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DSHS official explains visitation schedule that brought sons to Powell’s home

SUNDAY, FEB. 5, 2012, 5:44 P.M.

DSHS will investigate children’s deaths later

Following the Pierce County deaths of Josh Powell and his two young sons in a house explosion Sunday, the assistant director of the Department of Social and Health Services, Denise Robinson, sent out a release with a short explanation of how the two children were brought to their father’s home.

It said: “All of us at the Department of Social and Health Services were shocked and deeply saddened by reports that Josh Powell had taken his own life and that of his two young children, Charles, 7, and Braden, 5.

“The children were taken to Powell’s home early Sunday afternoon as part of an ongoing court-ordered visitation schedule. As is common practice, the children were escorted by a provider on contract with the Department of Social and Health Services.

“We were relieved to learn that the case worker was not physically injured but understand that she is suffering from grave emotional trauma as a result of the horrific event. The sadness of such a thing touches everyone involved with these children. We will be offering peer support to the case worker, as well as our own staff members.

“At the appropriate time, as with any case of this nature, the department will conduct a formal child fatality review.

“For now, our hearts go out to these children and their family and to their school and their classmates.”

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