Dead Corona baby inspires ACS law

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

In the wake of an 11-week-old baby's death in Corona at the hands of his mother, the city Administration for Children's Services has revised its policy on children born to families with previously removed children.

The ACS's policy gives child welfare workers the authority to remove newborn infants from homes that already have had a child removed.

ACS Commissioner John Mattingly said the new regulations would make removing the baby the default action with such households, The New York Times reported last Thursday.

The text of the new policy appears to support Mattingly's comments, calling a caseworker's decision to allow the newborn to remain with the parents "the extraordinary instance," and requiring the review and approval of the ACS borough commissioner.

Rosemary Ewing-James, director of foster boarding home and adoption services for the Forest Hills-based foster agency Forestdale, said she did not believe the policy change would create any great increase in the number of newborns removed to foster homes.

"It's not been that common," she said, noting her agency handles around 150 cases a year. "We haven't had a tremendous number of babies coming into care."

The Queens case that brought these circumstances to the forefront involved 23-year-old Kiana Paez of Corona, who has been charged with second-degree murder by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. If convicted, she faces up to 25 years in prison.

Ewing-James said high-profile cases sometimes do cause changes in the way ACS handles cases, noting the number of removals have increased since the January 2006 murder of Nixzmary Brown at the hands of her stepfather.

"You begin to carefully scrutinize the cases that are coming in," she said. "Where in the past you might have been willing to put preventive services in or family preservation, you might make a decision to remove and give the family the opportunity to work on the problems."

Paez, whose previous child was removed by ACS a year ago, brought her son Pablo, then 6 weeks old, to the hospital April 3 around 9:45 p.m., authorities said. Doctors found the baby had a fractured skull, head trauma, bleeding on the brain, fractured ribs, cuts and bruises, Brown said. Police arrested her shortly thereafter.

City officials said Paez had passed all of her drug tests while pregnant, The Times reported. ACS declined to comment.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!