Abused Turpin kids now 'betrayed' by social services system

The city of RIVERSIDE, Calif. The social services system failed the 13 Southern California siblings who were rescued three years ago from being locked in their home for years, chained to beds and starving by their parents, according to a report.

The network reported Friday that a private law firm has been hired by the county to look into allegations that the seven adult and six minor children in the Turpin family did not get basic services after they were freed from their parents' prison-like home. The Turpins are suspected of mistreating several children, including one of them, ABC reported. A lawyer for the family denied the allegations.

Donaldson said that some of the children felt betrayed by the local officials' handling of their cases. Donaldson said there were times when the children didn't have enough food or a safe place to stay.

She cried as she described how the children, who were held like prisoners by their parents, David and Louise Turpin, were sometimes left on their own to try to work through a complicated bureaucracy.

Thousands of people offered to help when the case first broke. She said to send them her way. I had to give those referrals to the workers of Child Protective Services. None of them were used.

Donaldson said that she spoke out because she needed to fix the system.

The shocking abuse in the Turpin home went undetected in the community of Perris, which is about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Jordan and one of her sisters gave their first media interview for a segment on Friday's episode of ABC's "20/20."

Jordan recalled how she couldn't press the buttons after escaping the house. She said she had never spoken to anyone on the phone before.

She said she felt like she had to do something.

She said that if she left, they wouldn't go back and they would get help. If we went back, I wouldn't be here right now.

Jordan told a deputy that her sisters and brothers were chained to beds and forced to live in squalor when she escaped. The children had minimal education and were not active a lot at night.

The deputy who rescued the siblings talked to Jordan nervously, who said she had never talked to anyone outside the home. Jordan said she didn't know what the word meant when the deputy asked if she was taking any medication.

The 13 siblings were all severely overweight and hadn't bathed for months when they were rescued. The youngest child was not abused by their parents, who were sentenced to life in prison.

The adult and minor children were taken to hospitals after their release. Donations and support came from all over the world.

Since that time, the adult siblings have faced challenges accessing social services and even money that was donated for their care. The money was placed in a trust.

When Joshua Turpin asked for help from the deputy public guardian assigned to his case, she told him to go to the internet.

He said that the public guardian refused to let him request a bike.

The law firm run by a former federal judge has been hired by the executive officer to look at the services and quality of care they received. The report is due by the end of March.

The statement said that the county is committed to conducting a thorough and transparent review of the services provided to the Turpin siblings and to improve and strengthen the County's child welfare and dependent adult systems.

Dr. Matthew Chang is the public guardian of the county.