By Staff –
Monroe County Legislator and Assistant Minority Leader Ernest Flagler-Mitchell (D – Rochester) has called for a formal legislative review of Monroe County Child Protective Services, after the agency ranked number 54, out of 64 counties, with overdue investigations in the state, according to a recent report.
Democratic Legislators John Lightfoot, Vincent Felder, and LaShay Harris have also joined Flagler-Mitchell in the call.
“Child Protective Services is the critical county function that can mean the difference between life and death for our most vulnerable citizens – our children,” Flagler-Mitchell said in a statement. “Today I join County Legislators Harris, Lightfoot and Felder to formally call on the Monroe County Legislature as a body to formally review and investigate the shortcomings at CPS. To then issue a report on our findings, and for the legislature to work with the county administration, and the Federation of Social Workers to find solutions that will improve these troubling numbers. We are not looking to assess blame as to how we arrived here. We are merely looking for a solution that will keep our most vulnerable children alive and safe. We cannot sit idly by.”
Democratic Legislator Justin Wilcox also introduced legislation proposing that county CPS workers meet the state and national standard of 15 caseloads per worker recently, in order to manage and complete the evaluation of child abuse cases in a timely manner.
“I am very concerned that excessive caseloads are contributing to the inability of Monroe County to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect in a timely manner,” Wilcox stated. “Through the legislature’s inaction, we are inviting additional tragedies. It is my hope that by engaging the administration and requiring the county executive to present the legislature with a plan to meet national and state caseloads standards, we can better protect children within the county’s care in a thoughtful and bipartisan manner.”
Local county workers typically handle upwards of 20 cases per each month, according to reports.