The Children Are Dying: Reaction to our FOX 11 Investigation

- By FOX 11 Staff

Reaction was strong to our FOX 11 Investigates report -  The Children Are Dying -- about allegations of problems at the San Bernardino County Children and Family Services department. By late Friday night, more than 260,000 people had watched the report on Facebook.

Everyone had strong words to say about the story of children reportedly left in abusive homes, many of them ending up dead. Christa Vega wrote “This made me cry. I grew up being a part of the San Bernardino Child Services and I thank God every day that my aunt and uncle took me in and raised me”. Angelica Figueroa said “This absolutely broke my heart and made me cry. Something has to happen before more innocent little children suffer under the hands of these monsters that call themselves parents.” You can read more on our Facebook page FOX 11 Los Angeles.

We contacted the CFS again today, asking for an on-air interview with Marlene Halgen, the director. Once again, our request was denied. Late Friday night, Hagen issued this written statement in response to our report:

“There is no way to describe the horror and sadness I feel each time a child is abused or neglected. When our children hurt, we hurt.

San Bernardino County's highest priority is to protect our children from abuse and neglect. No one is more dedicated to protecting our children than San Bernardino County’s social workers who keep thousands of children safe each year.

There are countless children whose lives we have saved due to our intervention.

The sad reality is, there is no way for government to completely prevent tragedies from ever happening. Child abuse and neglect knows no boundaries and is a problem in every community.

As a result, we remain committed to always looking for ways to get better at what we are doing in the fight to prevent child abuse and neglect.”

Marlene Hagen, Director

We also heard from former Republican State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly who used to represent San Bernardino. After seeing our report, he called us to say “There is an epidemic of children who are left to die, who are abandoned by those whose job it is to protect them.” He said the report made him “furious” and called for something to be done to fix the problems in the system.

The San Bernardino County Grand Jury is investigating. 

If you would like to file a complaint, you can do so here.

You can also send us an email at

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