Family members of Eain Clayton Brooks, the 5-year-old West Side boy who police say was fatally beaten last weekend, vow to hold Erie County Child Protective Services accountable for his death.
They said the agency’s workers, despite numerous warnings, failed the child.
“If I have to take it to the steps of Washington, I’m going to do that,” Paul Henry, Eain’s great-uncle, said outside Sanborn Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements for the boy’s funeral.
Police on Thursday arrested Matthew Kuzdzal, the boyfriend of the boy’s mother, on a charge of second-degree murder.
People who report allegations of child abuse deserve some follow-up, family members said Friday.
“There needs to be confirmation,” Henry said.
He said when individuals report suspected child abuse, they should be issued a confirmation number so they can follow the case through the system.
Several family members have said they took their fears for Eain to Child Protective Services several times, to no avail.
Henry said he received no confirmation number when he called last winter to report his suspicions that Eain was being abused.
He said he was told: “We got the report, and we’ll look into it.”
Family members said Eain’s mother, Nora Brooks, did not take her son away from Kuzdzal because she was being manipulated by him and was unable to take action.
Meanwhile, State Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, called on the state Office of Children and Family Services to investigate the boy’s death and the handling of his case by Erie County Child Protective Services, as well as conduct a broader examination of the state’s child protection agencies.
“Eain’s death is an intolerable and heartbreaking tragedy, and we must do all we can to prevent anything like this from ever happening again,” Kennedy said in a statement.