I-Team: Family keeps waiting for answers on child's death in foster care

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Family still awaiting answers in boy's foster care death
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Luke Glenn would have been 4 this week.

HILLSBOROUGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- As many families welcome Thanksgiving and a season of joy, Pete and Lisa Glenn await the holiday and its painful reminder that their beloved grandson won't be there to celebrate with them.

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"When it comes around holidays or birthdays, then you feel the heavy heart again and it digs into you," Pete Glenn told ABC11. "Then you find out some things and you don't get any straight answers on what you find out."

Luke Glenn, 3, was found dead in a foster home on July 31. In the immediacy of his death, officials with Orange County's Department of Social Services confirmed Luke was in its care, and Hillsborough Police suspected no foul play. Still, both entities consider the case an "ongoing investigation" and they await both the toxicology report and completed autopsy report.

According to the Glenns, Luke and his older brother Noah were taken away from their biological parents in 2015 because they missed several doctor appointments.

"I still sit here and cry every night and I get depressed because of the pain," Lisa Glenn, Luke's grandmother, told ABC11, and she added that Luke's birthday is November 22. "The pain will never change"

Glenn says Luke's older brother, Noah, remains in foster care in another home. County and state agencies do not publicly disclose social services cases.

Orange County lists the following requirements to become a foster parent on its website:

  • You must be 21 years of age.
  • If married, you must have been married for one year. Single people are also eligible.
  • You must have adequate living and sleeping space for all family members and foster children.
  • You must be able to provide adequate supervision to the foster child.
  • You must have enough income to meet your family's basic needs.
  • All members of the household must be in reasonably good physical, emotional, and mental health as documented by completion of a routine physical exam.
  • Each household must have a fire inspection.
  • All foster parents are required to complete 30 hours of pre-service foster parent training, and 10 hours of in-service training annually.
  • When you have completed an agency application, one of our social workers will do a home study.
  • A fingerprint check will be completed on each household member older than age 18.

A spokesman for Orange County says all foster homes are inspected quarterly, and social workers will visit a child in foster care at least once a month.

"We extend our condolences to the family and all the individuals impacted by this unfortunate tragedy," Nancy Coston, Orange County Director of Social Services, said in a statement to ABC11 back on August 1. "We are cooperating fully with the investigation. A full and thorough review of this incident will be undertaken, and the results will be released at the appropriate time."

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