BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Based on a request from Sen. Tim Kennedy, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) will be reviewing the policies of Erie County Child Protective Services (CPS).
Sen. Kennedy called on the state department to investigate after the murder of 5-year-old Eain Brooks, who was allegedly beaten to death by his mother's boyfriend despite the family saying they called Erie County CPS more than 10 times to attempt to get case workers to take action.
OCFS responded to Sen. Kennedy Wednesday and stated it will be conducting an immediate safety assessment to determine if CPS has proper protections in place to safeguard children involved. It will also review the next 200 cases before it allows CPS to make a determination that the case has been thoroughly investigated and can be closed.
Lastly, OCFS is suspending CPS use of Family Assessment Response, which is alternative response used by CPS to engage families in an assessment of child safety and family needs.
OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrion says their evaluation of CPS is ongoing and will work closely with the Erie County Department of Social Services to implement reforms.
The move comes as Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is calling for the Department of Social Services to be restructured, and for additional case workers and managers to be hired for CPS. However, at a Legislature hearing on Tuesday, some lawmakers questioned the need for more CPS employees.
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