Scioto County Children Services Director Lorra Fuller supplied a brief email answer to questions regarding children services activities, if there were any, involving the family of a 10-year-old boy killed in a recent head-on car collision.
As previously reported, Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis stated during an early October board of commissioners meeting there are questions surfacing about the organization and any association with the family involved in the fatal car crash.
“I cannot confirm or deny any remarks made by Mr. Davis,” Fuller wrote in response to questions emailed her by the Daily Times. Fuller declined to answer questions except by email.
The Times asked Fuller if the family of accident victim Zachary Rowe, 10, who was killed along with his stepfather in the Sept. 22 crash, ever had any involvement with children services. Fuller specifically was asked if children had ever been removed from the family’s custody but did not respond with a comment for any of the direct questions.
“I’m getting really tired hearing about the failure of our system for kids,” Davis stated Oct. 1. “I’ve voiced my opinions to the (children services) board.” He added a hope the children services board will act on some of the commissioners’ recommendations regarding children services activities and protocols sometime this month.
“It seems to me we continue to deal with issues internally at (children services) where children are reintroduced to bad environments,” Davis continued.
As has been heavily reported, Fuller and the department she oversees have been under heavy scrutiny since early June when Scioto County Sheriff officials allegedly found the body of infant Dylan Groves at the bottom of a well near his parent’s home in Otway.
Allegedly born with illegal drugs in his system, the county initially removed Dylan from the custody of his parents. However, the county allowed his father to regain custody after he reportedly met all state requirements for family reunification. Both of Dylan’s parents now stand accused of aggravated murder in the death of their son.
In the wake of the incident, county commissioners called for a third-party investigation into children services. At the time, Fuller stated such an investigation was already underway by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. In her recent email, in answering a question regarding that investigation, Fuller wrote state officials are in the process of finalizing the ODJFS report. She did not give any estimate as to when that report might be made public.
Although his departure was not reportedly a consequence of the incident with the Groves family, longtime children services board chairman Al Oliver resigned his position last month. In her email, Fuller said replacing Oliver is up to county commissioners, should they choose to do so.
County Commission Chairman Mike Crabtree previously said persons interested in serving on the board should send letters of interest to children services, who is expected to forward such letters to commissioners.
Fuller noted children services currently has four openings for persons interested in becoming caseworkers. Qualified applicants must have at least an undergraduate degree in behavioral science, social science, criminal justice or some similar course of study. Anyone interested should contact Scioto County Children Services at (740) 456-4164.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370-0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.