RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Public records show that Child Protective Services had a report filed against a Cary mother for neglect, just 19 days before police said she murdered her two daughters.
The last report was dated July 8.
CPS workers determined the allegations did not require them to take any action.
A social worker reported Battle was following guidelines that they had set during previous visits.
“Amora was under my care for two years, social services gave her to me for two years,” said Dr. Ruth Allen.
Allen spoke with CBS 17 just days after she learned that her two great-granddaughters, 3-year-old Amora and 2-year-old Trinity, were dead and her granddaughter, Battle was charged with their murder.
She shared just some of the problems the family was dealing with.
“[Amora] needed a nurse there every day, to help. Amora had to be fed on the side, on a tube,” said Allen.
In Child Protective Services notes obtained by CBS 17, Amora was not getting the assistance she needed.
“She kept missing appointments, their mama did, so they acted on that,” added Allen.
In 2019, the first report indicated social workers came up with a plan to get the then 1-year-old to a special infant care clinic, and other doctor appointments.
Four months later, the case was closed.
In 2020, there was another report of neglect.
Social workers provided home health visits and care, and even enrolled Battle in parenting classes.
The most recent report was on July 8, when CPS did not find any cause to take action.
According to Wake County’s Child Welfare Division, a family’s history is taken into account during an evaluation and investigation.
Social workers also do a “risk assessment” to identify “future maltreatment.”
“Child protection is a really, really tough job. And the stakes are high, children’s lives and parents’ rights. And unfortunately, it can be really difficult to intervene in a way in, in a time, that’s always needed,” said Cristin Deronja.
Deronja is the Executive Director of SAFEChild NC, an advocacy group for children.
She told CBS 17 it is especially difficult with the number of reports Wake County leaders receive.
“7,000 reports of child abuse and neglect that is suspected, to child welfare, every year,” said Deronja.
There are 308 employees in the county’s Child Welfare Division — 247 of them are social workers.
CBS 17 is told they are working to fill 32 vacancies.
“It’s a reality that our county needs additional social workers to work to be able to manage the caseload that they have,” said DeRonja.
Battle is due in court September 19.