New York State Reviewing Erie County CPS

11:05 AM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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Eain Brooks

BUFFALO, N.Y.- New York State will be reviewing protocols at Erie County Child Protective Services following the death of a child.

5 year old Eain Clayton Brooks, died last week.

Matthew Kuzdzal, 26, has been charged with second degree murder after police say Brooks died from head trauma.

Kuzdzal's Facebook page seems to indicate that Child Protective Services has been called to the home where he lived with Brooks and the boy's mother.

The state's review of CPS will touch on three areas.

First, they are launching an immediate safety assessment on all open CPS cases to make sure proper protections are in place to make sure all affected children are safe.

Second, they will look at 200 prior cases to make sure proper procedure was followed.

Third, the state has suspended the county's use of the Family Assessment Response, an alternative program that engages families in an assessment of child safety and family needs, that's often considered less intrusive to typical CPS investigations.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz released this statement on the investigation,

"Maintaining children's safety is a responsibility that my administration takes very seriously. Yesterday, we agreed to a joint process with the NYS Office of Children & Family Services and advised OCFS that we would fully cooperate with them in a shared investigation, which then commenced. The protection of our children is of paramount concern, and we must take every step possible to prevent another tragedy."

All this comes as the Erie County Legislature is expected to vote Thursday on adding more jobs to Child Protective Services.

Poloncarz presented a proposal Tuesday to add seven new jobs to CPS as well as three Social Services managers.

Six of the new employees would deal directly with investigating abuse and neglect claims.

The plan proposes to create the new positions by October 1 and pay for them with leftover funds from an unexecuted contract with ECMC.

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