DCF

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An investigation is underway into allegations of hazing involving a Connecticut high school football team.

Chion Wolf

  Our guest this hour, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, was at the center of a public hearing this week at the state capitol in the wake of two reports critical of the state’s juvenile detention facilities.

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The Connecticut General Assembly’s Committee on Children met on Wednesday to learn more about the conditions at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for boys and the nearby Pueblo Unit for girls. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s a big year for local politics in Connecticut -- and not just Hartford and Bridgeport.

This hour, we check in on the race for mayor in New London.

As we do on most weeks, we catch you up on other stories from across the state, including how to fund the $100 billion transportation overhaul, MGM's desire to get in on the Connecticut casino expansion battle, and the future of juvenile detention facilities.

Connecticut DCF

Connecticut lawmakers are preparing to learn more about the conditions and practices at the state's juvenile detention facilities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Earlier this week, the state Department of Children and Families took emergency steps to protect children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit, including the phase out of face-down and mechanical restraints, expanded clinical staffing, and required counseling sessions when a youth is in isolation.

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A scathing new report from the office of the state child advocate lists a series of troubling problems at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the new Pueblo girls unit. State child advocate Sarah Eagan said the conditions in the jails put children there in state custody in physical and emotional harm. Now the state DCF has responded with a promise of change. We’ll talk about what’s in this report.

Also, we’ll sit down with a Yale Law professor who is on President Obama’s task force examining policing, as America grapples with a series of deaths of African Americans after confrontations with police.

Connecticut Senate Republicans

Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano is calling for the resignation of Joette Katz, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families. This follows a report revealing urgent safety problems at two state-run juvenile detention facilities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report by the state Office of the Child Advocate reveals dangerous safety issues for children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit.

"What are we trying to accomplish for these youth, and can you really accomplish meaningful treatment, meaningful trauma-informed treatment, in a juvenile prison?" asked Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan.

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Connecticut's second-highest court has ruled that a transgender teenager's due process rights were violated when the state's child welfare agency sought her transfer to a prison last year.

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Sarah Eagan, Connecticut's Child Advocate, said this legislative session accomplished a lot for children.

U.S. Marines

Connecticut's Department of Children and Families has been under a federal court monitor for almost 24 years. In the latest quarterly report, the monitor found DCF was meeting the basic needs of children in its care half of the time, a four-year low. 

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A 17-year-old girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state of Connecticut is going home on Monday. The teen known as Cassandra C has been held at a local children's hospital since December. 

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A judge has ruled a 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state must remain in the temporary custody of the Department of Children and Families until her treatments are finished.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Advocates for juveniles want the state legislature to repeal a rarely used law that allows Connecticut's Department of Children and Families to request a youth be transferred to an adult prison. 

Jackie Fortin

A 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state testified at a closed-door hearing on Monday. She and her mother are seeking her release from state custody.

Jackie Fortin

A Connecticut teen who refused chemotherapy to treat a curable cancer is now in remission. But her attorney said she's still fighting a court order that has her in the temporary custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

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.

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