Monday, October 3, 2016


Comptroller’s Research and Investigations Unit will lead probe 

Inquiry into ACS’ investigations of child abuse comes in response to Zymere Perkins’ death

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer announced that the Research and Investigations Unit of his Audit Bureau will lead a new probe into the City’s Administration for Children’s Services. The Comptroller’s investigators will follow-up on a June 2016 audit, which found the agency conducted shoddy, inconsistent, and incomplete investigations into child abuse. The inquiry will explore whether ACS has acted on any of the key reforms they committed to in June.
Comptroller Stringer’s announcement comes in response to Zymere Perkins’ death earlier this week. Zymere, a six year-old from Harlem, died Monday – and according to media reports, his family had been the focus of a number investigations by City agencies, including ACS.
“This week, our City tragically lost another child – months after ACS pledged to enact critical reforms. This death highlights the precarious situation at this agency, and underscores the need for immediate improvements,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “The bottom line of this investigation is simple – ACS made promises, and New Yorkers deserve to know if they’ve made progress. With children’s lives on the line, we cannot wait another day for this agency to make fundamental reforms.”
The investigation will focus on whether ACS followed recommendations made in the June 2016 audit, including that ACS:
  • Ensure managers and supervisors complete case reviews and conduct them on time, so that children aren’t left in dangerous situations;
  • Make sure that case workers perform all key steps of an investigation in response to allegations of abuse – including domestic violence screenings; and
  • Clearly distribute uniform policies and procedures to all staff in a timely manner.
“Since 2005, thirty children have died on ACS’ watch, and this week Zymere Perkins’ name joined ones like Nixzmary Brown, Marchella Pierce, and Michael Segarra,” Comptroller Stringer said. “This new probe will once again shine a light on an agency that has for too long operated in the shadows and left our children vulnerable to abuse.”

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