A Child Protective Services employee has been fired after telling a 14-year-old girl in the department’s care that she should become a prostitute to make money. According to FOX 26 Houston, Keisha Bazley turned to CPS for help with her daughter because of behavioral issues. After being placed in a hotel, said daughter informed Bazley that an employee began talking to her about sex work, and ultimately decided to record what was happening on her cell phone. Bazley gave her feelings on the matter during a sit-down with the aforementioned outlet:
“The worker had been, in fact, telling her this is how you can make money. You need to do this. I used to do this, and you can do the same thing. … When I saw the video with the lady, it’s like my soul left my body.”
Following the revelation of the incident, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Jamie Masters travelled to Houston to personally apologize to Bazley and her daughter. Reportedly, Masters called the situation “unacceptable” and said that such a thing “should not happen to girls in their care.” According to family law attorney Mike Schneider, the gesture isn’t enough — especially since, as he and FOX 26 reporter Randy Wallace stated, CPS failed to mention the existence of the cell phone video to a judge overseeing the case.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman Melissa Lanford has since provided a follow-up statement to FOX 26 on the matter, revealing that the unnamed CPS employee had been fired last week:
“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 August 10. The safety and appropriateness with which children in care must be treated is our paramount concern. Nothing less will be tolerated.”