Kids Back at Home after Child Neglect

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News 12 at 6 o'clock; April 16, 2008

WINDSOR, S.C. --- Four kids are back at home tonight, after being taken away from their Aiken County home. News 12 has learned this isn't the first time at least 1 of the kids has been taken from the home and placed in protective custody.

Susie and Benjamin Robinson were arrested Monday and charged with unlawful neglect. They were released from the Aiken County Detention Center on Tuesday on bond. They still face the felony charge and could spend up to 10 years in prison.

Right now, the Robinsons and the 4 kids are under South Carolina Department of Social Services supervision.

The message is clear though, you can help to make sure any kid who you think might be in danger is taken care of.

Peggy Ford works as a child advocate, so she knows how important it is to keep every kid safe.

"People everyday should be willing to get involved with children's lives," says Peggy.

That's exactly what the South Carolina Department of Social Services did. They went to Benjamin and Susie Robinson's home and found a mess. An incident report tells it all. There they found a cluttered yard with toys, gross filth on numerous surfaces inside, beds that were made but linens in need of washing, in the kitchen a garbage can overflowing with waste and more.

Now, the kids are back at home and being watched by the State's DSS. They'll be monitored weekly and services will be provided for them.

You can help to make sure something like this incident doesn't happen again.

"You look for things that sing, that say this child is having difficulty," says Peggy.

There's a simple way you can lend a hand.

"If you see people coming in and out at odd hours of the night, if you see a lot of what looks like suspicious drug activity," says Peggy. "It's important to step up and take a chance because you could be saving a child's life."

Scared to speak up? Well don't be. Report it. Tell a friend what you saw.

"It's real important for children to have a voice and they don't have a voice unless a grown up is willing to speak up for them," says Peggy.

She understands how difficult taking a child out of a home can be.

"Nobody wants to be judged as having done a very bad job for something as close to their heart as children," she says. "It's a step to help both of them. It's not a step to separate them."

We don't know specific services the Robinsons will be getting. But, we do know it will be tailored to the needs of the family.

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