DHS investigation- the investigation months before the alleged sexual abuse was uncovered

As someone whose worked in child welfare, in facilities working with troubled kids who could not be maintained in the community, I was surprised to read parts of the special investigation of August 25, 2010 conducted 8 months before the allegations of sexual abuse were first reported in May 2011.

Perhaps, most stunning to this reader is there were twenty seven, "incident reports" concerning the young man identified as Youth A during a period of ten months placement at Earth Services, the House Next Door. The number is astonishing and should have been a red flag to ask questions about whether or not continuing the placement was safe for Youth A, or other kids in the group home.

An important consideration is the House Next door is a group home operating in the community. It is not a locked facility.

The abusive conduct we've witnessed by Jamie Moore Bell, a full time employee at the group home, following her nephew, Michael Terpening's arrest, and the allegations Terpening, himself faces, gets me wondering how the group home operated as long as it did given the level of dysfuction.

Consider this, in the DHS Licensing Report we know 2 male staffers report being approached by Michael Terpening for sex. In one, case Terpening allegedly offered money for sex. Two other staffers said they saw the text messages asking for sex from one of the male staffers.

If Mr. Terpening was this bold with his staff, how bold was he with the kids in his custody? Did the teens talk about it with one another?

DHS Special Investigation, August 25, 2010


Final thought