FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES NEW POLICIES AND PROCEDURAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CITY'S CHILD PROTECTION INFRASTRUCTURE
Mayor's Taskforce Leads Major Reform For Improved Communications across Agencies and the Adoption of Clear Accountability In the Investigation of Cases of Abuse
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs today announced a series of new policies and procedures being implemented by the Administration for Children Services (ACS), the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the Department of Education (DOE) as a result of an examination completed by the Mayor's Inter-agency Taskforce on Child Welfare and Safety. In January 2006, Mayor Bloomberg initiated a citywide review of agencies that interact with children to examine the effectiveness of the City's child protection and child safety systems in the wake of the death of 7-year old Nixzmary Brown. The new initiatives being adopted by ACS, NYPD and DOE will establish clearer guidelines for identifying early instances of potential child abuse and neglect, and improve the coordination of agencies with responsibilities for responding and investigating the most severe cases of abuse and neglect. Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Gibbs were joined by ACS Commissioner John B. Mattingly, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein in announcing continued policy and procedural improvements to City agencies that interact with children. The implementation of the Taskforce's recommendations will begin immediately and are scheduled for full adoption within three months. The Taskforce's detailed analysis and the initiatives that are being implemented by various City agencies are available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/interagency_report.pdf.
"Effective coordination between ACS, the NYPD, and the Department of Education is absolutely critical in protecting our children," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The reforms that we're announcing today will dramatically strengthen the partnership between these agencies and ensure that we take advantage of every possible opportunity to help a child in danger. We have already begun implementing these reforms and in the months ahead, we will continue to work to improve interagency coordination and assess other areas of City government that directly touch our children's lives."
The key initiatives that are being implemented are:
"These reforms will greatly reinforce Children's Services' ability to protect children by strengthening coordination with our partners in child safety at the NYPD and the DOE," said Commissioner Mattingly. "These new procedures and initiatives will enable us to quickly identify potential abuse and neglect, improve our investigations, and ensure that everything possible is being done to protect New York City's children."
Tightening Policies and Procedures for Department of Education
"School personnel are often a key link in the system to prevent child abuse and neglect," said Schools Chancellor Klein. "We want all of our staff to be fully aware of their roles and the procedures for working with ACS and other agencies. We appreciate the work of Deputy Mayor Gibbs and the Taskforce and we stand ready to make every policy and process improvement in the name of protecting our students."
"Nothing resonates more personally or powerfully with a police officer than a call to help a child in danger," said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. "As a Department, we are eager to share our experience and know-how with ACS to assist it in its mission of helping some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers."
Tightening Policies and Procedures for the Police Department
For more than a month and under the direction of Deputy Mayor Gibbs, the Mayor's Inter-Agency Task Force on Child Welfare and Safety has conducted an extensive outreach efforts including: interviewing over one hundred people from all levels within the City's child welfare system, education department and law enforcement; conducting field visits to ACS field offices, District Attorney Child Abuse Bureaus, NYPD Special Victims Unit, Child Advocacy Centers and regional school offices; conducting case file reviews of IRT cases; reviewing training materials, videos, handbooks and other materials used by agencies to train their employees in the areas evaluated; and reviewing current agency internal policies, procedures and protocols, as well as state and City regulations and guidelines impacting the areas evaluated.
Stu Loeser / Paul Elliott (212) 788-2958
Sharman Stein/Sheila Stainback (Administration for Children Services)
David Cantor (Department of Education)
Paul Browne (Police)
Read the final report
Watch the video in 56k or 300k