AUSTIN (August 20, 2013) -- Almost two dozen area foster homes will be randomly inspected this week by Child Protective Services caseworkers after a Rockdale foster mom was indicted on a capital murder charge in the death of a 2-year-old child in her care.
Sherill Small, 54, was arrested this month on a warrant charging murder and remains in the Milam County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond, jail records showed.
The child, Alexandria Hill, 2, died at Scott & White's McLane Children's Hospital after she was taken off life support.
Smalls’ arrest affidavit says, “She became frustrated with Alexandria, picked her up, and in a downward motion with a lot of force came down toward the ground with her.”
“She did this twice and on the third time she lost her grip and the victim was thrown to the ground head first,” the affidavit said.
At McLane’s emergency room, the affidavit says, doctors found that the toddler had “subdural hemorrhaging, subarachnoid hemorrhaging, and retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes,” the affidavit said.
Small became a foster parent through Texas Mentor, a state child placing agency with a dismal history.
State records show it has racked up 59 violations in the past two years.
Some of those violations center around routine background checks that weren’t corrected after inspection.
Residential Child Care Licensing has been investigating Texas Mentor since Small’s arrest.
All this week, random safety checks will be conducted at 23 of Texas Mentor’s 68 foster homes in Central Texas.
"Twenty-three homes have already been randomly chosen, and caseworkers will be going to those homes to ensure that the children there are safe," Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman Julie Moody said.
According to Moody, “the plan this week is to conduct all of our safety checks, and depending on the results of those checks, we will determine if more in Central Texas should be done.”
Texas Mentor sent News 10 a statement regarding the random inspections saying, “We are aware that the state has been in contact with several of our foster homes. Given the recent tragedy, we will cooperate fully."