RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. - New questions are being raised about the conditions the Turpin children were living in after they were rescued from their parents in Riverside County in 2018.
"They never talked to anyone," a neighbor told FOX 11 who lives in the Perris neighborhood where the Turpin offspring lived with a foster family after they were rescued.
A recently released camera video shows how Jordan, one of the daughters, explained to a deputy sheriff how she snuck out and was trying to get help for her sisters, who were allegedly "tied up". The recording is chilling, as is the camera video of the chains and conditions from other deputy body cam footage.
Now, some of the children are claiming that they suffering from the county’s neglect including not having access to the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to the Turpin’s care.
Residents on the cul-de-sac are trying to reconcile with their perceptions with reports that the 13 siblings had a difficult time after being placed in foster homes by Riverside County, including not having access to the funds that were raised for them.
"It’s sad," the neighbors said.
The children, they explain, moved out of the foster home in their area over a year ago.
"They didn’t look hungry or poorly dressed," said neighbors who did not want to be identified. "But they never interacted with any of the other children in the cul-de-sac, and were never allowed outside on their own".
Riverside County Executive Officer Jeff Van Wagenen released the following statement in regards to the speculation:
"Without exception, the focus of the County of Riverside is on improving the lives of those we serve. We are committed to protecting the safety, health and welfare of the most vulnerable in our community, and to safeguard them from harm and exploitation. While our dedicated staff work tirelessly every day to accomplish that mission, there have been instances in which those we seek to protect have been harmed.
With full support from the Board of Supervisors, my office is working with new leadership within the County to build on efforts to progressively transform the County’s child welfare and dependent adult systems. Steps already taken by County staff in the last 18 months include, but are not limited to:
- Reduced caseloads by increasing the number of staff, resulting in improved quality and timeliness of casework.
- Improved training to align responsibilities, clarify policies, and implement new processes.
- Funded an integrated services delivery model to improve coordination and collaboration across multiple departments that provide safety net services.Established quality control and auditing units to conduct continuous review and provide real-time critical analysis and response.
- Partnered with well-respected community organizations to improve internal systems for better outcomes.
- Our commitment to improve the system is evidenced by the work we’ve done so far. While therehave been significant changes, more remains to be done.
Specifically, as it relates to the recent allegations regarding the care, services and placement provided to the 13 Turpin siblings by Riverside County departments, the County Executive Office engaged Larson LLP, a law firm led by former U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson, to conduct an independent and comprehensive investigation.
This independent inquiry has two objectives: 1) analyze the services provided to the six minor children and seven adult children; and, 2) assess the quality of care provided. In addition, the examination will review the various departmental programs to assess the level of care, attention, and services provided to children and dependent adults under the programs’ care and. supervision. The inquiry will culminate in a comprehensive report from Larson LLP, with recommendations to the County by March 31, 2022. This will serve as the foundation for action to implement policy and program reforms within Riverside County, as necessary.
The County of Riverside is committed to conducting a thorough and transparent review of the services provided to the Turpin siblings and to improve and strengthen the County’s child welfare and dependent adult systems."
Riverside County Behavior Health Director Dr. Matthew Chang said the following:
"The mission of the Public Guardian Program is to safeguard the lives of Conservatees who cannot care for themselves with the least possible restriction of their liberties. The Public Guardian Program conducts the official County investigation into the need to initiate a conservatorship proceeding in the Probate Court. The Public Guardian Program also acts as the court-appointed conservator when the criteria is met pursuant to California law as determined by the Probate Court.
The Public Guardian Program also must protect the confidentiality of our Conservatees. Therefore, information collected is maintained in a manner that ensures maximum protection of privacy and confidentiality for persons under conservatorship, including those in high-profile situations.
Every member of the Public Guardian Program takes this mission seriously and has worked hard to address new and familiar issues pertaining to the program.
We stand by the exceptional work provided within the Public Guardian Program and welcome an independent and comprehensive inquiry into the care, services, and placement provided to the 13 Turpin siblings by Riverside County departments.
Public trust is crucial for comprehensive conservatorship, and accountability is a vital component of that trust.
Accountability is provided in part by the Court's significant oversight. If there are recommendations from an independent inquiry, we will fully welcome those recommendations.
The Public Guardian Program continues to work for the client's best interests, and the staff go out of their way to make sure people are genuinely cared for with dignity and respect."
Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.