Infant death investigation continues - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Infant death investigation continues; judge gives temporary custody of children to CPS

Lubbock CPS is working to become Sanctuary certified Lubbock CPS is working to become Sanctuary certified

Three children removed from their Lubbock County home will not be allowed to return as authorities investigate the death of their sibling. A judge made the decision on Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff's deputies found a five-month-old baby dead inside a home in South Lubbock County earlier this month. A cause of death has not been determined, and no charges have been filed at this time. But CPS did take custody of three other children living in the home.

Authorities later announced that they found weapons and drug paraphernalia in the house. They said both parents also tested positive for drug use. CPS asked to keep the children in their care while the parents participate in treatment and counseling services. Late Tuesday afternoon, the judge agreed.

This case highlights a growing issue in Lubbock County. The Children's Home of Lubbock said they are seeing an increase in the number of kids being turned over to CPS for allegations of abuse or neglect.

They even have separate housing and additional staff to help those children recover from physical and emotional abuse. 

Now, the organization's staff said they are in the process of becoming Sanctuary certified, training they said will help with treatment.

"We have kids that are just horror stories you know, that make Lifetime movies look tame," said Danny Pectol, the Program Director for Therapeutic Services for the Children's Home of Lubbock. 

He said many children are recovering from an unimaginable past.

"They come to us in several different ways. Sometimes LPD will bust a drug house. They bust the house and then they find out, oh my gosh, there's four kids living in this house," Pectol said.

"We have kids that have come out of prostitution rings; they ran a prostitution ring in the house and while they ran their business...we have this three or four-year-old running around. Who knows what's happened to them while they're doing whatever while our clientele are randomly sitting in the house," Pectol said.

He said every child is given a trauma test, and he said they are seeing an increase in trauma cases.

"I have some staff that sometimes say they are going to stop reading the files because sometimes they think by reading what's happened to these kids and what people have done to these children, that at times, they don't think people can be good people anymore," Pectol said.

He said they are working to become Sanctuary certified, certification he said will teach their organization how to provide a higher level of care, a trauma-sensitive environment for clients, and a better work environment for staff.

"The kids that come out of these environments, they are not here due to things they've necessarily done; it's generally things that have been done to them to get them here, but they've learned to survive in those environments. Part of that is the language and the violence. It's just ingrained in them because that's all they know. What we are trying to work on is how do you un-teach that and how do you take that person as not a bad person or a bad kid, but really look at what bad things have happened to that person to make them act that way," Pectol explained.

He said they are about nine months in to a three-year certification process. He said they have already seen the benefits the Sanctuary model has had on the staff and the children they work with.

RELATED STORY: Lubbock County Sheriff's Office investigating suspicious child death

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