Jayson White, the biological father of slain 5-year-old Kenneth White, told an Albany County Family Court judge Monday that he neglected the boy’s two sisters.
White, of North Adams, Massachusetts, admitted to having untreated mental health issues, substance abuse problems and not being able to maintain a stable residence for long periods of time. Judge Gerard Maney ruled that White will continue to have supervised visits with the girls but he must undergo a psychiatric evaluation and comply with a substance abuse treatment program.
A neglect petition was filed against White in January. The charges against him are civil, meaning he does not face jail time.
The Amsterdam Police Department confirmed White was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in 2010, but would release no details of the case or its resolution, saying it was closed.
The children were taken from their parents by the Montgomery County Department of Social Services because of unsanitary living conditions in their Amsterdam home, Maney said last month.
The attorney representing Christine Van Alstyne White, Kenneth’s biological mother, could not reach a deal with Albany County Department of Children Youth and Families prior to the trial for her neglect petition. The trial is set to begin Thursday.
The two girls, Christine and Cheyenne White, ages 4 and 5, will remain in foster care.
Brenda Van Alstyne, Kenneth’s aunt, had custody of the three children for roughly six months before the kindergartner was allegedly killed by his cousin, Tiffany Van Alstyne, in December. She is charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bail in Albany County Jail. Maney ruled last week that Brenda Van Alstyne abused and neglected the children and she will not be able to see the boy’s two sisters for the foreseeable future. Judge Maney said Tiffany Van Alstyne possibly beat Kenneth’s 4-year-old sister with a bat while she lived in their 900-square-foot Thacher Park Road mobile home in Berne. Tiffany Van Alstyne, Brenda’s daughter, was the primary caretaker for Kenneth and Christine. The girls were covered with bruises when they entered foster care in December.
While leaving court Monday, White said his goal is to regain custody of his children in the near future. He said admitting neglect was the best way to reach that goal.
“This just makes everything easier for the girls,” he said. “We won’t have to drag this out or anything.”
White added that he is currently receiving treatment for his substance abuse problems.
“That’s one thing they failed to acknowledge,” he said. “I am receiving treatment. I am doing everything in my power to get my girls back.”