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Jessica Scovil: when the foster system fails completely

This is another of those posts I guess I put off, in part because I have such difficulty finding the words, but also in part because it’s all so damn heartbreaking.

As always, Bastardette has done important work in laying out the basics of her death and the circumstances surrounding it across two posts she did earlier,




I’ll let readers explore those rather than reiterate the work that Bastardette has already done.

The “system” failed Jessica completely.

The fact that she was almost returned to her parents two weeks before her miserable death is salt in the wound.

I also want to be sure readers follow across to Lainie Petersen’s blog entry, Taking Away Parenthood: Jessica Scovil and the Media’s Use of the B Word, about how Jessica’s parents are now being (wrongly) referred to as “birthparents” (see the media piece below) and how the underlying ASSUMPTION is that once a kid enters foster care their parents have lost parentage to them. This is not only factually incorrect, but it says a very great deal about those utilizing such terminology. Over and over again we see people presuming “guilty until proven innocent” in relation to those who lose their children to the foster system.

Keep such, incorrect linguistic assumptions in mind when reading articles such as this, Birth parents want foster mother charged

Jackson County sheriff’s detectives are waiting to decide whether to charge Osborne, who lives on Georgia Highway 334 near Nicholson, until they receive the results of toxicology tests, said Chief Deputy David Cochran.

An autopsy performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Decatur confirmed that Jessica died from heat stroke.

“The next step, I guess, for the parents, is to talk to the district attorney and to ask him to move forward with charges on this case,” said Crandall Heard, attorney for Jessica’s birth parents, Robert Scovil and Evelyn Carter. “That’s all they can do as they work to get through this.”

Allow me to add my own voice to those of Jessica’s parents, Wendy Osborne should absolutely be charged. It’s the only way a thorough investigation will take place.

An obituary for Jessica can be found here, Jessica Scovil.

Perhaps I’ll write more as the words begin to come.

4 Responses to “Jessica Scovil: when the foster system fails completely”

  1. Baby Love Child Says:

    I should also mention, Jessica was one of 5 kids in the household, see this earlier story, Baby dies after left in vehicle in Jackson County,

    The girl was one of three foster children and two adopted children living with the family, Cochran said.

    Wendy Osborne was 29. She and her husband had been fostering for more than five years, according to this article, Girl left in minivan dies. (Yes, that would mean the first child was placed with them when she was 24.)

  2. Baby Love Child Says:

    In the video linked off this Fox (faux) news page out of Atlanta, Maj. David Cochran of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says they had been fostering for 7 years. (this contradicts the ‘5 years’ in the news story above.)

    Also note the sign in the front yard on the video, displaying the phone number. The number is maintained as part of the Freddie Mac Foundation’s “Wednesday’s Child” program.

  3. Baby Love Child Says:

    Finally, see the video off this Fox (faux) news link for an interview with Jessica’s parents, Robert Scovil and Evelyn Carter.

    Note the (inaccurate) use of “birthparent” in this as well.

  4. Marley Greiner Says:

    A short comment on “birthparent.” I’ve seen a real debasement of terminology in the last few years. Here’s an example: “June Cleaver is the birthmother of two boys, Wally and Beaver, and the adoptive mother of two others, Eddie. and Lumpy” If one is to interpret this in everyday adoption language, that would mean that June put up Wally and Beaver for adoption and later adopted Eddie and Lumpy. Of course, that’s not true. I don’t know where this silliness started, but it’s growing.

    I’m not big on PC adoption language, but please, let words mean what they are supposed to mean,..

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