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32-year-old social worker accused of posing as special needs foster child, enrolls in three different high schools
Image via CBS Boston / YouTube (screenshot)

32-year-old social worker accused of posing as special needs foster child, enrolls in three different high schools

A 32-year-old woman in Boston is facing five felony counts after she was accused of posing as a foster child under the care of the state while enrolling in multiple high schools.

Shelby Hewitt was accused of creating "multiple names and dates of birth for herself" and allegedly created a false narrative of a being an "extremely traumatized teen" with special needs, according to prosecutor Ashley Polin.

She also allegedly posed as a foster child under government care when she reportedly enrolled in three Boston high schools, including English High School in Jamaica Plain and Burke High School in Dorchester. She allegedly claimed to be as young as 13 years old at the time.

A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Hewitt on nine charges, with five felony counts, including forgery, identity fraud, and larceny over $1,200.

Hewitt also faces a public employee standards of conduct violation, WCBV 5 reported, due to being a social worker with the Department of Children and Families at the time. She collected a salary of $54,000.

According to CBS Boston, prosecutors also alleged that Hewitt used that social worker position to create the fake identity of a teen in custody, backed up by fake emails, documents, and phone numbers.

Despite allegedly posing as teen with "significant special education" and "emotional" needs, Hewitt holds several degrees. The outlet reported that she appeared to have a master's degree in school counseling from 2016.

Her defense attorney, Timothy Flaherty, said that the defendant was never a danger to anyone and attributed the incidents to mental health issues.

"She’s a person who’s had a lifelong history of mental health challenges, in treatment and working towards making herself a better person," he said.

"I can certainly understand the outrage the parents would feel. I certainly would feel the same as a parent if my child was in a school that wasn't being properly supervised," the attorney added.

Hewitt was reportedly arraigned in July 2022 after a man went to English High School and told school officials that he would be withdrawing his daughter, allegedly Hewitt, over bullying. The claim raised the eyebrows of administrators, as she had been attending the school for less than one week.

The accused pleased not guilty and was released on $5,000 bail under the condition of staying away from schools and anyone under 18 years old. Her trial is scheduled for fall 2024.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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