Coxes urge changes in Wash. child protection policies

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by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 23 at 6:49 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Josh Powell's in-laws were in Olympia Thursday to discuss changes in how the state handles child protection.

Chuck and Judy Cox joined Republican state Sen. Pam Roach at a news conference where Roach described her proposal to prohibit a child custody award to a murder suspect.

Roach and the Coxes want to boost the rights of grandparents in courts, require CPS workers to be certified and bonded, increase transparency of child protection system, restrictions on private home visitations, and establish smaller DSHS units to improve care of children.

The Coxes said they did not believe they had a voice or rights in the CPS as they battled for custody of their grandchildren, Charlie and Braden. They said believed that they would be punished for speaking out about Josh Powell because they did not have proof that Josh was involved in their daughter's disappearance. 

They said that while they felt unable to speak out, everything Josh said about them was put in court records -- whether true or false. They said they believed DSHS's "number one priority is to return the child/children to their biological parents," regardless of evidence that a return could result in harm or danger.

Josh Powell killed his sons and himself on Feb. 5. Susan Powell, who disappeared in December 2009, has never been found. Josh Powell was never officially listed as a suspect when he was alive, and no evidence has been released tying him to his wife's disappearance.

Watch the press conference below:

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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