A state social worker who investigated a report of child abuse for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare later had sex with the child's emotionally troubled mother and impregnated her. He then hid the woman's pregnancy and the birth of their daughter from the bureau, even as the mother sought to retain custody of two other children, the Journal Sentinel has learned.
The 56-year-old social worker, Peter J. Nelsen, was allowed to resign from the bureau April 15, according to bureau records.
Within months of his resignation, the bureau removed the 1-year-old girl from her mother and placed her in Nelsen's home. The other children - a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy - also had been removed.
Nelsen is now seeking sole custody of the 1-year-old.
"Everything that I love is gone," said the 31-year-old mother, Theola Nealy.
Nealy was sitting at the kitchen table of her tiny but immaculate south side home. The house, its walls painted pink and peach, is a virtual toy box filled with bikes, dolls and empty beds.
"This is their home," she said.
The administrative code of ethics that Wisconsin social workers are required to follow strictly forbids sexual contact with clients. The rule states: "A person shall continue to be a client for two years after the termination of professional services."
"It is probably the worst thing you can do as a professional," said Marc Herstand, executive director of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. "This is a basic ethical standard."
Although bureau officials knew about the child by early April, no report has been filed with a state examining board, according to a Department of Regulation and Licensing spokesman. David Carlson said Nelsen retains his social worker's license.
State law requires an employer that "terminates, suspends, or restricts the employment" of a licensed social worker as the result of "adverse or disciplinary action against the credential holder relating to his or her practice of social work" report that action to the appropriate examining board within 30 days.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families, which runs the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, said a report was filed. But Angela Russell said she did not know when. More HERE