DCS Reports More on Child Fatalities

The Department of Children’s Services has released new details about the deaths of 25 children in state custody in 2011 and 2012, the Tennessean reports. The 113-page report was released in advance of hearings at the state legislature next week in which the DCS is expected to answer wide-ranging questions about the agency’s ability to serve the state’s children, data problems, rumored difficulties about DCS staff cooperating with law enforcement and unanswered calls at its child abuse hotline. Critics of the agency point out that the report does not answer lawmakers’ questions regarding the number of children who died after being investigated for abuse or neglect but who were not taken from their homes into custody. Interim Commissioner Jim Henry and other DCS officials are expected to answer questions at a separate hearing next week as well.