Among the dozens and dozens of District government e-mails related to Jumiya Crump‘s child-welfare case, chronicled in this week’s cover story, only one city official seemed to really get it. City lawyers and even Jumiya’s own advocates were fixed on shipping the teenager out of state to a residential facility—-a costly and dubious treatment practice. They all but ignored the obvious—-here was a troubled kid who still hasn’t really gotten over the trauma her mother inflicted and who still wanted to live with family, any family. Except Laurie Ellington.
Ellington, a Department of Mental Health administrator, suggested the city may in fact be hurting Jumiya. On August 20, 2009, she seemed to sum up Jumiya’s dilemma:
“The effort to get her to a residential has placed her at risk in the community and not helped with engaging her in the treatment process. She has decreased her trust in the public system and the belief that we can help meet her needs. We have an opportunity to meet her where she is and truly provide her with a team that will persist in supporting her and her family until things bet better.”
Every child-welfare worker might agree on the sentiment. But that doesn’t mean they are willing to follow it. A few weeks ago, Ellington resigned from her post at the Department of Mental Health. Now, who does Jumiya have that will get her needs?
You can read the city’s first on-the-record response to Jumiya’s story here.