Child welfare official: 'No one could have predicted... tragic outcome'

- Before Jordan Belliveau, Jr. was the subject of an Amber Alert, and then left either dying or dead in woods, caseworkers wrote reams detailing his family's apparent dysfunction.

However, agencies responsible for the foster system in Pinellas and Pasco counties said his mother, Charisse Stinson had never shown any "violent tendencies."

"No one could have predicted the behavior of the mother, and the tragic outcome," said April Lott, the CEO of Directions for Living, a sub-contractor tasked with providing case managers to study the homes and situations of about 3,000 foster children in Pinellas and Pasco Counties.  

Lott spoke at a Wednesday press conference, following the release of hundreds of pages of documents detailing the winding road Belliveau's parents traveled regain custody of their child.

The documents show Stinson and the boy's father, Jordan Belliveau, Sr. were given C's and D's in an evaluation for things like controlling impulses, putting their child's needs before their own, and planning for Jordan’s protection.

Belliveau had been in gangs. Jordan was once accidentally punched as her mother participated in a brawl.

"The case manager did what case managers do," said Lott. "They assess and identify barriers and begin to task-manage around those and begin to put in place how we can solve and resolve those."

Caseworkers had visited with Jordan's family eight times after he was reunited with his mother in late May. The final time, August 31, a day before she reported him missing, the caseworker did not order Jordan removed even though the mother was on the verge of being evicted, jobless and saying Jordan, Sr. was not helping enough.

"He believed based on his assessment and his relationship with Ms. Stinson that they had talked through the barriers and concerns that they had put a plan in place," said Lott.

In audio released of the court hearing that reunited Jordan with his parents, no one objected, except for a guardian ad litem, who wanted proof the mother, Charisse, had completed counseling.

"What's the specific concern for this mother?" a magistrate can be heard asking the guardian ad litem, who a court-appointed worker responsible for a child's well-being.

"Well I don't know that the issues that she needed to go to counseling for have been addressed," the guardian ad litem responded.

The magistrate goes onto say, "without specifics, there are no safety concerns. The department proffered their concern was a lack of the background completion. I find the testimony of the mother that she made today regarding that alleviates that concern and that there is no safety risk to the child for overnights or reunification with the mother."

On June 11, the same magistrate recommended Jordan be reunited with his father as well. At the end of the hearing, the little boy can be heard saying, 'daddy." The magistrate wraps up by commending Jordan's family.

"Keep up the good work. Work really hard at whatever issues you're having, you know, to secure the future for yourself and your son," the magistrate said.

The child welfare agencies involved in this case said they were not told about an incident the day before where Largo Police filed battery charges against Jordan, Sr. for punching Charisse.

The court says the judge didn't know either.

The agencies were asked if the system failed Jordan.

"We did everything that we were, maybe not everything we were supposed to do, but the system provided the services," said Dr. Chris Card, of Eckerd Connects, DCF's contractor charged with overseeing the foster system in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties.

On average, Directions for Living says each of their caseworkers is responsible for 24 children.

Ideally, they say that number would be only 15 to 17.

DCF began a comprehensive review of the situation on Wednesday.

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