First Report of Erie County CPS Nearing Completion

6:45 PM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - There's new information about the ongoing state investigations into Erie County Child and Protective Services, after the death of Eain Brooks.

When the five-year-old was murdered a month ago in Buffalo, the state launched an investigation into CPS to make sure the county has the proper procedures to protect kids.

"The state Office of Children and Family Services to their credit move extremely expeditiously when we called upon them to do this investigation quite frankly I've never seen the state move so fast on anything," said state senator Tim Kennedy, who's been following the state investigations.

Almost immediately the state began looking into several issues related to CPS and Brooks' death.

The state wanted to look at all open CPS cases in Erie County, which stands at 1,000. Plus another 200 cases before they were closed to make sure they were unfounded. And the state said it would write a fatality report, which is required by law, to address issues related to how Brooks' case was handled and a cause of death.

State officials say they have completed their work on the first 1,000 cases and that a report on this should be released in about a month.

"Essentially what the state Office of Family Services has done is that they have found that the 1,000 cases that are open here in Erie County are not putting the safety of the children in those cases at risk, so they are ensuring the safety of those children in those 1,000 open cases," Kennedy said.

But, there were failures in the response to Brooks resulting in dismissals and added positions at CPS. The state says it plans to release a separate report concerning the 200 cases in Erie County that CPS says should be closed.

Then, state officials say that Brooks' fatality report should be released sometime in the New Year.

The state Office of Children and Family Services plans to release all their findings to the public. Kennedy and other lawmakers want to take the information that's released by the state to create new laws to better protect kids from child abuse.

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