Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Child Abuse ACS Connects to the City's Unregulated Homeless Bad Landlord, Non Profit Connect 9999



New Leader for ACS Named for An Agency is Crisis
David Hansell to head NYC’s embattled child welfareagency (NYDN) A Yale-trained lawyer with experience managing social service agencies will take over as commissioner of the city’s troubled Administration for Children’s Services, officials said Monday.  Word of Hansell’s appointment leaked hours after the Daily News reported that caseloads for child welfare workers had grown beyond levels deemed acceptable by the city.  Hansell graduated from Haverford College with a psychology degree, then Yale Law School. He started his public career in the 1980s as a top lawyer for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. In 1997, he joined the administration of Mayor Rudy Giuliani as associate commissioner for HIV services, then stayed on with Michael Bloomberg’s team as chief of staff to the Human Resources Administration commissioner.  In 2007, Gov. Eliot Spitzer made him commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, where he greatly expanded eligibility for food stamps.   From 2009 through 2011, Hansell served the Obama administration as assistant secretary of health and human services overseeing child welfare programs.  

De Blasio turned a blind eye to ACS disaster (NYP) ACS Carríon went so far as to downgrade a key Bloomberg-era innovation, ChildStat.  Modeled on the NYPD’s CompStat, these regular meetings connected top agency staff with field workers to review how cases were being handled — with the back-and-forth broadcast agency-wide, so that everyone could learn.  Set up after the infamous 2006 beating death of Nixzmary Brown, ChildStat was designed to vastly improve ACS management. The process let caseworkers communicate directly to the brass, and let the brass get their own concerns out loud and clear — all without being stifled by intervening layers of management.  The program wasn’t popular with the agency’s lower ranks, who feared that the back-and-forth with management might lead to disciplinary action against field workers. Yet ChildStat did well enough to be copied in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Carríon, however, apparently found it too much trouble.  According to three former city officials, she stopped attending the meetings soon after she took over. She also terminated the agency-wide broadcasts of the sessions and had the emphasis shifted from nuts-and-bolts reviews of cases to larger policy issues: So much for making it about management at all. The overall regress under Carríon was so bad that, as city Department of Investigation head Mark Peters noted over the weekend, ACS management simply blew off the DOI’s criticisms over tragedies like the death of 3-year-old Jaden Jordan.  “When we came to them with some of these concerns, they told us that their review showed there were no real problems with how this case was handled,” Peters noted.  Eventually, the DOI slammed ACS as having “high-level, systemic problems” — a report that finally forced Carríon’s departure from the agency (weeks after she’d officially resigned).  David Hansel is a promising new head for the troubled Administration for Children’s Services. Let’s hope he can repair the damage done by Mayor de Blasio’s first ACS pick, Gladys Carríon.  Hansel’s record suggests he’ll do a better job. Let’s hope so — since it’s clear the mayor can’t recognize a management disaster until the press hits him over the head with it. * De Blasio has appointed David Hansell, who has worked for former President Barack Obama and former mayor Michael Bloomberg, as commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children's Services, Politico New York reports.  * David Hansell, the incoming head of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, vowed to revamp the “ChildStat” safety program that was launched in response to the infamous 2006 beating death of Nixzmary Brown, the New York Post reports.  * De Blasio Picks David Hansell to Lead New York’s Child Welfare Agency (NYT)








New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio accused New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer of teaming up with the New York Post to create “fake news,” in the form of a story accusing the city’s child welfare agency of failing to follow its own protocols, Politico New York reports.


Stringer Finds More ACS Deaths of At-Risk Kids

STRINGER HITS DE BLASIO ON ACS DEATHS -- Comptroller's report, already on Post front page, being released today
ACS on the hook for deaths of 10 at-risk kids in 3 months: probe (NYP) Ten kids died despite each being the subject of at least four abuse or maltreatment complaints to the city’s troubled child-welfare agency in the weeks leading up to the slaying of little Zymere Perkins, a probe by Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office has found. The tragedies were among 38 deaths involving vulnerable children flagged for high-priority investigations by the Administration for Children’s Services, Stringer found in the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Post. In a letter to outgoing ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion — who announced she was stepping down last week amid scrutiny of her handling of the agency — Stringer said his findings “starkly illustrate ACS’ persistent lack of progress in meeting its own targets for how those investigations are conducted, supervised and managed.” Without reform, Stringer warned, the bungling “will continue to prove fatal for an unknown number of children who will forseeably need to rely on ACS for protection from abusive individuals in their own households.”* Stringer’s related report found that the New York City Administration for Children’s Services flouted its own protocols in roughly 2,360 high-priority investigations that the agency conducted between July and September, the Observer reports.  * City Fires Back at Comptroller's Letter Slamming the Administration for Children's Services (NY1)
Child Abuse ACS Connects to the City's Unregulated Homeless Bad Landlord, Non Profit Connect
NY Post




