Father Criticizes OKDHS For Dismissing Child Abuse Claims

Tuesday, April 1st 2014, 7:20 pm
By: News 9

Father criticizes state agency for failing to investigate child abuse claims.

An Oklahoma City father claims the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) is dismissing serious concerns for his daughter's safety.

"The system, I believe, is failing my child," Bobby Brawdy explained there's a lot hanging on the decisions of OKDHS - the agency tasked with protecting children in the state.

The father claims his young daughter is in danger when in the care of her mother.

Although a judge has allowed for visitation with the mother, Brawdy is asking OKDHS to investigate her potentially dangerous home.

"They just screened it [Brawdy's complaint] out," Brawdy's attorney Aaron Stiles said. 

Stiles claimed OKDHS ignored several complaints filed in the case surrounding the mother's numerous scrapes with the law, including a boyfriend charged with raping a child in her home and, most recently, the mother's indictment in and out of state child abuse case.

"How can they do that with this person's criminal history," Stiles questioned.

3/20/2014 Related Story: DHS Places Three Kids With Felon, Police Concerned

The mother's name is not being released to protect the identities of the alleged victim and other children living in the home.

Brawdy's daughter is not a known victim in the criminal cases, but he is concerned she will become one during her weekend visitation.

"Do your job, please protect these children," Brawdy said.

OKDHS spokesperson Sheree Powell insists the agency has conducted numerous investigations in the case, but admitted one complaint was accidentally overlooked.

"We didn't look into it cause we thought it was something that had just been previously investigated," said Powell. "Now that this has been brought to our [OKDHS] attention, and we know about it, we have opened a new investigation."

Powell explained child protection is the most important thing to the agency. She encouraged people to follow up on their complaints if they feel OKDHS has made a mistake.

Brawdy said he is prepared to see the child custody battle through to the end.

"It's one of the reasons I continue to fight," said Brawdy. "It's not fair for me to be safe from her and not my daughter."

The mother denied the allegations and, in turn, claimed Brawdy is an unfit father. A judge will make that decision next week during a child custody hearing.