The story is chilling, the details heartbreaking, the consequences need to be severe and long lasting. The tragic case of little Baby Dylan who was finally removed from a Groton relative’s home in which he was placed by the Department of Children and Families, a chronically failing state agency that is stunning in its response to this tragedy to this day. Commissioner Joette Katz should be fired immediately and the DCF employees who were responsible for checking in on the welfare of Baby D should not only be fired but prosecuted for risk of injury to a child.
The nearly two-year old Baby D was rushed to the hospital last year nearly starved to death, suffering from broken bones and burns. A DCF case worker had visited the home of Crystal Magee of Groton where the two-year old had been placed, at least five times but never managed to see the child awake and did nothing when Magee stopped cooperating. According the scathing Child Advocate’s report on the case, the DCF worker managed at one point to confirm Baby D “was breathing,”
What is just as troubling as the case itself is the “these things happen” attitude of Katz and the pathetically inept punishment of the front line caseworkers—three were suspended and a fourth allowed to retired.
Let me be clear: I am advocating not only for the firing of these useless employees but their prosecution under the state’s child endangerment laws.
Katz says she has no plans to resign and took an “these things happen” attitude that is stomach-turning. “Will there be tragedies? It breaks my heart to say, yes there will be mistakes made. Are they excuses? Absolutely not. But are they indicative of a system or a trend or systemic failure? Absolutely not,” Katz told NBC Connecticut.
Equally tone deaf is Gov. Dannel Malloy whose unbelievable attitude is, “well, DCF is doing better than when Katz first arrived.” “There are going to be mistakes and there’s going to be malfeasance and misfeasance. That’s the reality. We have to hold people accountable to that and we need that to happen less and less and less often and hopefully never but having a strong leadership team is part of getting that done,” Malloy said in the same NBC Connecticut report. Unreal.
You wat to hold people accountable? Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. DCF workers are not DMV workers. The DMV is an embarrassingly incompetent agency. But when they “are being lazy,” it doesn’t result in the near death of a child.
The Baby D case is where we need to take a stand, insist on real accountability, real change. Blow up DCF if we have to but this, “these things happen” mindset should be wholly unacceptable to any thinking, feeling person.
The state’s attorney needs to get off its collective ass and do something. We have child endangerment laws for a reason. Time for every Connecticut resident to stand up and demand action.