New reports show that child advocates in Ga. There are major concerns about DFCS

New reports show that child advocates in Ga. There are major concerns about DFCS

New reports shed light on the concerns Georgia families and lawmakers have voiced over child care under the Department of Families and Children Services.

“There is nothing more fundamental than ensuring the safety of children,” said Senator Jon Ossoff.

Channel 2’s Ashley Lincoln There were exclusive reviews of several state inspector general reports, which outlined concerns from the Georgia Children’s Advocacy Center.

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The allegations triggered several investigations by inspector generals, including the Office of the Child Advocate.

“We’re talking about very vulnerable children,” Ossoff said.

The state said it would turn the reports over to the Human Rights Subcommittee, which launched a bipartisan federal investigation into the Department of Human Services launched last month, after Ossoff serves as chairman.

“Part of this investigation is meant to understand how some of these practices, potential misconduct or mismanagement, could continue for so long,” Ossoff said.

A June 2022 inspector general’s report revealed that the Child Advocacy Center of Georgia reported an increase in the number of DFCS home visits, which they alleged were made over the phone. In these cases, CAC claims, children say their abusers often find it easier to call them with their case managers.

A Jan. 15, 2022 email from Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia CEO Amy Booney to Candice Brosse, director of human services, reports “Helpless parents were standing at the door listening or even sitting in the house with them. So DFCS closes their case when the child reports to them that nothing is wrong.”

Inspector General investigators reported that they could not validate those claims in the cases they investigated. They say “without specific case examples or specific DFCS offices listed, OIG cannot validate Bonnie’s claim.

A May 2022 report revealed that as many as 10 children were placed in the Fulton County DFCS office. Employees told investigators they were unable to provide adequate sleep or nutrition for the children.

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The department’s consent decree states that no child should spend more than 23 hours in a DFCS facility. Investigators say the information was revealed after they questioned Fulton County DFCS employees who participated in an apparent protest about working conditions at the office. That protest took place on May 12, 2022 and involved 19 employees. Those employees told investigators they had concerns about safety, the hiring, pay and training of supervisory and management staff.

In an August report, investigators documented neglect by a case manager. Reports reveal that 4-year-old Dooley County child died of neglect. The case manager took no action on the case for more than a month, the document says. Investigators found that the child’s mother did not report her child’s death. The state said family members reported concerns to officials after not seeing the child for several weeks.

The mother later reported to investigators that she woke up in the fall of 2022 to find her child dead. He said he didn’t call 911 because he didn’t have “life insurance.” The mother told investigators that she wrapped her four-year-old son in a blanket and kept him in a bedroom, where she sometimes slept with him when no one was home. She told investigators she eventually buried her son. Her body has not been found months after her suspicious death.

The case manager had previous contact with the family, the inspector general noted. However, investigators note that had she taken further steps, the child may still be alive.

Channel 2 Action News There have been numerous reports of neglect that occurred prior to the hiring of current Department of Human Services Director Candice Brosse.

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Brose revealed to lawmakers during the legislative session that some of the breakdown is the result of job turnover and overwhelming caseloads. Channel 2 Action News Several have reported on progress on Senate bills, which aim to address inefficiencies within the department.

Channel 2 Action News Several Senate bills have reported progress aimed at addressing inefficiencies within the department.

A spokeswoman for Ossoff said the chairman is leading a bipartisan investigation into the mistreatment and abuse of foster children in the care of the state of Georgia. The spokesman said the investigation is ongoing and the senator’s office will advise the subcommittee of an update.

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