PA and Councilman de Blasio Spoke Out Against ACS Under Mayor Bloomberg Every Time A Child Died Under Their Care
De Blasio and the city’s Administration for Children’s Services stand silent on the three deaths of infants in the last three months at the hands of their mothers and should swiftly account for, and end, the deadly “epidemic,” the Daily News writes:   de Blasio Was Not Silent About Child Abuse Before He Became Mayor “That says we are missing an opportunity to intervene asearly as possible,” the public advocate, Bill de Blasio, said in an interview. (2012, NYT) * PUBLIC ADVOCATE BILL DE BLASIO CRITICIZES THE CITY FORCRITICIZING HIS REPORT ON CHILD DEATHS (2012, Village Voice) * There was a City Council hearing on the ACS in September 2007, announced by then-Councilman Bill de Blasio, the chairman of the General Welfare Committee, which has jurisdiction over the ACS. De Blasio cited the death of 21-month-old Hailey Gonzalez after she was allegedly beaten by her mother's boyfriend and the death of a 2-month-old after the child was allegedly shaken by his mother in a homeless shelter. The Councilman said that ACS has made some progress but noted that children were still being lost. * Following Reports of Abuse at PS 87, De Blasio Calls onChancellor to Explain Lack of Discipline for Prior Incident *   De Blasio: Six Years After Nixzmary, Children Still Lostin Preventable Deaths (Brooklyn Eagle) *  De Blasio's Past as ACS Watchdog in Spotlight After MylsDobson's Death (DNAINFO)

More On Child Abuse ACS












4 Pinocchios: de Blasio Still Taking Credit for Appointing ACS Monitor While Under A State Order to Do So 

De Blasio says he had to take credit for appointing ACS monitor (NYP)  de Blasio on Friday blamed the state for the news conference where he misled the public into thinking he came up with the idea of appointing a monitor to oversee the troubled Administration for Children’s Services. De Blasio said he didn’t mention Albany’s role because “the state had not formally put that out publicly.” “And it’s not my place to speak for the state of New York,” he added during his weekly appearance on WNYC radio.  De Blasio also sparred with host Brian Lehrer during an exchange reminiscent of then-President Bill Clinton’s infamous claim that “it depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” “The state report seems to say [appointing the monitor] was something the city was being compelled to do. Were you not disclosing that for some reason?” Lehrer asked. “First, we’re very comfortable doing it. So, the word compel is where there is some difference. We have no problem with it. We think it’s a good idea. We’re happy to do it,” de Blasio replied. Asked to respond to de Blasio’s remarks, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Children and Family Services said: “The report and findings speak for themselves.”




Stringer: A Hand Full of 10 Landlords Account for Most of the Violations in the Homeless Cluster Site Buildings
Handful of bad landlords account for alarming number ofviolations in NYC's homeless cluster sites (NYDN) A small group of bad actor landlords housing homeless families accounts for an alarming number of dangerous health and safety code violations, the city controller has found. When shelters fill up, the city places families in private apartments known as cluster sites that are notoriously dangerous. Most are in the Bronx. After the death of two infants in one of these apartments last week, Controller Scott Stringer found the worst apartments happened to be in buildings owned by a fairly small group of landlords. That includes Moshe Piller, owner of the Hunts Point Ave. building in the Bronx where two children died when a faulty radiator spewed steam into their bedroom. There are about 100 landlords in the cluster site program, but Piller and 10 others account for 48% of the 3,265 cluster site units across the city. Those apartments account for 56% of the 1,119 “high-priority” health, fire, building and code violations at cluster sites as of September, Stringer found. High-priority violations are considered potentially life-threatening and require immediate repairs.  More than half — 55% — of the 16,026 open violations at all city cluster sites as of September are in buildings owned by the 11 landlords.  Piller, who was on Public Advocate Letitita James’ “100 Worst Landlords” list in 2014 and 2015, has 10 buildings with cluster site apartments, including the building where the children died.  On Thursday, the city Department of Homeless Services relocated the family whose children died and six other families living in Piller’s Hunts Point buildings to department shelters. On Friday, the Department of Homeless Services did not respond to questions about whether it would be looking at the other eight Piller buildings that currently house cluster site families. Stringer called on the mayor to find a better way as the winter approaches and the city’s shelter population has reached a record level of 60,000 — almost the population of Schenectady. Cluster sites have been a persistent embarrassment for Mayor de Blasio, who campaigned vowing to get rid of them. A March 2015 city Department of Investigation report called them “the worst maintained” and “the most poorly monitored” of all the city’s lodging for the homeless.* City Taking Closer Look at Landlords Operating Homeless Shelters After Deadly Steam Radiator Blast (NY1)


