Monday, June 15, 2009

Danieal Kelly: an update

According to the Associated Press (June 13, 2009), 65-year-old Manuelita Buenaflor, a social-services employee with MultiEthnic Behavioral Services, admitted last Wednesday that she helped forge documents and failed to supervise case workers, a lapse that prosecutors say contributed to the death by starvation in 2006 of 14-year-old Danieal Kelly. Ms Buenaflor, who has doctoral degrees in theology and child development, pleaded guilty to two fraud counts and conspiracy. For readers unfamiliar with this case, Danieal Kelly, who had cerebral palsy, died of starvation while under the supervision of Philadephia's Department of Human Services. At the time of her death, she weighed just 46 pounds and her back was full of gaping bedsores infested with maggots. Her death and other failures by the DHS resulted in nine indictments, the firing of two DHS top officials and a number of reforms at the agency. As conveyed by FRIDA a few weeks ago, Danieal's mother, Andrea Kelly pleaded guilty at the end of April to third-degree murder and child endangerment in connection with her death. From the Associated Press article:

Manuelita Buenaflor, 65, of Philadelphia became the first official with MultiEthnic Behavioral Services to enter a plea in the case, although two underlings have signed guilty pleas.

The city paid MultiEthnic a $1 million a year to visit at-risk children like Danieal Kelly, a disabled girl who lived in a chaotic home with an unfit mother, and make sure they were receiving needed services.

MultiEthnic documents suggest they made the required visits with Danieal, a 14-year-old with cerebral palsy. But she had severe bed sores, weighed just 42 pounds and had long stopped going to school when her maggot-infested body was found in the squalid, stifling home in August 2006.

The story in full is here.