City Child Welfare Agency Will be Subjected to State-Mandated Independent Monitor Going Forward
The mayor plans to appoint an independent monitor for the city's child welfare agency. But NY1 has learned this new monitor is actually being required by the state. That's because the city failed to prevent a little boy's death back in September. Our Courtney Gross explains.
It's unusual for any New York City mayor to cede authority to the state.
But on Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio started his day saying the city would create more outside oversight for its child welfare agency.
"We are going to name an independent monitor for ACS and we are going to work with the state office of children and families to do that," the mayor said.
The mayor said he planned to appoint an independent monitor for the city's Administration for Children's Services, also known as ACS.
The move comes a day after his child welfare commissioner Gladys Carrion said she would retire.
Her resignation comes after the high-profile death of Zymere Perkins. Perkins died in September after systemic child abuse. He had five reports with ACS, but slipped through the cracks.
"We still have to find out what will make the agency stronger and I think independent eyes will help us do it," the mayor said.
But late Tuesday afternoon, the state's child welfare agency released its own report on the Perkins death. In it, the state found the city's child welfare agency did not conduct thorough investigations or follow state standards in the Perkins case.
In fact, the state was requiring City Hall to hire an independent monitor to review the city's child protective services.
The report was sent to City Hall almost two weeks ago — before Carrion's resignation.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the state agency said: "On December 1, those findings were presented to ACS and mandated that ACS appoint an independent monitor approved by OCFS. Today, the Mayor accepted that condition in responding to our findings."
Within a half hour of that statement, City Hall released its own long-anticipated report on Perkins. In it, it also found child welfare workers failed to thoroughly investigate the little boy's family life.
Some people will lose their jobs over the Perkins case. City Hall says three people have been fired and another six have been demoted or suspended.