de Blasio Fake News Continues to Say He Was Not Ordered By the State to Appoint An Monitor With the State's Approval of the Monitor
De Blasio can’t give straight answer on state’s ACS order (NYP) de Blasio repeatedly refused Wednesday to justify his blatant attempt to mislead the public about being ordered by the state to appoint a monitor for his embattled Administration for Children’s Services.  During a news conference Tuesday, de Blasio announced that he planned to name an “independent monitor” to oversee ACS in the wake of its recent failure to protect two little boys from fatal beatings. De Blasio said he would “work with” the state Office of Children and Family Services on his choice, but flatly denied needing state approval for the pick. Hours later, the OCFS revealed it actually sent a report to ACS on Dec. 1 saying: “New York State directs ACS to hire an external, OCFS approved monitor, by 1/28/17, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of ACS’ Child Protective and Preventive services programs.”  A Post editorial on Wednesday called the mayor’s effort to hide that fact a “bald lie.”  De Blasio’s press secretary, Eric Phillips, later doubled down on the mayor’s disinformation.   “OCFS recommended a monitor. We chose to hire one, and it’s subject to OCFS approval. We weren’t forced to do it. It’s not that complicated,” he said.  On Wednesday night, OCFS spokeswoman Monica Mahaffey batted down City Hall’s response by saying, “Because our investigation found troubling failures at ACS to follow basic protocols for handling high-risk cases, OCFS is requiring ACS to hire a monitor that we approve.” Earlier, Phillips went into overdrive on Twitter to defend the paucity of press conferences convened by his boss, who often refuses to answer questions deemed “off topic,” saying there were “better ways to engage the public” than having the mayor face off with pesky reporters.* How they failed Zymere (NYDN Ed) To learn of the suffering endured by young Zymere Perkins, scratch by bruise by smashed tooth until his cold corpse arrived at a Manhattan hospital emergency room in September, is to shudder at once at his pain and at the profound incompetence demonstrated by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services in the screaming face of it.





de Blasio Gets Caught Up in Bold Face Lies To Cover-Up His Incompetence in ACS' Death of Another Child Pretended That Independent Monitor Was His Idea, It Was Ordered By the State Two Weeks Ago Before Carrion's Resignation 
The mayor plans to appoint an independent monitor for the city's child welfare agency. But NY1 has learned this new monitor is actually being required by the state. That's because the city failed to prevent a little boy's death back in September. The report was sent to City Hall almost two weeks ago  — before Carrion's resignation. The mayor claimed he didn’t need state approval of the position, though a state official said that wasn’t true: OCFS must approve his selection.

















State Orders Monitor for New York City’s Child Welfare Agency (NY1)  It's unusual for any New York City mayor to cede authority to the state. But on Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio started his day saying the city would create more outside oversight for its child welfare agency. "We are going to name an independent monitor for ACS and we are going to work with the state office of children and families to do that," the mayor said.  The mayor said he planned to appoint an independent monitor for the city's Administration for Children's Services, also known as ACS. The move comes a day after his child welfare commissioner Gladys Carrion said she would retire. Her resignation comes after the high-profile death of Zymere Perkins. Perkins died in September after systemic child abuse. He had five reports with ACS, but slipped through the cracks.  "We still have to find out what will make the agency stronger and I think independent eyes will help us do it," the mayor said. But late Tuesday afternoon, the state's child welfare agency released its own report on the Perkins death. In it, the state found the city's child welfare agency did not conduct thorough investigations or follow state standards in the Perkins case. In fact, the state was requiring City Hall to hire an independent monitor to review the city'schild protective services.  The report was sent to City Hall almost two weeks ago  — before Carrion's resignation. In a statement, a spokesperson for the state agency said: "On December 1, those findings were presented to ACS and mandated that ACS appoint an independent monitor approved by OCFS. Today, the Mayor accepted that condition in responding to our findings." Within a half hour of that statement, City Hall released its own long-anticipated report on Perkins. In it, it also found child welfare workers failed to thoroughly investigate the little boy's family life.* Two Damning Reports Blame Failures at City Child Welfare Agency for Death of Abused 6-Year-Old Zymere Perkins (NY1)

