DCF

Middletown Police Department

 A teenage girl in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families has been missing since the weekend.

DCF and the Middletown Police Department are asking the public for help in finding Jackie Stec. Stec is a white, 15-year-old girl with long, straight black hair. She's 5'4'' tall and weighs 110 pounds.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut General Assembly's Children's Committee held a public hearing on Thursday to hear testimony on a dozen bills.

Almost half were proposed by Republican Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, a vocal critic of the state Department of Children and Families. His bills call for several reforms of DCF. 

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There were 124 child fatalities in Connecticut between 2005 and 2014.  The state Department of Children and Families studied the cases and is now implementing a new strategy to identify and support at-risk families. 

DCF's study found that the most common cause of death was from Sudden Infant Death syndrome, or SIDS.

Susan Smith, DCF's Chief of Quality and Planning, said 34 percent of the child fatalities were attributed to SIDS when combined with unsafe sleep.

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Connecticut Voices for Children has launched a campaign to create a book by children writing about their experiences with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Addressing potential contributors in a flyer, Connecticut Voices for Children says, "The book will be shared with the public, advocates, and government officials to help them better understand your experiences and create better laws based on your suggestions." Children who wish to can remain anonymous.

Chion Wolf

It’s inauguration day in Connecticut! And it’s also Wednesday...and that means The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. How convenient is that?

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Concerns are growing over $9 million in budget cuts to the Department of Children and Families that are part of Governor Dannel Malloy's rescissions to deal with a growing deficit. The cost savings align with a DCF goal to place fewer kids in group homes but critics say it's not always the best option. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state Department of Children and Families is refuting a judge's criticism that it did not turn over documents in a timely manner for a recent child abuse trial. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last Wednesday, the Department of Children and Families submitted a new five-year plan calling for a redesign of the state’s children’s behavioral health system. This hour, DCF's Joette Katz and Kristina Stevens sit down with us to explain how the new behavioral health plan addresses some of the recent criticisms of Connecticut’s child mental health care system.

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The State Department of Children and Families has released a draft plan designed to better meet the behavioral and mental health needs of Connecticut children. The plan is required under legislation passed last year by the General Assembly in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state lawmaker is calling for renewed focus on a law that lets distressed parents of newborns leave them in the state's care. The new push comes after recent news that a baby was found dead in an East Hartford trash can. 

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Ten children were murdered in the state of Connecticut last year, according to the Office of Child Advocate's annual report that examines the deaths of infants and toddlers

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Office of the Child Advocate is criticizing the Connecticut Department of Children and Families for its "public shaming" of Jane Doe after a recent incident at the state locked unit for troubled girls. Child advocate Sarah Eagan is also concerned about how often DCF staff is restraining youth at the state's locked facilities for girls and boys.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The transgender community has been watching Connecticut and its handling of a 16-year-old transgender girl, who's in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

Connecticut Dept. of Correction

A 16-year-old transgender girl who was placed at York women's prison in April will be moved next week.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The recent murders of two Connecticut women spurred a roundtable discussion Thursday organized by the state child advocate and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Connecticut Dept. of Correction

A 16-year-old transgender girl who's been held at Connecticut's women's prison for almost two months could be moved to a Massachusetts facility in the next couple of weeks. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Advocates for a 16-year-old transgender girl at York women’s prison are working with the Department of Children and Families to find a foster family for Jane Doe. Her story continues to attract national attention. 

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Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said the 2014 legislative session was beneficial for the children of Connecticut. 

Overall, Eagan said she's happy with what was accomplished in this short legislative session, including finding room in the budget to pay for 1,020 new preschool spots statewide.

Chion Wolf

A 16-year-old transgender girl who has been detained at the state women's prison for more than a month has been moved to another location at the prison.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is calling for quick action to remove a 16-year-old transgender teen out of Connecticut's women's prison.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

DCF Commissioner Joette Katz met on Friday with the juvenile who was the focus of two rallies in Connecticut and New York City.

More than three dozen supporters of a transgender teen being held at Connecticut's women's prison protested in front of the Department of Children and Families headquarters in Hartford.

Connecticut Dept. of Correction

The 16-year-old transgender girl who has been detained at a Connecticut women's prison for over two weeks issued a statement on Wednesday asking DCF Commissioner Joette Katz to visit her in prison.

Joshua Davis

Attorneys for the teen and the state are moving towards an agreement on "conditions of confinement" as a 16-year-old transgender girl reaches the two-week mark for being detained at Connecticut's women's prison. Her lawyers have been adamant that she be removed from York Correctional Institution as soon as possible.    

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families is defending her agency's rare transfer of a 16-year-old transgender girl to Connecticut’s women’s prison. Joette Katz said the state had run out of options for the troubled youth.

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A temporary restraining order has been filed in federal court on behalf of a transgender juvenile being detained at Connecticut's women's prison. It includes an affidavit from the 16-year-old alleging multiple accounts of physical and sexual abuse while she was in DCF custody.

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Attorneys for the transgender juvenile at a Connecticut women's prison say the Department of Correction will not transfer the teen to Manson Correctional Institution, a male facility.

Aaron Romano, who is representing the juvenile in federal court, is working with the DOC on a plan that he hopes will be more rehabilitative, despite the fact the 16-year-old is in a correctional adult facility.

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The U.S. is in the middle of a heroin epidemic. It’s something that has become increasingly problematic in northeastern states like Connecticut. This hour, a panel of local reporters and health experts from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts share their stories. 

We also hear about a controversial decision by the state Department of Children and Families to transfer a transgender teenager to one of Connecticut’s adult prisons, even though, as we’ve discussed on the show, the state now has a “locked” facility for girls like her. WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil joins us with more on that story.

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Attorneys for a transgender teen recently placed at Connecticut's women's prison said the Department of Correction is expected to announce on Friday whether she will remain there, or be sent to a male facility. 

Meanwhile, an attorney for the 16-year-old was in federal court Thursday morning.

Connecticut Dept. of Correction

For the first time in state prison history, a transgender juvenile is being detained at an adult prison.

The juvenile was sent to York Correctional Institution in Niantic on Tuesday after a judge transferred custody of the teen from the state Department of Children and Families.

U.S Attorney General Eric Holder called an increase in heroin overdoses nationwide an "urgent public health crisis" and suggested law enforcement carry Narcan, a drug that can reverse opiate overdoses.  States like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, already train first responders on Narcan.  Currently Connecticut police don't carry it - paramedics and hospital staff administer the drug.  A dramatic increase in drug overdose is a growing problem in the region but Hartford Police Department spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley believes Connecticut police officers carrying Narcan is a long way off .  

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