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Councilmember Wells Creates Child Welfare Task Force PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Thursday, 28 February 2008

Councilmember Tommy Wells Creates Child Welfare Task Force

(Washington, DC) – Councilmember Tommy Wells, Chair of the Committee on Human Services, today announced the creation of a task force of experts in the child welfare community to work with him in outlining a comprehensive package of child welfare reforms aimed at ensuring families who are in crisis and need assistance have access to supports and services.

Councilmember Wells stated, “The tragic deaths of Brittany Jacks, Tatianna Jacks, N’Kiah Fogle, and Aja Fogle wounded our community deeply.  Held hostage by their mother in their own home, and cut off from the outside world, they died long before anyone could figure out what had happened to them.  Neighbors didn’t know.  Their landlord didn’t know.  Relatives didn’t know. School officials didn’t know. Sadly, none of us knew what had happened to these girls until U.S. Marshals found their bodies -- four young girls slipped through all our hands. What happened to the safety net?”

The task force will include representatives from the Consortium for Child Welfare, Urban Institute, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, Mary’s Center for Maternal & Child Care, and DC Action for Children. The group will work to identify current gaps in the provision of services and supports for children and families in the District and create initiatives that focus on the prevention of children and families entering into the child welfare system.

“The Jacks case serves as a wake up call, and a rally to action, for all of us. Although we cannot go back and change the series of events that led to this tragedy, we can learn from the missed opportunities identified in this case and make the necessary improvements,” added Mr. Wells.

The group meets for the first time on Friday, February 29th. Over the next few months, Councilmember Wells will work with the task force to develop the package of child welfare reform recommendations. Mr. Wells concluded, “My hope is that we can identify several steps needed to make the type of improvements residents expect and deserve.”


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