OKLAHOMA CITY – The biological mother of a toddler who nearly drowned is upset with DHS.
Hooked up to multiple tubes and monitors, the two-year-old has been fighting for her life in ICU since Tuesday.
“It’s real difficult. I’ve never had anything like this happen before even when they were in my custody.”
Kiwanda says she lost custody of her little girl while seeking treatment for a drug addiction. The toddler was placed with a foster family just three months ago. This week she nearly drowned.
“I can’t stress enough how they put her with someone else who’s supposed to take better care of her and they didn’t. The system failed my daughter,” said Kiwanda. “An innocent baby could have been killed because of negligence. My baby is not the first baby that something has happened to it in DHS custody and she’s probably not going to be the last.”
The family says they have so many unanswered questions.
“How did she get outside if someone is watching her? How long was she outside before she even got in the pool?” asked Kiwanda.
While there is no gate around the pool, DHS says the foster family had an approved safety plan. The toddler had a water watch that sounds an alarm when it gets wet.
“We certainly understand this mother’s, her anger, her frustration, her grief,” Said Sheree Powell with DHS. “We have two families who have been affected by this tragedy and we are trying to support both of them through this difficult time. Accidents don’t constitute abuse or neglect.”
Kiwanda believes if this happened under her watch there would be a different outcome.
“I’d be in jail for child neglect. So what I really want to know is, is she going to go to jail for neglect, or is the nanny? Or is the foster mom going to get failure to protect?” asked Kiwanda.
DHS officials said the nanny helped save the little girl’s life.
“If you would have been watching my baby, you wouldn’t have had to save her life. So to me you’re not a hero,” said Kiwanda.
DHS officials said they are looking into what happened leading up to the incident.
Officials say the child is in good condition but remains hospitalized.