BURBANK (CBSLA.com) — Two Southern California lawmakers reached an agreement Thursday with a Sacramento committee to investigate child and family services agencies statewide, including two Southland agencies.
KNX 1070’s Jan Stevens reports the deals comes in the wake of recent agency failures that, in one case, led to the death of a Palmdale child.
In a letter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) requested an audit of Child Protective Services (CPS) programs in Los Angeles, Orange, and Sacramento counties.
The request follows the death of an 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, who died in March after documents showed at least six complaints of child abuse and brutality were filed with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
Gatto also cited a second case in Sacramento where officials raided the home of Alex and Anna Nikolayev – whose parents had sought a second opinion on recommended heart surgery for their five-month-old son Sammy – and removed the child from his home.
A judge later returned custody to the parents on the condition that they would not remove Sammy from a facility again against medical advice.
“Most people I know look at those two cases and are horrified that type of thing can happen in the United States of American in 2013,” Gatto said. “I think it’s clear to me that we need to identify some kind of practices that actually serve the children the government is charged with protecting.”
Past audits of Los Angeles DCFS have revealed a pattern of failure to properly supervise and monitor their case load, according to Gatto, who cited a recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times that found that 3,450 children have overdue investigations in Los Angeles County.