilach, the mother, and they worked out their own visitation schedule.
The visits stopped earlier this year when the father was admitted to the Lev Hasharon Psychiatric Hospital in Pardesiya, in the wake of repeated suicide attempts. The visits resumed in April, after his release, but on Lilach's request they were held at the welfare department's visitation center, under supervision.
Before giving their approval, welfare officials in Kfar Yona conducted various checks on Itai's condition, including obtaining a psychiatric evaluation from Lev Hasharon stating that he did not pose a threat to himself or his surroundings and even recommended the renewal of visits with his children.
The weekly meetings continued for about three months. Nurit Barkan, one of the social workers who worked with the family, said the staff saw nothing that might have indicated that something was out of the ordinary.
"Just the opposite, the children loved him very much. He was a responsive, sensitive father," she recalled Sunday, adding that there was "something fun" about his behavior with his children.
"They played a lot of soccer outside, and when they played with games whose purpose was to provide a homey feeling that feeling was definitely there. They obviously looked forward to their meetings and when they came they immediately ran to him and began telling him about their week, hugging and kissing him," Barkan said.
Eventually Lilach allowed the children to meet with their father outside the visitation center, and in June a farewell party was held at the center. "If the mother herself gave the children the assurance that they could be with their father, and everyone agreed with her, based also on information from various places, then there was no reason not to leave the center" for the visits, explained Albert Mor, director of welfare services in Kfar Yona.
After an initial investigation into the conduct of the local welfare agency the Social Affairs Ministry issued a statement in which it said the department "acted with professionalism and all along the way it it obtained evaluations from medical authorities in the psychiatric field."