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CLEVELAND– 20-year-old Camilia Terry was no stranger to caseworkers at Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. Administrator Pat Rideout told Fox 8, “Camilia’s family was known to us when she was young, and we’ve been involved in three generations of her family.”

Terry was in and out of foster care until after her 18th birthday and then “aged out” of county custody. But then in May of this year, she told Children’s Services that she needed help with her two young children and a third child on the way. “Being a young woman, she was struggling living on her own with all that parental responsibility and so she was looking for some help with housing, taking care of her kids and meeting their needs,” said Rideout.

Children and Family Services received a number of complaints about Terry’s parenting, but according to Rideout, “The concerns have not been significant enough for us to ever ask the juvenile court to remove those children. We’ve never been able to substantiate physical abuse of her children.”

But the grandmother of Terry’s five-year-old son told Fox 8 that she complained to Children’s Services about a broken arm suffered in July 2011 by Terry’s three-year-old son, Emilliano, who was found dead on Monday night after being placed in a dumpster near the family’s apartment on Buckeye Road. “I went to the system you know, and yes I do feel that the system is flawed. They could have saved him. They could have saved my baby,” said Mildred Cobbs.

In response, Pat Rideout told Fox 8, “I think the fact that we were working closely with her over these months reflects our concern for her children and her. But, decisions about removing children are made in the judicial system. They require us to present evidence and they require a judge to order that child out of the home.”

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