Miami Herald by Carol Marbin Miller
July 5, 2019
In April 2018, state child welfare authorities were told that then-21-year-old Wildline Joseph got stoned regularly, and allowed two of her small children to wander the neighborhood day and night with no supervision.
Investigators with the Broward Sheriff’s Office apparently decided this was acceptable behavior, as they took no action to stop it. So Joseph continued to leave her children outside alone.
Until it killed them.
On May 22, Joseph once again allowed 5-year-old Branario Minto and 6-year-old Ja’kye Joseph to amble their North Lauderdale apartment complex with no oversight long past dark. They were found floating in the complex’s pool after 10 p.m.
Because Joseph had been the subject of a verified abuse report less than a year before the two boys died — BSO investigators concluded Joseph was abusing drugs, even as they dismissed concerns that she wasn’t supervising her kids — child welfare administrators were required to deploy the Department of Children & Families’ Critical Incident Rapid Response Team to investigate the deaths. Under state law, a report from the team must be completed within a month, and the reports must be made public.
The Rapid Response Team was created by lawmakers in 2015 to enhance child welfare administrators’ ability to learn from their mistakes, and to promote transparency within DCF.