When news first broke concerning the death of Nixzmary Brown questions were immediately raised as to why the City's Administration for Children's Services had not been aware enough of Brown's situation to save her. In response to those questions, two weeks after her death, Mayor Bloomberg set up a panel to figure out what went wrong in Nixzmary's case, and how to prevent those mistakes from happening again.
Yesterday that panel came back with a list of reccomended changes that it felt would help save more at risk children. Bloomberg immediately promised to adopt the panel's suggestions:
Under the changes, the police for the first time will assign a full-time supervisor, a lieutenant, to child welfare headquarters to be a liaison between the two agencies. Caseworkers will be required to seek entry orders when denied access to the home of a child suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse. And school officials will have more license to alert the authorities when a student has too many unexplained absences.
The panel's 27-page report comes on the heels of other recently announced reforms like the new abuse tracking system similar to the NYPD's CompStat system that ACS is in the process of implementing. Gothamist has to say that we're actually kind of impressed by how much the City and it's agencies have at least appeared to be try to learn from their mistakes. Now we just hope that these changes are as effective as we'd like them to be.
Memorial for Nixzmary from joujoubee's flickr stream.