Arrested 11 Times ACS Has Him Protecting Children
I had too many arrests to work in a prison — but not for ACS (NYP) The city’s troubled Administration for Children’s Services hired a man with 11 arrests and a “history of domestic violence” as a case worker — even though his rap sheet kept him from getting a job as a jail guard, a stunning new lawsuit reveals. “They found me suitable to work with children … but I cannot work to guard prisoners or inmates. It definitely seems like a paradox,” Al-Yeru Clarke, 43, told The Post. In the suit filed Wednesday, Clarke gripes he was passed over by the Department of Correction over a criminal past that was no impediment to his getting hired in October by “a New York City agency dealing with most sensitive issues involving children.” * City Taking Closer Look at Landlords Operating Homeless Shelters After Deadly Steam Radiator Blast















De Blasio tries bald lies to cover up rank incompetence (NYP)  We thought nothing could be more bizarre than Gladys Carrión stepping down as head of the city’s Administration for Children’s Services because it’s “best for my well-being.” But then we learned that Mayor de Blasio made a big deal of promising to choose an independent monitor for ACS when he’d already been ordered to accept one. It turns out the state Office of Children and Family Services investigation of the Zymere Perkins tragedy ended with a Dec. 1 mandate for ACS to appoint an independent monitor approved by OCFS.  The mayor in his public remarks specifically denied needing state approval for his monitor pick — a bald lie.* State slams city’s handling of slain 6-year-old ZymerePerkins’ case, ordered Mayor de Blasio to hire monitor (NYDN) The state found that ACS workers repeatedly dropped the ball, ignoring signs of abuse and even lying about Zymere’s injuries. The report shows a doctor who examined Zymere Perkins’ body on the night of his death on Sept. 26 found evidence that the boy might have been dead for 17 hours before he was brought to a hospital. The little boy was so underweight, the doctor thought Zymere was only 3 years old. And there bruises all over his tiny body.  The state Office of Children & Family Services ordered de Blasio to hire an independent monitor to oversee ACS, underscoring the egregious nature of the city’s failures. The mandate was issued behind the scenes on Dec. 1, yet during a press conference Tuesday de Blasio made no mention of the state’s order and presented the monitor as his idea.  The internal ACS report revealed many of the same issues uncovered by the state, admitting the agency “failed to completely and thoroughly investigate issues regarding the welfare of Zymere Perkins.” Both reports confirmed five prior reports to ACS alleging abuse of the child, a detail first reported by the Daily News. Three reports alleging “inadequate guardianship” were substantiated and two were unsubstantiated. None of the reports substantiated physical abuse. "ACS did not conduct thorough investigations and/or follow regulatory standards," the state found. In prior reports of abuse "there were specific points when timely and appropriate intervention could have assisted the family's functioning." * The gruesome details of Zymere Perkins’ abuse — and how ACS failed him (NYP)


