Our network

Foster mom: Social workers missed warnings before toddler's death | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Foster mom: Social workers missed warnings before toddler's death

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A foster mom is heartbroken and angry after the death of two-year-old Matthew Navarrete Reyes in Wheaton. She says the system failed the little boy -- and his three brothers -- sending them back to their neglectful and drug- addicted parents who Montgomery County police have just charged with murder.

Holly Tremblay reached out to WUSA9 to say something has to change. She says there is no way these boys should have been given back to these parents.

"We had to drop them off at that home, and they're screaming, 'Mommy, mommy, mommy!' as we're driving away," said Tremblay, a special education teacher, via Skype from her home in Orange County, Ca.

"It wasn't hard to believe at all, unfortunately, because we saw the signs," Tremblay said.

What the foster mom cannot believe is that Los Angeles County Children and Family Services returned the boys to their parents, who had already lost custody when little Matthew was born with Meth coursing through his bloodstream.

The children were in bad shape when Tremblay and her husband got them.

"Ringworm, bronchitis, they had sand. Dirty, dirty from head to toe. It's just horrible that they were returned and what happened to Matthew," Tremblay said.

Tremblay cared for the two oldest boys for nearly a year.

Prosecutors say both parents were addicted to Meth, but the judge returned the children after Blanca-Reyes got some help.

Tremblay, however, says social workers should have known she'd quickly get back together with her violent and manipulative boyfriend.

"Shortly after they stopped checking on Blanca she moved right back in with Jonathan. Moved across the country. And it was only a couple of months later that Matthew died," Tremblay said.

A spokesperson for L.A. County Children and Family Services said he could not talk about this specific case and that judges decide if children should go bak to their parents. 

The spokesperson also said California law requires reunification if it can be done safely. Tremblay says that clearly in this case it was not safe.  

The three surviving boys are now back in the custody of Social Services. Tremblay says the foster who cared for the two younger boys is trying to adopt all three of them. 

Like this story? Like WUSA9 on Facebook