A Children’s Protective Services (CPS) worker in Texas was relieved of her duties after she was recorded telling a 14-year-old girl to engage in prostitution. According to FOX 26 Houston, the teen’s mother, Keisha Bazley, contacted CPS to take her daughter in because she was running away and creating problems in school.
But she said her daughter told her that the CPS worker had been telling her to become a prostitute, adding that the teen decided to film her. “My daughter told me that the worker had been telling her she should do these things, so she said she decided to video her,” Bazley said.
In the video, the teen is heard asking the CPS worker for food. But the worker responds by encouraging her to become a prostitute. “And giving her an incentive to do so, and almost a threat of not having her needs being met, if she didn’t do what this woman very explicitly told her to do,” family law attorney Mike Schneider said.
Bazley also said it would have been a different situation if she was the one encouraging her daughter to engage in prostitution.
“If me, the parent, was to do something like this to my child, I would be bashed,” she said. “I would be called a horrible parent. I would lose my kids.”
Bazley reported the worker to her employers. “This should not happen to girls in their care,” she said. “It should not happen. it’s unacceptable.”
In the wake of the incident, Jamie Masters, who is the Commissioner of CPS, personally met Bazley in Houston to render an apology.
“I’ve never seen that happen before where the commissioner of CPS comes in from Austin, just to apologize about something horrible that’s been done to a child involved with CPS,” said Schneider. “It’s bad enough if it’s just one bad rogue worker. It concerns me that it may be bigger than that, and they need to make sure it’s not just one person, and they’ve got to find a way to protect these kids.”
Texas DFPS Spokesperson Melissa Lanford also condemned the worker’s actions in a statement to FOX 26 Houston.
“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,” Lanford said. “The safety and appropriateness with which children in care must be treated is our paramount concern. Nothing less will be tolerated.”