Court Monitor: "Inadequate Staffing Levels" Causing "Stressed System" at DCF

Oct 10, 2013

Raymond Mancuso, the court monitor who oversees progress at Connecticut's Department of Children and Families, in a recent report said the agency is making improvements, and is moving toward an end to court oversight -- with one glaring exception. 

The report touted some of DCF's successes. The agency is separating fewer children from their families. It's also treating troubled children in their own homes rather than moving them to out-of-state facilities, and it's moving low-risk cases along to private providers. But Mancuso said "inadequate staffing levels" is causing a "stressed system," and is holding DCF back from ending court oversight.

DCF has shed 398 case workers through attrition since January 2011, and the case workers that remain are caught in a catch-22 situation. Jaqueline Rabe Thomas wrote in The Connecticut Mirror, "With this reduction in case loads of fewer less risk cases coming in, it means 100 percent of the cases the agency is now left with are these high risk cases where their parents might have domestic violence and drug and alchohol abuse." 

In response to the report's assertion that staffing levels are too low, DCF stated, “It’s an issue we are willing to examine and look at.”