Workers at the Forsyth County Department of Social Services received dozens of complaints in the past four years about the family of a bedridden boy who was severely bitten by rats in September.

Critics of the social services department say the case is an example of how nothing is done until a child gets hurt.In September, an 11-year-old child was bitten on the scalp, nose, lips, tongue, chin, hand and elbow by rats inside his home at 416 E. 16th St. The boy has cerebral palsy, is mute and cannot move his arms or legs.

His mother, 33-year-old Arlene Addie Tolliver, pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor child abuse and neglect and was placed on probation.

The boy's former teacher, Elizabeth Kiser, said she sent six to eight complaints each year for four years to the department's protective-services unit. But the unit never responded, Kiser said. ``The bottom line is that a child should not be chewed to death in the middle of the night before getting some help,' she said. ``When you have 15 or 20 reports of less significance, you have a problem.'

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