There are new developments in a case involving the death of a 2-year-old Tulsa boy. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced they are reviewing the policies currently in place for shutting down daycares. News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren spoke with Joshua Minton's family about DHS's plan. They say itâ€™s too little too late for them, but she reports the family hopes it makes a difference for children in the future.
Last month, 2-year-old Joshua Minton died of asphyxiation at his Tulsa daycare. His daycare provider, Vicki Chiles, was charged with his murder after police reports say she taped his hands and mouth shut. After her arrest The News On 6 discovered that DHS had asked Chiles to voluntarily shutdown her daycare because of several previous allegations of child abuse. Last week, The Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth announced they would be investigating the DHS procedures leading up to Joshua's death. On Monday a DHS spokesman says they will be looking into their own policies as well.
"To see do we have the policies in place that could keep this from ever happening again, and if not making recommendation to shore that up to make sure something like this could not happen in a child care facility again," DHS Spokesman George Johnson said.
Johnson says there is a chance their current policies are adequate, but that employee training could be to blame. But he says DHS is not pointing any fingers yet.
"We've had an incident and there is going to be a review of that incident,â€ said Johnson. â€œThere is no fault finding or blame being placed on anyone or any systems or processes at this time."
Joshua Minton's family members say this DHS review is just one small step in fixing what they say is a very broken system. They think DHS will find that their policies are not adequate and that Vicki Chiles' daycare should have been shut down years ago.
"That it not only shouldn't have been shut down long ago, she probably should not have had a license to begin with," Joshuaâ€™s great aunt Atonda Minton said.
Regardless, they say they are glad something has come of their nephew's seemingly senseless death.
"It shouldn't have taken this, but if something good can come of this then I think it will help bring peace to our family," said Minton.
The DHS spokesperson added that they "thought" their policies were adequate up to this point; otherwise they would have changed them already. According to Johnson the Oklahoma DHS director said they are conducting the review because of all the media attention the Minton case has received.
Watch the video:DHS To Review Their Policies After A Toddler Is Killed At Daycare
WEB EXTRA: Extended Interview With DHS Spokesman George Johnson
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5/24/2007 Parents Of Child Who Died In Daycare Speak
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