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Social worker says she heard positive reports about Phoenix's parents

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The social worker who helped return baby Phoenix Sinclair to her troubled young parents said a family support worker, a supervisor, a psychologist and a Boys and Girls Club worker all said the couple was doing well.

This morning, Kerri-Lynn Greeley told the inquiry into the little girl's death she was hearing positive reports about the couple who seemed "committed" and "motivated" to parent. Phoenix was five months old when she was returned to her birth mom, Samantha Kematch and biological dad, Steve Sinclair. Five years later, Kematch and her partner Karl McKay murdered Phoenix.

This morning, Greeley said Kematch and Sinclair were taking parenting classes, visiting their baby weekly, meeting their social worker, and a psychological assessment was set up for Kematch, who seemed depressed. Greeley said they were doing everything child and family services required of them in order to get their daughter back.

Phoenix was returned to them Sept. 5, 2000. A psychiatrist who saw Kematch more than a week later said she wasn't depressed but was a "closed book", Greeley said, reviewing her notes from a discussion with the psychiatrist, Dr. Gary Altman. He didn't see any need for further assessment, said Greeley, who doesn't recall any details but was reading from Phoenix's file.

Inquiry commission counsel Derek Olson challenged that. He said the psychologist denies saying no further assessment was needed for Kematch. Greeley said that her wasn't in her notes from her conversation with Altman but she must have recalled him telling her that.

Greeley returns to the witness stand this afternoon.

History

Updated on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM CST: Corrects typo in headline.

3:47 PM: Dr. Gary Altman is a psychiatrist.

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