The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Abused Children Victimized Again by the Social Services System

Dec 6, 2021

Jessica and Jordan Turpin, two of 13 siblings whose escape and rescue from their parents’ abuse in Riverside County, California made national headlines about four years ago, spoke out for the first time in an ABC News interview that aired in November.

The two sisters revealed that, after being the victims of extremely abusive parents for many years, what the Turpin children then found was neglect, and in some cases even abuse, under a dysfunctional social services system.

Being minors at the time of their rescue in January 2018, six of the 13 Turpin children were placed in foster homes. At least one of them suffered further abuse at the hands of their foster parents.

Things did not go well for the adult siblings, either. Some reported going hungry at times; some told about lacking safe and stable housing and being forced to live in dangerous, crime-ridden neighborhoods.

When the horrific story of abuse in the Turpin household hit the media, people across the U.S. and from abroad made donations to help the Turpin children in their new lives. The director of Riverside County Victim Services told interviewers that many health care professionals offered their services for free—but agencies responsible for helping the Turpin children never followed up on those offers.

The nearly 600,000 dollars in donations that poured in were not used to help the Turpin children either. One of the siblings, 29-year-old Joshua Turpin, said that even his request to buy a bicycle for transportation was denied by the office of the court-appointed public guardian for the seven adult Turpin children.

Riverside County officials say they have hired an outside law firm to investigate the mistreatment of the Turpin children by county agencies, but only after Jessica and Jordan Turpin were interviewed. These same officials not only allowed the neglect and continued abuse of the Turpin children for years, but they also kept a lid on it.

In fact, what has happened to the Turpin children after being freed from their parents’ abuse is what happens to millions of young people in this country who are neglected, and sometimes even abused, in a dysfunctional foster care system. And when these children grow older and are sent out into society, many of them find themselves alone and without a job, an education, or skills—and without any support.

All this lack of services and oversight, above all, is the result of years of deep cuts into social programs. Public officials, elected and appointed, would funnel taxpayer money to boost the profits of big capitalists, rather than support the programs that help the population and those in need, especially if they come from poor and working-class backgrounds.