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DCF Opens Investigation After Child Injured In Foster Care

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Carey Codd is a General Assignment Reporter for CBS4 News and jo...
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COCONUT CREEK (CBS4) – The Florida Department of Children and Families along with the Coconut Creek Police Department are working to determine how an 11-month old in foster care wound up with a skull fracture.

DCF said they have opened a child abuse investigation into the case.

It’s a question the mother and grandparents of the child — identified by family members as Charlie Costa — would like answered as well.

According to Nikky Frank, the child’s grandfather, the boy was removed from his mother’s care 7 months ago after he accidentally burned his hand on some soup his mother was eating. When the pair arrived at a hospital, the mother was slurring her words due to medication she was taking. Investigators removed the boy from her care.

Frank said since that time his daughter has complied with every demand of DCF — passed each drug test, taken parenting classes and created a home for her son to share with her.

“Somebody did something to this baby,’ Frank told CBS4’s Carey Codd. “They took him from the mom. They took his from us and now look what we get.”

According to Jim Lewis, an attorney for Charley’s mom, the boy’s injuries are not life-threatening although he has some swelling on the brain.

According to DCF, Charley will stay overnight at Broward General Medical Center. He will likely be released from the Medical Center Thursday and placed with a different foster family.

A DCF spokesperson also said investigators are working to figure out where the child sustained the injury, either at a day care or in the foster home.

Charley’s grandmother, Judy Frank, said her grandson needs to be with his mom.

“It’s bad what they did to my grand baby,” she said. “She has no issues. She’s alright. She’s got a job. She’s perfectly fine.”

Attorney Lewis said an emergency room doctor told him that what happened to Charley could not have come from a fall or an accident.

“The bottom line is what happened with this child in DCF custody is wrong and the police need to get to the bottom of it,” he said.

A hearing had already been scheduled in this case for Thursday. There are conflicting stories about whether it’s a custody hearing or a hearing about the mother’s visits with Charley. Either way, Lewis said he will ask a judge to release the child back to his mother.

We were not able to speak with the foster family Wednesday evening.

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