OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A panel reviewing the deaths of Josh Powell's two young children says state social workers did not consult with law enforcement before allowing Powell to host visits at his home.
A report released Thursday says the Department of Social and Health Services should "make concerted efforts" to check with detectives prior to making changes in parent-child contacts when there is an active investigation. Authorities had been investigating the 2009 disappearance of Powell's wife, Susan.
During a supervised visit at his home in Graham earlier this year, Powell set fire to the house, killing himself and his sons Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.
Powell had been locked in a custody dispute at the time of the killings. A few days before the fire, a judge ordered him to undergo an intensive psycho-sexual evaluation.
The child fatality review committee also says social workers should immediately reassess visitation policies whens someone is ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.
DSHS responded Thursday with a press release, saying the review committee also “concluded that nobody could have anticipated that Joshua Powell would murder his two sons. According to the committee, the work of all agencies and individuals involved demonstrated the highest concern for the children’s health, safety and welfare.”
DSHS says the recommendations will help efforts to keep children safe.
DSHS says state law requires the Department to conduct a fatality review when a child death or near-death injury is suspected to be caused by abuse or neglect and the child has received services from Children’s Administration in the previous 12 months.
The committee interviewed seven people and reviewed more than 2,700 pages of documents, said DSHS.