AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The death of a toddler that Central Texas police say came at the hands of her foster mother has raised questions about the screening and training that one of the state’s largest child-placement agency gives foster parents.
Fifty-four-year-old Sherill Small is charged with capital murder in the last month’s death of 2-year-old Alexandria Hill. Police say Alexandria’s head had been smashed against the floor.
She was placed in Smith’s Rockdale home by Texas Mentor, the state’s No. 3 foster-care contractor.
Records show state licensing officials placed the contractor’s Arlington office on a six-month evaluation in February after 114 deficiencies or violations were found at 56 foster homes in the previous two years.
Company officials have disputed some of the state’s findings.