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Wells to Hold Hearing on Progress Made Since Jacks Tragedy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Friday, 06 February 2009

Councilmember Wells to Hold Hearing on Progress Made in the Year Since the Banita Jacks Tragedy

On Wednesday, February 11, 2009, Councilmember Tommy Wells, Chair of the Committee on Human Services, will hold a public hearing to review progress made by the Child and Families Services Agency (CFSA) in the one year after the Banita Jacks’ tragedy and the release of the committee’ report “Repairing the Safety Net for At-Risk Children and Families Reform Plan”. The Reform Plan was developed by a taskforce convened by Councilmember Wells following the discovery of the deaths of the Jacks children.

“Upon examining the multiple contacts the Jacks family had with the District government, I found serious deficiencies in the city’s safety net.  In response, I convened a task force of experts from the child welfare community to work in identifying current gaps in service provision and to develop a comprehensive package of reforms aimed at ensuring that children and families in the District who are in crisis will receive our help,” said Wells. 

The resulting report highlighted initiatives the agency needed to pursue, including the development of universal school child accountability regulations, the expansion of pre and post natal home visitation programs, the creation of an early intervention differential response system to engage at-risk families, the creation of a new family self-assessment tool as a gateway to services and to provide mandatory child abuse and neglect training.

Additionally, the Administration made several commitments for system improvements that would greatly advance the delivery of services across many of our District government agencies. This roundtable will give the Administration the opportunity to provide an update on the status of these multiple initiatives.

Councilmember Wells stated, “I strongly believe that the policy and legislative initiatives outlined in this plan are key to ensuring that the District’s safety net is intact and offers the highest level of protection for our children and service provision for DC families in crisis. We must continue to be vigilant and follow through with initiatives that we know will help to ensure the safety of our children and the health of families in the District of Columbia so that every child is known and nurtured.”

The Roundtable will be held on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. in Room 123 of the John A. Wilson Building.



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