DSS fires supervisor accused of child abuse

DSS fires supervisor accused of child abuse


by BORA KIM / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @BoraKimWCNC


Posted on November 23, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 12:23 AM

UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- Union County Department of Social Services fired a supervisor accused of cuffing a boy to her porch on Friday.

Wanda Larson is one of two adults facing child abuse charges in the case. A deputy discovered the boy a week ago cuffed to the porch by his ankle with a dead chicken hanging from his neck, according to the sheriff’s office.

DSS says Larson was fired for unacceptable conduct and insufficient job performance. In a statement Friday, DSS wrote:

"You were entrusted with the responsibility as a social work supervisor in the Child Protective Services Unit to protect and serve as the impartial party in reviewing confidential and sensitive cases regarding children.

The conditions uncovered in your own home, for your adoptive children and the child for whom you had guardianship, are appalling.

You had a responsibility in your official capacity to ensure that children are not subjected to such conditions, and you would have had a duty to initiate a report and investigation had you observed children in such conditions in another home.

The negligence you have shown in this situation has detrimentally affected the trust and confidence placed in you as a social work supervisor by this agency.

Your actions represent a blatant disregard for the ethical conduct and sound judgment vital to your position. Due to these actions your credibility as a social worker has been irreparably damaged."

 "In every case, Mrs. Larson has failed the system," said Jeff Gerber.  He is the Founder of the 'Justice For All Coalition' and said he has been in contact with numerous people who have had direct contact with Larson.

They claim Larson relished her authority as supervisor but failed to carry out her duties to look into cases that had substantial evidence of abuse or by "prematurely closing many cases."

The Coalition plans to have as many as eight speakers share their experiences of injustice received when reporting suspected neglect Monday.

According to those speakers, "If you cross Mrs. Larson, or did not do as she ordered, you would be terminated."

Gerber said many want to shed light on her negligence and call for their case to be reviewed and reopened.

"The actions of Mrs. Larson are absolutely criminal, dereliction of duty," Gerber said.

He is certain more disturbing information will come forward and possibly more charges brought against her.

"I can only hope and pray we didn't lose any children because of her negligence," he said.