Part I

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Borough: Queens
Type of Report: Initial
Date of Intake: 9/15/07
Source of Report: Hospital psychiatrist
Date of Initial Visit: 9/15/07
Date Source Contacted: 9/15/07

Current Allegation: Inadequate Guardianship

Mother, Andrea R., age 27
Son, Vincent, age 9
Other Family Members:
Father, John S., age 33
Sister, Elizabeth, age 29

Allegation: Psychiatrist from Elmhurst Hospital called saying the mother overdosed on Zoloft last night and was brought to the hospital at 6:30 A.M. She was accompanied by her 9 year old son, Vincent. She was admitted to the hospital, but refused to give any information to assist in making a plan for Vincent.

Family Background

Andrea is a 27year old Caucasian woman who lives with her 9 year old son, Vincent in a one bedroom apartment in Queens that is described as spacious and clean. She is unemployed and receives $23 daily in food stamps, $68.50 biweekly in cash, and $624 monthly for SSI due to Vincent’s autism/chronic asthma.  Vincent’s father is 33 year old, and is unemployed.  He receives SSI due to an accident that occurred when he was 14 and left him unable to use his arm.  John provides Andrea with occasional financial support and is involved with Vincent, visiting him 3 times a month.  Both Andrea and John report having positive experiences with each other.

Andrea has been hospitalized at least 3-4 times according to her sister.  She has been diagnosed at different times with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, major depression, and epilepsy. She currently takes Zoloft and seizure medication.

Prior Investigations

There have been five prior reports dating from 2001 to January 2007 against this family. In January 2001 an anonymous source reported Andrea for corporal punishment, inadequate guardianship, and drug and alcohol misuse. It was noted that Vincent communicated by crying, yelling, and making loud noises. After investigation and evaluation of the boy by an early intervention program, he was referred to a specialized hospital program and the case was closed, unfounded.

In November of the same year allegations of inadequate guardianship, lacerations, welts and bruises were made against Vincent’s father John.  The allegation was first made by a police officer to whom Andrea complained after her son returned home from a visit with his father with a black and blue mark under his eye. A social worker at the hospital where his mother took him for treatment made the same allegation.  The father claimed that the bruise resulted from Vincent falling off a bed and onto a toy.  Andrea said that he had returned from other visits with bruises so she became suspicious.  The doctor who saw Vincent at the hospital did not think the bruise could have occurred as a result of an accident, and that it had to be deliberately inflicted.  However, after an extensive investigation including several home visits, and interviews with the boy, his father, his paternal grandmother, with whom John lives, the doctor, and Andrea, the worker concluded that he “did not obtain any evidence to confirm the allegations.” The case was closed, unfounded.

In 2002 a social worker at the preschool Vincent was attending made allegations of inadequate guardianship and inadequate food, clothing, and shelter against Andrea.  It was alleged that Vincent often seemed uncared for, goes to school without extra diapers, in clothes that are often dirty or stained, and misses a day of school a week.  Also, Andrea has usually failed to call the school when he was ill.  The precipitating event for the report to the State Central Registry was that a teacher had to put another child’s pamper on Vincent because his mother had not sent any extras, and he was wearing the same diaper for 36 hours.  Andrea claimed that the diaper incident resulted from miscommunication with a friend who assists her so she can attend school.  She forgot to ask her friend to change her child, and she does not change his pamper when he returns from school.  The worker concluded that Andrea lacked knowledge of the child’s developmental needs and referred her to a preventive service agency for services.  The case was indicated.

The next report was made in 2006 by Andrea’s ex-boyfriend’s mother, who alleged parental drug and alcohol misuse and inadequate food, clothing, and shelter.  Andrea denied the allegations, but said she knew who made the report. She had been assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, he was arrested, and she obtained a full order of protection against him.  The CPS worker spoke with the district attorney, a friend who corroborated the assault against her, and the AHRC where Vincent was receiving services. All supported Andrea’s story so the case was closed, unfounded.

The most recent complaint was filed by a police officer in January 2007.  He reported that Andrea had become irrational, displaying extremely abnormal and erratic behavior, walking in circles, running from room to room, and calling 911 while officers were still in the home.  He thought Vincent was also displaying abnormal behaviors similar to his mother.  They were both transported to a major hospital where Andrea remained for about 2 weeks. During that time his maternal aunt, Elizabeth, cared for Vincent. Andrea was released with a diagnosis of major depression with psychotic features and prescribed several medications.  She was to be seen by a therapist at the hospital so the case was closed, unfounded.

In addition to these reports, Andrea lived with her mother when at least 2 reports were made naming her and her siblings as maltreated.  The allegations were educational neglect, lack of supervision, and inadequate guardianship.  These complaints were filed when Andrea was 14 and 16.  In both cases the sources complained Andrea’s mother smoked crack, left the family alone when she went to buy drugs, and let Andrea and her sister be out on the street until late.  In the later complaint it was also noted that different men were frequently seen going in and out of the house.  Although both cases were indicated, it is unknown what services were provided.


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