A five-year-old boy, who died while in foster care, has been found to have drugs, including heroin and diazepam, in his system.
Child protection sources have revealed that the boy, who suffered from epilepsy and hepatitis C, had at least four drugs in his system and had burns and bruises on his body before he died in 2015 in a Uniting Care-run foster home in Pennant Hills, north west Sydney — the same agency who ran the home where Girl X died of a drug overdose in 2014.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the boy died on his foster parent’s couch a week after his kindergarten school alerted Family and Community Services after noticing severe burns and scratches on the boy’s back.
Due to the severity of the injuries, the school sent the boy to hospital, but he was returned back to his foster home after treatment.
An employee of Uniting Care who claims to have seen the toxicology reports of the boy told the Telegraph that there was ‘diazepam, morphine, opiates and possibly heroin’ in the boy’s blood, including an ‘unaccounted punch mark — possibly from a syringe on his body’ and ‘cockroach bites’.
The boy had been in care since he was born because his mother was a drug addict. His older brother also stayed in the same foster home but was removed after his death.
The boy’s death is currently being investigated by police. He was buried at a cemetery a few metres away from 15-year-old Girl X, who was allegedly raped repeatedly by carers before she died from an overdose of drugs given to her by an older man. She was also housed in the foster home ran by Uniting Care.
A spokeswoman for Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard told the publication a review of the death was undertaken.
The NSW Ombudsman is also reviewing the circumstances of the death, with speculation there may be a public inquest in January.