(On Friday, Governor Phil) Bryant presented the first Governor’s Award for Outstanding Services in Child Protection and Well-being to Tausha Rawls, a family protection specialist in Madison County, and her supervisor, Melody Vaughn, who is now on assignment in Marion County.
Bryant said the two saved the life of an unaccounted-for 10-year-old.
In January, the agency received a call on its child abuse prevention hotline (1-800-222-8000) about a child that had not been seen lately by neighbors in a Canton apartment complex. Rawls investigated, and despite the parent’s denial that the child existed, helped law enforcement discover the malnourished child had been locked away in a closet. The child and multiple siblings were rescued and placed in state custody and the parents arrested and charged with felony child abuse and neglect.
After the mother denied the child existed, Rawls and Vaughn notified the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and continued to pursue the case until the child was discovered.