My mind has been whirling since the announcement of the Casey Anthony verdict an hour ago. Z and I were driving back from yet another appointment with the fertility doctor when it was announced the verdict was in. On a visceral level, I do believe that somehow, in some way, she killed her child. On a logical level, I can sorta/kinda/maybe understand the verdict. As a school social worker, I make child abuse reports all the time. I don’t make false reports, but very rarely are my cases substantiated. It’s hard to prove abuse. I know, I know what you are saying — “The child has a bruise/black eye/broken arm/has been murdered. How much more proof do you need?” Well, in the eyes of the law, a lot more. And that, my friends, is why I’m not a Child Protection Social Worker. I don’t have the disposition to contain my outrage. I do my best every day to comfort my kids who have been abused and I feel like an absolute failure when the law doesn’t protect them. It’s an unfortunate paradox — I ask them to put their trust in me while I’m not entirely sure we should trust the process. The system works in mysterious ways that I can not always wrap my brain around. It makes me heart sick, but the alternative is to just give up on protecting children and that’s just unacceptable.
Maybe the day Caylee died was the first day she was abused. Probably not. It’s the community’s job to speak up and defend children. Learn the signs of child abuse and the local numbers to call to report suspected abuse. If your Child Protection agency doesn’t respond, then call the police. Both reports can be made anonymously.
Maybe if someone had spoken up in Caylee’s defense, Casey wouldn’t have needed a defense.