Court hearing for family of little girl killed in fire

Posted at: 11/09/2012 11:44 AM
Updated at: 11/09/2012 3:35 PM
By: Andrew Murphy

ALBANY - One week after the funeral for three year old Amari Welburn, her mother, father and a number of other relatives were in Family Court Friday.

Various family members have submitted petitions asking for temporary custody of the four other young children who have been placed in foster care that their grandfather Vincent Van Ness finds unsatisfactory. "The system has taken my grandkids away from the parents and put them in the system where they're dealing with more harsher restrictions. Not only that, they've gotten sick. They have Coxsackie virus now. They have bumps all over their face."

In the days following the fatal fire, Judge Margaret Walsh found that it would not be in the children's best interest to stay with their parents.

Last week both parents participated in a news conference criticizing the family's forced break up.

"I feel like the kids were taken without any just cause," Derek Welburn said.

The parents were in Family court Friday with lawyers trying to regain that custody.

They're being opposed by Albany County's Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Judge Walsh said the goal is to reunite the kids with their parents but it was not in the children's interest to be placed back at this time.

She said some services needed to be provided to the parents to fine tune their child rearing skills.

The Court will review its decision on foster care in three weeks.