Duggar: Where Was Child Welfare?

[Content Note: Sexual abuse.]

One of the questions that has been asked here and elsewhere regarding the Josh Duggar sexual abuse case is where was child protective services during all of this. And a new item at In Touch, which broke the story, starts to provide answers to that question:
[The] case did not end when Springdale, Ark. police closed their investigation in 2006 because the statute of limitations had run out...

Police referred the matter to the Families in Need of Services agency, which has jurisdiction over minors. The Department of Human Services (DHS) was then brought into the case, In Touch has learned. Nine months after those agencies entered the Duggar molestation case, Josh Duggar sued the Arkansas Department of Human Services. A trial was held on August 6, 2007.

The results of the investigation into the Duggars and Josh's trial are sealed. But a source familiar with the Duggar investigation told In Touch it was likely that Josh "appealed the DHS decision or finding from their investigation." The source notes that DHS had the authority to apply "restrictions or stipulations about him being at home with the victims."

"Josh would be considered an in-home offender, giving DHS the authority to do an investigation. As part of your appeal rights you can request a DHS hearing to challenge what they found and their ruling."
There has been no comment from the family on the DHS investigation, nor whether "their family was monitored by a state agency after the 2007 actions and forced to undergo counseling by a licensed mental health professional."

An earlier article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette confirms that investigators had "filed a 'family in need of services' affidavit with Washington County Juvenile Court," and that one of their reporters had discovered the "sealed Washington County Circuit Court file for Josh Duggar vs. the Arkansas Department of Human Services" in 2007, which noted that a "trial in that case took place Aug. 6, 2007."

So, child protective services was contacted by police and did get involved and made some kind of ruling that the Duggars didn't like. They appealed the decision, which resulted in a trial, the outcome of which is unknown.

It's impossible to say exactly what happened here, but it sure looks like child welfare intervened on behalf of Josh Duggar's victims, and he (and his parents) used their wealth and influence in order to undermine that decision.

[H/T to Aphra_Behn.]

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