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(RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif.) – Senior officials in California’s Riverside County said this week they continue to be frustrated in their efforts to uncover why social service systems have “harmed” some of the 13 Turpin children. who were rescued in 2018 from captivity and torture at the hands of their parents.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors had pledged to fix the system that broke down for some of the 13 Turpin siblings, but said this week the process was bogged down by a tangle of government-imposed privacy rules. courts and other state laws that prevent information -sharing.

“We’re trying to do what we can do because we all take this very seriously,” County Supervisor Karen Spiegel said Tuesday of the ongoing investigation into the revelations first reported in 2021. by ABC News that many Turpin children had not had access to many of the services and resources they were guaranteed by the system. “There are things our hands are totally tied on.”

The 13 siblings were rescued in January 2018 from their home in Perris, California, where their parents subjected them to brutal abuse and deprived them of food, sleep, sanitation, education and care. health.

In 2021, Jennifer and Jordan Turpin spoke to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer for the first time about the challenges and hardships they and their siblings have faced in the years since sheriff’s deputies rescued them from a life of house imprisonment.

An ABC News investigation found that some of the Turpin children continue to face challenges and hardships since being rescued, and some of them have even faced danger again.

Following ABC News’ 20/20 Report, Riverside County hired an outside firm to conduct an independent investigation into the county’s care of the Turpin children. The firm, led by retired federal judge Stephen Larson, was due to deliver its findings this week on March 31. But on Tuesday, his team announced that findings would be delayed for two months as investigators continue to press for access to “vital” court and county records that underpin the Turpin cases.

“These records are critical to ensuring that … the final report comprehensively addresses each area of ​​investigation,” Hillary Potashner, a partner at Larson LLP who helped lead the investigation, told the board on Tuesday. “The process for demanding the records remains slow, however.”

Meanwhile, Potashner told the Council that the team had already reviewed more than 2,600 documents and conducted more than 85 interviews, including with two of the Turpin siblings and two staff from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Mike Hestrin went public with his concerns that the county had “failed” the Turpin siblings on the ABC show.

Eleven members of the Riverside County Office of the Public Guardian, responsible for helping Turpin’s seven oldest children obtain essential medical, educational and skills resources after their parents were arrested, were also interviewed by investigators. exteriors.

Still, supervisors expressed frustration that other aspects of federal and state law prevented them — and other county departments — from sharing information with each other, leading to the Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries called it “disconnected — and I’m generous — an disconnected level of service for our children.”

“It’s been the most frustrating experience of my time on the Board of Supervisors,” Jeffries said, “to be told that you’re responsible as an elected official to make sure all of these things run smoothly. and that you have the right people in place, but you can’t ask questions about how well they do their jobs, how effective they are, or what problems they face.

Last week, a separate committee of the oversight board that was formed in the wake of the ABC News report found that “more needs to be done” to improve care and services for the vulnerable people for whom they are responsible, including including the Turpin siblings.

“While much work is already underway to continue to improve our service delivery to children and adults, leaders recognize that more needs to be done,” according to a five-page report released Friday.

Among the changes supervisors are considering, according to the report, is a change to “the legislative barrier that prevents departments from sharing information.” The report says the committee is working to change state law to “allow disclosure of information between county adult protective agencies and county child protective agencies.”

Additionally, the report says the county created a new “multi-departmental, multidisciplinary team” to oversee the care of the 13 Turpin children – one of the first reforms since the inquest went into effect.

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