Oklahoma DHS Fires Two Employees Over Teen's Death

Monday, February 10th 2014, 1:10 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's Department of Human Services says it's firing two employees over their mishandling of a case involving a disabled 15-year-old boy who died of pneumonia last year after suffering alleged neglect and abuse at his father's home.

Quinten Wood died January 4, 2013.

"Quinten's death has been heart-wrenching for all of us at DHS and our deepest sympathies go out to his sister, Valerie Wood-Harber, and his brother," said Ed Lake, DHS Director.

"Ms. Wood-Harber deserves full credit and our appreciation for pushing the system--our agency, law enforcement, the school, and health care officials--to investigate the circumstances that led to Quinten's death.

The boy's sister, Valerie Wood-Harber of Fayetteville, Arkansas, had complained to Governor Mary Fallin last month that despite a recent and costly restructuring of DHS following a series of high-profile child deaths, the agency failed to protect her brother.

Read DHS news release

Through this investigation, DHS said it has also identified areas within its own organization that the agency will strengthen to improve child protection, particularly when it becomes involved in cases with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

1/7/2014 Related Story: OKC Woman, 465,000 Others Ask Governor To Investigate Child Services

The Associated Press contributed to this report.