WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The D.C. government on Tuesday released a report basically exonerating D.C.officials of any blame for the disappearance of Relisha Rudd six months ago. However, the same review of the city agency found problems and policies that were in place and not followed.
WUSA9's Bruce Johnson spent the whole day going over the reports. Not much could have been done for Relisha Rudd, but there are some things that suggest the city can help other young people.
According to the city agency, it's a parent's responsibility to protect the child. Nobody will disagree with that, however there are policies and guidelines that city agencies are required to follow and some of those guidelines were not followed, according to the report.
An amber alert was issued for 8-year-old, Relisha Rudd, after a social worker at her school went to the family shelter on March 19 at the D.C. General Hospital. He discovered the child was not there and not out sick or in the care of a so-called doctor called Tatum.
Relisha Rudd's mother said the following Tuesday, "If she was missing in school, why didn't you call our phone? That's the requirement. It is required for the automatic system to call the parents." D.C. school sources said the mother deliberately misled them and the review by the Mayor's Office agrees. The Mayor's Office adds that the city policy states school officials should have notified child and family services after ten days of no shows, not nearly a month later.
The report recommends the schools report in strict compliance with the law. The report also found the Relisha Rudd and her siblings were missing in school about 50 percent of the time.
The report also found that some agency workers suspected or knew of cases of child abuse, neglect, or concerns about safety, but failed to report the instances. It also revealed that Khalil Tatum, a convicted felon was not prohibited from working at the shelter as a janitor. Also, members were not required to report concerns about Tatum having unusual access to Relisha Rudd and her family.
What sets this incident apart from the rest is the actions the family took. The government had no control over the situation and no knowledge or ability to prevent this. This review is recommending changes, however more than likely it would not make a difference in Relisha's case.