DCYF

A new study from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy finds that the number of children removed from parents has increased by 50 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Cases that included a substance use allegation doubled in that time period, from 30 percent to 60 percent.

Kristin Smith is the family demographer at the Carsey School. That removal from parental care can be stressful for children, and those whose parents use substances face challenges. 

DCYF

 

The state of New Hampshire has agreed to pay $6.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of two young sisters who were sexually abused by their biological parents while in foster care.

The girls' grandparents sued the Division for Children, Youth and Families in 2016, alleging the parents were allowed to have unsupervised visits with the girls in 2013, even though police were investigating reports they had molested other children at a homeless shelter.

A proposal to strengthen New Hampshire's new office of the child advocate has the support of the division it monitors, though the governor is reserving judgment for now.

Lawmakers created the watchdog agency as part of larger effort to reform the Division of Children, Youth and Families, which has been under scrutiny since two toddlers were killed in 2014 and 2015.

The department of health and human services and DCYF support an amended bill to enhance the office, while a spokesman for Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says he is closely monitoring it.

Department of Human Health and Services

The New Hampshire Senate approved three bills last week that would provide more than $5 million dollars toward strengthening the state’s child protective system.

The funding would go toward support services for at-risk families and for reducing caseload burdens on the Division of Children, Youth and Families.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with the state’s Child Advocate Moira O’neill about the potential for this new funding and how it could affect the division.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's state Senate has approved several bills that bolster the Division of Children, Youth and Families, including support services for at-risk families and reducing caseload burdens.

The bills would approve $5.5 million to support residential beds for mental health treatment, additional staff at the division, and expand resources for the foster care system and the developmentally disabled.

Department of Human Health and Services

New Hampshire’s newly appointed Child Advocate says an apparent murder-suicide involving a father and his 6-year-old son in Derry signals the need to fund supports for at-risk families, especially after a review of state records revealed that the father himself made multiple calls to child protective workers for help.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's child protection agency would be required to keep reports of child abuse and neglect for at least seven years under a bill passed by the state Senate.

Currently, allegations that the Division of Children Youth and Families deems not worth investigating are destroyed after one year. Such "screened-out" records would be kept for seven years under the bill.

The Office of Child Advocate is a watchdog agency created last year by lawmakers as part of a larger effort to reform the state’s current child protection system.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Moira O’Neill, the new director of the office, about her plans for the agency.


The Executive Council has approved Gov. Chris Sununu's nomination of Moira O'Neill as director of a new office to help better protect children.

O'Neill was confirmed Wednesday as the first director of the Office of the Child Advocate.

She's served as an assistant child advocate for the state of Connecticut for 11 years.

A new office created to help better protect children in New Hampshire might be led by a woman who has held a similar position in Connecticut.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday will nominate Moira O'Neill to serve as the director of the Office of the Child Advocate. O'Neill has served as an assistant child advocate for the state of Connecticut for 11 years.

Department of Human Health and Services

An outside review firm says New Hampshire needs to prioritize its backlog of more than 2,200 overdue assessments that remained open as of November. 

Department of Human Health and Services

The state Division of Children, Youth, and Families, or DCYF, has been criticized for its handling of child abuse cases.

The division came under scrutiny following the deaths of two young girls whose cases were under review.

Now, legislative action is being taken to try and resolve those issues.

Christine Tappan was confirmed as the associate commissioner of Health and Human Services last week. Her hire is part of a reorganization of DCYF. She’ll oversee the agency where she actually worked before, from 2008 to 2012.

Wikimedia Commons

Phillips Exeter Academy and the Exeter Police Department have announced a new agreement concerning the reporting of sexual assaults on campus.

A new memorandum of understanding between the prestigious prep school and the local police department outlines procedures they say will help keep students safe from abuse of all kinds.

PEXELS.COM

A state health official from New Jersey has been tapped to serve as the new leader of New Hampshire’s Division of Children, Youth and Families. 

