The director of the Social Welfare Center in Nova Gradiška was dismissed on Saturday after oversight determined case workers made mistakes in their handling of the domestic abuse case.
The two-year-old girl remains in critical condition at Zagreb’s Children’s Hospital.
“The girl’s condition has not changed overnight and during the day today. She is still in life-threatening condition,” Dr. Goran Roić, the chief administrator of the hospital told Hina on Saturday.
The child’s blood pressure is unstable and she is on a mechanical ventilator, Dr. Roić added.
The child was brought to the hospital in Nova Gradiška on Wednesday morning by her mother who said she had taken a fall. The child was unresponsive and doctors struggled to reanimate her.
“She had severe injuries to her head but also her entire body,” said Dr. Josip Kolodziej, the chief administrator of the General Hospital in Nova Gradiška.
The child was rushed to Zagreb on Thursday for treatment at the Children’s Hospital.
Investigating Judge Mile Soldo at the County Court in Slavonski Brod ordered the parents of the little girl to be held in investigative custody for one month. The mother was remanded to custody on the grounds that she may obstruct the criminal investigation by witness tampering, while the father is being held because of the possibility that he may comit additional abuse, a crime for which he has already been convicted.
The mother is suspected of forcefully striking the child, resulting in injuries that required hospitalization. The mother faces five criminal charges and the father could be charged with four crimes.
Investigators suspect the child had been abused between November of 2020 and March 31, 2021. The couple’s three other children have been removed from the home and are in foster care. Investigators believe they too had been abused for a longer period of time.
The local Social Welfare Center has been aware of the issues with the family for some time. The injured child spent more than a year with a foster family before social workers returned her to her biological parents.
The head of the local Social Welfare Center was fired after an administrative review found irregularities in the center’s handling of the case, said Social Welfare Minister Josip Aladrović on Saturday. A team from the ministry is being dispatched to Nova Gradiška on Tuesday to try and improve the quality of their work, he said.
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