HOUSTON, TX – An unnamed CPS employee was relieved of their position earlier in August after being caught on camera telling a 14-year-old girl in foster care that she should become a prostitute after the child had mentioned that she was hungry.
Keisha Bazley is the mother of nine children, and she was encountering difficulty with her 14-year-old daughter, who’d been running away from home and causing trouble at school. Bazley had turned to CPS for assistance with her 14-year-old but was shocked to learn what the CPS employee was telling her daughter behind her back.
“My daughter told me that the worker had been telling her she should do these things, so she said she decided to video her.”
The young girl had been staying at a hotel in Harris County with the CPS employee, as apparently foster children residing in hotels in the area via CPS is not uncommon. In the video captured by the young girl, she tells the CPS employee that she was hungry, to which the CPS employee responds by telling the girl to become a prostitute.
Mike Schneider, a practicing family law attorney, noted that any parent who’d say such a thing to one of their children would likely have their children removed from their home.
Schneider was troubled with the content of the video where this CPS employee literally told a young girl to sell her body when mentioning her hunger, saying, “And giving her an incentive to do so, and almost a threat of not having her needs being met if she didn’t do what this woman very explicitly told her to do.”
Bazley also remarked on how she’d lose custody of her kids should she ever utter such a horrid thing to her children, saying, “If me, the parent, was to do something like this to my child, I would be bashed. I would be called a horrible parent. I would lose my kids…This should not happen to girls in their care. It should not happen. It’s unacceptable.”
CPS Commissioner Jamie Masters was also disgusted over the matter, having personally traveled to Houston to meet with Bazley and her daughter to offer an apology.
Schneider noted how unheard of it is to see the CPS commissioner pay someone a personal visit over an incident involving a worker.
“I’ve never seen that happen before where the commissioner of CPS comes in from Austin, just to apologize about something horrible that’s been done to a child involved with CPS. It’s bad enough if it’s just one bad rogue worker. It concerns me that it may be bigger than that, and they need to make sure it’s not just one person, and they’ve got to find a way to protect these kids.”
A CPS spokesperson, who didn’t identify the worker involved in the incident, issued a statement confirming that the person caught on camera was “dismissed” from their role.
“DFPS is aware of the video and has taken action. The person in the video – who was employed as CPS support staff – was dismissed from her position on August 10. The safety and appropriateness with which children in care must be treated is our paramount concern. Nothing less will be tolerated.”