Tracy Lee Carroll; NHPR

We're talking with the three candidates who want to be the next state senator from District 16. The issues they're talking about impact all of the Granite State, including public education, child protection, taxes, and workforce development. 


Casey McDermott, NHPR

Addressing the state’s oversight committee monitoring the Division of Children, Youth and Families, Gov. Chris Sununu voiced support for the creation of a new Office of the Child Advocate and other reforms in response to systemic problems at the child services agency.

Sununu told the commission his team has been “aggressive” about visiting regional DCYF offices and caseworkers to better understand what problems need to be fixed.

Michael Rabb; Vimeo

A crucial part of the troubled Division of Children Youth and Families, the state’s foster care system, faces serious problems of its own. A  shortage of families, a complicated and backlogged system , and a deficit of resources, all contribute to the problem of finding safe and stable homes for children. 


Despite a push from all sides, New Hampshire’s child protection agency is still struggling to correct staffing issues and case backlogs.

The state’s Division for Children, Youth and Families is overdue on nearly 3,000 open abuse and neglect investigations. And according to media reports, DCYF presented disappointing progress to lawmakers Wednesday.

Fatal Flaws: DCYF Looks To Reform

Apr 17, 2017
Pixabay.com

A recent Concord Monitor series examines the many problems at New Hampshire's Division of Children, Youth and Families, including child abuse cases where at least eight children died in the last half-decade. The drug crisis, high staff turnover, limited funding, and restrictive policies all present challenges as the state looks to reform. 


Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

A ruling in a high-profile case involving the state's child protection agency, the Division for Children, Youth and Families, may clear the way for confidentiality to be waived in future legal proceedings involving DCYF.

Courtesy photo

  The New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families is now looking for a new leader. That person would take the helm of a department beset by overburdened child protection workers and a lack of resources. Reporter Allie Morris of The Concord Monitor has written a multi-part series on DCYF, drawing on documents and interviews with current and former employees, Governor Chris Sununu, and people who have been the subject of DYCF cases, as well as information gathered through Right to Know requests.

Flickr

New Hampshire's child protection agency is responding to the state's drug crisis with new policies requiring greater intervention when infants and toddlers are at risk.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers met Friday to discuss policy changes to better protect at-risk kids. The effort comes on the heels of an outside review that faulted the state’s child protection agency. 

The Child Protection Act applies to cases when there’s clear evidence of child abuse or neglect, but a special legislative commission hopes to introduce a middle step between unfounded and founded reports of abuse. John DeJoie, with Child and Family Services, was part of a group that suggested another option for state health officials.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 17, 2017

Mar 17, 2017

Confusion reigns at town halls across the state as a nor'easter hits on Town Meeting Day.  The N.H. Senate examines bills reforming the state's Division of Children and Youth.  This follows a report that the head of DCYF closed hundreds of cases of suspected abuse over a two-day period last year.  And N.H.'s congressional delegation, along with Governor Chris Sununu, oppose the Republican healthcare plan.


PEXELS.COM

A bill that would create a statewide child advocacy office got the full support of the New Hampshire Senate Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says the head of the state's child protective services division has been placed on administrative leave, following a report that more than 1,500 cases of suspected abuse and neglect were closed over a two-day period last year.

CREDIT DILOZ VIA FLICKR CC / HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/9LZEHD

The outgoing Director of the Division of Children, Youth and Families says public scrutiny of her agency’s shortcomings could provide opportunities to improve the state’s child safety network.

Casey McDermott/NHPR

The head of the state's Division of Children, Youth and Families is stepping down after three years on the job. The  news comes just weeks after an outside review delivered a tough report of the agency's work. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Top New Hampshire house budget writers had blunt questions for the expert hired to review policy at the state's child protection agency.

N.H. Lawmakers to Hear Overview on Problems at DCYF

Jan 23, 2017
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers this week will hear about a report released last month which shed a bad light on the state’s child protective services. 

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