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On the early morning of Feb. 9, a newborn baby was found unconscious at D.C. General’s family shelter. The baby was pronounced dead at an area hospital. D.C. Police reported that there was no signs of trauma and that the baby had been found in a bassinet.
Another city agency apparently has a different take on the newborn’s death. Councilmember Tommy Wells says that the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) has come to believe that the newborn, who’s name is Princess, had died as a result of co-sleeping with her mother. “The mom had brought the child into her bed,” Wells says, “and that she rolled on the child. The child was suffocated.”
Co-sleeping deaths are common in the District, according to infant death statistics. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has yet to rule on the cause and manner of Princess’ death.
Still, CFSA took the mother to court. The agency removed the mother’s other child from her home, Wells says.
But what was the responsibility of Families Forward Inc., the nonprofit charged with running D.C. General’s shelter? One resident, who knew the mother well, says that it was clear the mother had serious issues that were not addressed.
Repeated calls to the mother have gone unanswered.
Yesterday, City Desk learned that Families Forward Inc.’s contract to run D.C. General will soon be terminated.