"They acted like they were having fun together," said a Denver social worker while taking the stand this week. She's involved in the Colorado domestic violence case involving an adoptive father and his 13-year-old adopted son. The Gazette reported on the testimony that could work in favor of the defendant's case.
The defendant is 40 years old and an employee of the Colorado Department of Transportation. He faces various severe criminal charges connected to the child abuse he's allegedly committed against his son whom he recently adopted. Social workers in these types of domestic cases can serve as key witnesses. They are responsible to ensure that children are placed in safe homes and look out for the exact type of violence that the defendant is charged with in this case.
That's why the social worker's account of her experience with the family in this case is so significant. She works for the Denver-based Adoption Alliance and was assigned to the father and son in order to make monthly visits and assess the home situation. Her visits were meant to help determine whether the adoption was a good, healthy fit and would provide the boy a safe childhood.
The social worker told the court that during her house visits, she never felt that there was a reason to worry about child abuse. She reportedly thought that reports made by the child's school were overreactions that were not supported by any evidence she could gather during her visits. Any injury she ever found on the boy, she testified, was reported as the result of mere child's play.
Clearly, this post only discusses the social worker's testimony. There is more to this story that is sure to come out soon, as the trial continued today and will likely conclude tomorrow. Any case involving the alleged abuse of a child is serious - for the child and the accused. If the allegations are true, the child needs to be protected. But often times, child abuse charges result from false assumptions that can forever taint an innocent parent's name.
The Gazette: "Adoptive dad, boy were 'having fun together,' social worker testifies," Lance Benzel, 2 Feb. 2011