A blame war has started to emerge in the wake of the death of a severely malnourished 4-year-old girl last week. Administrative Children's Services (ACS) has accused nonprofit organization Child Development Support Corporation (CDSC) of not adequately monitoring the case. But a two year old audit of the CDSC that essentially documents the groups total incompetence raises questions about ACS's decision to use them in the first place.
Carlotta Brett-Pierce was arrested and charged with assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, after police found her daughter Marchella dead in their squalid Brooklyn apartment, weighing just 18 pounds, with bruises all over her body. ACS had been monitoring the family since November, after Brett-Pierce gave birth to a boy with drugs in his system. The CDSC was hired to provide preventative outreach care for the family, but failed to do followup visits, or recognize the severity of the family's problems handling the very sick Marchella, who lived in hospitals until this past February, and relied on a breathing tube at home.
ACS dropped the CDSC after their contract expired in June. But as the Times wonders, "Why did Children’s Services assign the case of such a medically fragile child to an organization with known problems in the first place? Why didn’t the agency assign the family to a new service provider after June 30, given the girl’s profound medical problems and given apparent concerns with the mother’s drug use?"