Scores of investigations into allegations of abuse or neglect have been delayed or sharply curtailed during the coronavirus pandemic, records and interviews show.
In February, the child abuse hotline for Tollhouse, a small community in the Central Valley, received the first of several tips raising urgent concerns about the well-being of twin infant boys.
Child welfare workers quickly concluded that the infants, just 2 days old, were at grave risk. When they visited the mother, Kristina Braden, she readily admitted that her methamphetamine addiction had continued far into her pregnancy, case records show. This same addiction had contributed to a well-documented history of neglect that had already caused Ms. Braden to lose custody of her three older children.
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