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Child welfare agency disasters ripped
Child welfare agency disasters ripped
Fresh report details ACS caseworkers' bad investigations & poor decisions
By KATHLEEN LUCADAMO
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Friday, August 10th 2007, 4:00 AM
The city's child welfare agency has been plagued with failures that led
to the deaths of 11 children, including the torture death of Nixzmary
Brown, according to a scathing report released yesterday.
Investigators found that staffers at the Administration for Children's
Services often overlooked evidence, didn't ask the right questions and,
in at least two cases, tried to cover up their mistakes by falsifying
The report "revealed a road map of problems with ACS investigations, the
same problems that this city has seen over and over again in the past,"
said Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn.
Caseworkers failed to use common-sense measures to verify child abuse,
such as obtaining medical and school records, according to the 140-page
DOI report, which covers October 2005 to July 2006.
Too often, caseworkers relied on the word of parents without
interviewing neighbors, doctors, school officials and others who may
have witnessed abuse, investigators said.
Supervisors also routinely closed cases after lax investigations, DOI found.
Mayor Bloomberg called for the exhaustive review after the January 2006
death of 7-year-old Nixzmary, allegedly at the hands of her mother and
stepfather, unearthed appalling flaws in the child welfare system.
But five months after her death and a battery of changes, DOI, a fellow
city agency, found slipups in the probe of another death - Sharllene
Morillo, a 2-year-old who died from a brain hemorrhage after being
shaken and dropped on her head, allegedly by her mother's boyfriend.
ACS had been investigating reports of abuse on Sharllene for about six
weeks prior to her death, but the family blamed rough play at day care
for her bruises. When asked for the center's name, her mother claimed
she didn't know. No one at the center was ever interviewed, nor were
neighbors or possible witnesses.
"The caseworker accepted this facially ridiculous claim even though
Mejia [her mother] dropped Sharllene at this day care five days a week
and paid for the services herself," the report says.
ACS Commissioner John Mattingly said that 14 workers were disciplined
related to the cases DOI probed. ACS also agreed to hire 100 trained
investigators to work as consultants on cases by January, a move that
will cost the agency $3 million, he estimated.
Despite ACS' success reducing caseloads, taking on more cases, hiring 20
investigators and beefing up technology in the past year, Mattingly said
the system will never be perfect.
"There is no silver bullet," he said.
Mattingly accepted responsibility for the agency's flaws but stopped
short of resigning.
"As commissioner, it all rests on my shoulder," he said, adding, "The
mayor will let me know any time that he feels I'm not carrying out what
I promised him I would do when I came in August of '04. And I will be
here as long as he wants me."
The report follows word last week that a Florida woman who adopted
foster children in New York City bilked the government of more than $1
million for children she allegedly abused.
CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A
DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NSA / CIA
CPS Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.
every parent should read this .pdf from
connecticut dcf watch...
Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS
*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*
Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13
Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS 14 Parents 12
Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING HUNDREDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...
BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...
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