Report: Many home-schooled kids in families accused of abuse - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Report: Many home-schooled kids in families accused of abuse

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The death of a 17-year-old Hartford boy who was disabled has shed light on a system that failed to protect him.

A report by the Office of the Child Advocate says the Department of Children and Families should have done more.

It also found many children being home schooled are in families that have been accused of abuse or neglect.

Matthew Tirado was abused and neglected. He hadn't been in school for two years, and his younger sister was supposedly home schooled, but it seems very little was done to check on either of them.

Katiria Tirado is now in prison for abusing and starving her son to death.

Matthew was 17 and weighed only 84 pounds when paramedics came to their Hartford apartment. He had mental and physical disabilities and was locked in his room most of the time.

"He was known as a child that had been a victim of abuse and neglect,” said Sarah Egan, of the Office of the Child Advocate.

The Office of the Child Advocate said DCF was involved with the family, and their report found a number of issue, saying social workers need better training, and that they needed to check on Matthew, even if it meant getting a court order to see him or his sister, who was supposedly being home-schooled.

Doing this report, they made a disturbing discovery -- out six school districts, 380 children were being home schooled and 138 were involved with DCF.

Egan said 39 states have regulations when it comes to home schooling. Connecticut has hardly any, and she would like to see schools keep data, do more follow-ups and safety nets.

"Without any safety net or regulations, you're going to have families who do a great job, amazing admirable job, enviable job and you are going to have kids who are withdrawn and not educated, that’s the consequence of not have any regulation form,” Egan said.

DCF said legally, they were prevented from going into the apartment to see Matthew.

The legislature may consider changes.

As for home schooling, the Child Advocate said she isn't against home schooling but feels there needs to be more checks and balances.

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