A set of unidentified 12-year-old Washington twins are suing the State of Washington’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and we, Robert and Kathleen Raskin of Las Vegas, hope they get every penny that’s coming to them.
The twins started off their lives already in DCYF custody, after they were removed from their mother’s custody. Their mother’s drug use left lasting effects on the girls, whose father is in jail for murder. With so many unfortunate circumstances in these vulnerable young girls’ lives, one would think the state would make sure they were protected. Instead, they did the opposite.
The girls are being represented by Tamaki Law, a personal injury firm in the Tri-Cities area. Their attorneys said the twins are suing because DCYF social workers removed them from the foster care where they were loved and protected and gave them back to their biological mother, who they knew to be an abusive drug addict. The girls had lived with their foster family since birth, and they were removed at age 7, which must have been devastating for the girls and the foster family who loved them.
Why would DCYF force these innocent girls from the only home they had ever known to return them to a woman who insisted repeatedly she wanted to relinquish her parental rights? This woman had failed to complete alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and she did not attend the required safe parenting programs.
Once they were trapped in their mother’s home, the twins were starved, forced to live in their own waste, and kept from school. Where were social workers when these girls were being kept isolated in a dark room? Why did no one notice the girls weighed only half their body weight?
Attorney Bryan G. Smith said, “This is the worst case of child abuse and neglect I have ever seen in my 20 years of representing children in these situations. What my clients’ mother did was not just abuse and neglect – it was torture under any definition. These social workers completely let my clients down and failed to protect them. As a result, they will be forced to live with physical and emotional trauma for the rest of their lives. We are hopeful that by bringing this lawsuit the state will be forced to make changes to ensure that this kind of neglect by social workers never happens again.”
The girls’ biological mother is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence, but that is simply not enough. She is only one of the many people who need to be held accountable for this tragic injustice.
Tamaki Law has a proven track record when it comes to getting justice for children. They reached a $6.55M settlement with DSHS for placing children in a home they knew was unsafe and abusive. The firm also reached a $20M settlement with the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings for a case that involved 86 claims of child abuse within the church. Let’s hope this firm can get justice for the girls in this case, who have already been through far too much in their young lives.
Learn more about the effects of drug use during pregnancy.