August 2, 2012 in Region

DSHS didn’t consult with authorities on Powell

Associated Press
 

OLYMPIA — A panel reviewing the deaths of Josh Powell’s two young children says state social workers did not consult with law enforcement before allowing Powell to host visits at his home.

A report released today says the Department of Social and Health Services should “make concerted efforts” to check with detectives prior to making changes in parent-child contacts when there is an active investigation. Authorities had been investigating the 2009 disappearance of Powell’s wife, Susan. During a supervised visit at his Washington state home earlier this year, Powell torched the house, killing himself and the two boys.

Powell had been locked in a custody dispute at the time of the killings. A judge had recently ordered him to undergo an intensive psycho-sexual evaluation.

The child fatality review committee also says social workers should immediately reassess visitation policies whens someone is ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.

DSHS says the recommendations will help efforts to keep children safe.

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