FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND ACS COMMISSIONER MATTINGLY GRADUATE 230 NEW ACS CASEWORKERS AND CHALLENGE ALBANY TO TAKE NEXT STEPS TO PROTECT NEW YORK’S MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner John Mattingly today presided over the graduation of 230 new ACS caseworkers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, bringing the total number of ACS frontline caseworkers and other child welfare investigators to 1,310. This number represents a 44% net increase in the number of caseworkers on staff since the death of seven-year-old Nixzmary Brown last January. While congratulating these new graduates and their families, the Mayor challenged Albany legislators to break the legislative logjam and to change the law to allow ACS caseworkers to check and compare criminal records of adults in households where credible child abuse allegations have been reported. The Mayor also announced today that he would lobby Albany to make assaulting a social worker a felony crime – a protection already granted to teachers, police officers, and transit workers.
“No one would ever ask a police officer to investigate a crime without being able to see a suspect’s history – yet this is exactly what our ACS workers are forced to do. They’re out there with one hand tied behind their backs,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “That’s why I am strongly supporting a bill in Albany which would give our frontline caseworkers – for the very first time – the ability to run rap sheets on any adult in the house where an allegation has been made. The reality is that making a determination about a child’s safety is hard enough – but making it without the best and fullest information is just plain dangerous.”
The Mayor today also promised that his office would work hard to make assaulting a social worker a felony crime—a protection already granted to teachers, police officers, and transit workers.
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
Sharman Stein (Administration for Children's Services)
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