DCF is facing criticism over child's neglect - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DCF is facing criticism over child's neglect

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

After a report was recently released, the Department of Children and Families is receiving criticism over a child’s neglect.

A toddler, who is being called “Dylan” to protect his identity, was found to be malnourished with broken bones and hair loss.

It happened in his foster home last year, in which DCF placed him.

While DCF recognizes their mistakes, a report released by a child advocate agency shows some eye-opening findings of the department.

“It's one of the worst cases I've seen that didn't result in a fatality,” said Sarah Eagan, of the Office of the Child Advocate.

Dylan was put into DCF care after being neglected by his parents, officials said.

A cousin, Crystal Magee, was set to take care of him.

The report shows DCF workers visiting the child seven times, five of those times he was sleeping.

Out of the 21 visits, only three were documented.

Eighteen reports were eventually made, and one day later, Dylan was admitted into the hospital.

“There are so many eyes on a child in foster care. Somehow this child lingered in this home without anyone seeing that he was battered and almost starved to death,” Eagan said.

There were numerous DCF workers on the case and Eyewitness News learned nobody came forward, even though they were skeptical of the home.

There are some alarming emails that DCF workers wrote to each other in July.

Dylan was hospitalized in November, and a supervisor wrote to a caseworker, saying “Is it possible the baby has colic? (I am being lazy, don't know how old Dylan is, but that is a possibility.)”

The caseworker replied “He is 15 months old. I don't think he should be crying non-stop. Crystal is very difficult. She left me a long message and I understood all about two words she said.”

The supervisor replied “OMG, I cannot stop (laughing). Advise her to bring him to the pediatrician, or we can look for another placement for him. Way too much drama with this family.”

Another red flag is that the family had 150 days to get licensed with DCF, and they never did, and that’s against state law.

Crystal’s husband was convicted of numerous crimes, including assault, and Crystal was accused six times of abusing her own child. That’s supposed to deny someone to get a license.

“Unfortunately, sometimes the way we make change as a system is after a tragedy, so there has to be accountability for what has occurred,” Eagan said.

A social worker received a 20-day suspension without pay, and two managers received a 15-day suspension without pay. The fourth retired.

The OCA has made recommendations to DCF. To read the full report, click here.

The child is now two years old and has recovered.  

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