DCF In-service Materials
The Department of Children and Families on Friday will officially launch a new unit designed to streamline investigations into education professionals accused of abuse or neglect, while also giving those cases a higher level of scrutiny.
In a Thursday press release, the department said the shift is the result of discussions with school administrators, school staff and union representatives.
As a result of those talks, “a major change is being made that we are confident will significantly improve the investigative process,” the release said. The department is also implementing a quicker turnaround time for the new education investigators.
The Department of Children and Families has been hiring 30 social workers per month over much of the last year, leading to a decrease in average caseloads, an increase in home visits and improvements in the pace and quality of child welfare investigations, according to the latest federal oversight report on the agency.
The hiring initiative, funded by the legislature, has dropped the average roster of cases to about a dozen for each of the 1,107 DCF social workers. In past years it was not unusual for the workers to carry two and three times that amount, said Kenneth Mysogland, a former special investigator and DCF ombudsman who now heads the agency’s bureau of external affairs.
But federal oversight will continue, and more improvement is needed in the “core areas” of DCF’s child protection work, said the twice yearly report’s author, court monitor Raymond Mancuso.
The latest report from the federal monitor overseeing the state Department of Children and Families shows that the agency is not complying with five of 10 key measures that are part of a court supervised plan to improve services for children in its care.
Despite this, a lawyer for the plaintiffs expressed optimism that the 30-year-old case will be closed in the next few years because the agency has been making progress, particularly in its hiring and caseload goals, even though it did not reach target levels during the period covered by the report.
Getting the dad involved, a new focus for DCF
CT Mirror Article
Da’ee McKnight got out of prison just days before his daughter graduated from high school. He was particularly excited to attend her graduation because it was the first time his daughter would see him as a free man. Today, McKnight works for a Bridgeport-based, non-profit called Family Re-Entry that helps former prisoners re-assimilate into their community and, most importantly, their families. McKnight specifically works with men, like himself, who have been estranged from their families and now must figure out how to meet the needs of their children.