Commission Studying Child Fatalities to Discuss Hiring An Ombudsman

Apr 25, 2016

DCYF caseworkers speak to the Commission on Child Abuse Fatalities at a meeting earlier this year.
Credit Michael Brindley, NHPR

 A legislative commission tasked with reviewing child deaths in New Hampshire is seeking advice from a former head of the Massachusetts child advocacy office.

The commission recommends New Hampshire's Division for Children, Youth and Families hire an ombudsman to oversee the agency after two high profile child deaths.

It will hear Monday from Gail Garinger, the former head of a similar office in Massachusetts. The two deaths prompted the formation of the commission to review staffing, training and other issues within the agency.

Gov. Maggie Hassan's office also launched an outside investigation into systemic issues at DCYF.

The legislative commission will receive an update on that investigation and hear about recruitment efforts and turnover at the agency.

Critics are questioning whether the outside review is independent enough to be effective.