The City Not Only Ignored Warnings at Shelter Were Girls Died Emails Show DHS Does Force Their Landlords to Fix Violations 
City Ignored Warnings on Operator of Shelter Where GirlsDied, Emails Show (dnainfo)  The city was repeatedly warned during the past two years that the nonprofit group operating the shelter apartment where a malfunctioning radiator killed two young Bronx girls was a bad actor who didn't pay rent, maintain buildings it leased or fix housing-code violations, DNAinfo New York has learned.  Lucille McEwen, the executive deputy commissioner at the Department of Homeless Services, was told in emails and phone calls that Bushwick Economic Development Corp. — a nonprofit that runs shelters throughout the city — was endangering the lives of tenants at shelters in Brooklyn by ignoring requests to take care of building violations.  She received a May 26, 2016, email from Martin Weiss — a property manager at Kai Management, a real estate firm that represents the landlord who leases several buildings to BEDCO — who said the nonprofit was unresponsive to notices to fix six elevator violations issued in the past year to a shelter at 470 Pulaski St. in Brooklyn. "Not taking care of the dozens of HPD/Sanitation/Health violations is bad, but now you are playing with the LIVES of your residents," Weiss wrote in the email to Frank Boswell, the executive director of Bushwick Economic Development Corp., or BEDCO, and to McEwen, whose agency gives millions of dollars in funding each year to the nonprofit so it can lease buildings for shelters. "Please do not disregard this email as you do with all others because this one you can get charged with manslaughter if something happens." Solomon Kapelyus, one of the owners of Kai Management and an owner of the Pulaski Street property and other buildings that BEDCO leases, provided DNAinfo New York with the emails and records that show BEDCO is required to maintain the buildings and to take care of all violations. Kapelyus said his firm never got a response from McEwen or Boswell after the email. He also said the violations still exist. City records show that 470 Pulaski St. has eight Department of Buildings violations and seven Environmental Control Board violations that remain open.   Kapelyus said the email wasn't the first or the last time his firm or a representative has contacted McEwen or other Homeless Services officials. Some of the emails sent to McEwen and other officials informed them that BEDCO owes more than $3 million in rent.  Kapelyus said that each time his firm has contacted officials at Homeless Services, it has received no help or intervention from the city — even when stating that the rent arrears could lead to the eviction of tenants from the shelter. He said the officials invariably told them the problem is between BEDCO and the landlord.  "They won’t speak to you or say it’s not our problem," Kapelyus said of Homeless Services. "It's sad to think something so egregious like an eviction or a tragedy has to happen in order for them to take responsibility."* No-tel! Sunset Parkers: New hotels will be glorifiedhomeless shelters (Brooklyn Daily)


DNAinfo reported last week that court and city records show BEDCO and Boswell have been accused of bribing city officials, were the subject of two Department of Investigation probes and owe $4.3 in back rent to another Brooklyn landlord. DNAinfo has also learned that BEDCO's former lawyer Christopher Sowers sued the nonprofit in September in Brooklyn Supreme Court, claiming it owes him $48,600 in monthly retainer fees since 2014.   Despite the warnings, the debts and the DOI probes, BEDCO continues to receive city contracts. Homeless Services awarded the nonprofit two shelter contracts worth a total of $19.6 million on July 1, 2016.







BEDCO A NonProfit Middleman That Contracted A Bad Landlord Where the Radiator Killed 2 Girls 

BEDCO A Record of Two DOI Probes and Was Sued as A Deadbeat Renter Who Tried to Hide Its Debts From the City
Operator of Shelter Where Radiator Killed 2 Girls Acted LikeThe Mob: Suit (DNAINFO) The nonprofit operating the shelter apartment where two young girls were killed by scalding steam has been accused of acting like the mob, was the subject of two city Department of Investigation probes and was sued for being a deadbeat renter who tried to hide its debts from city funders, court and city records show.  The nonprofit operating the shelter apartment where two young girls were killed by scalding steam has been accused of acting like the mob, was the subject of two city Department of Investigation probes and was sued for being a deadbeat renter who tried to hide its debts from city funders, court and city records show.  Frank Boswell, who was paid $194,000 as Bushwick’s director in 2014 and drives a brand new white Cadillac, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Sources said he met with Homeless Services staff on Thursday. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development filed suit against Piller on Feb. 6, 2014, over his failure to make repairs at 720 Hunts Point Ave., despite claiming he had done so.

BEDCO Lawsuit by Business Partner Accused of Shakedown, Paying Kickbacks and Death Threats
Bushwick Economic Development Corp., or BEDCO, and its executive director, Frank Boswell, were sued in 2008 by a former business partner in a city-funded shelter operation who claimed Boswell tried to shake  him down for money and gave kickback payments to employees of the city Department of Homeless Services.  The plaintiff, Peter Mione, said in a racketeering lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court that when he refused to pay Boswell, he received phone messages from an unknown caller threatening to kill him. 

Meanwhile, BEDCO — which receives millions of dollars annually from the city to provide apartments for homeless families — has twice been scrutinized by city investigators  
The awards came after Bushwick was the subject of a scathing DOI report in March 2015 about the city’s shelter system and use of cluster site housing. The report flagged Bushwick for operating of a poorly maintained and unsafe cluster site at an East 174th Street building in The Bronx. Boswell, who was paid $194,000 as Bushwick’s director in 2014 and drives a brand new white Cadillac, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Sources said he met with Homeless Services staff on Thursday.In 2010, city investigators interviewed Boswell and Bushwick’s fiscal officer, Keith Walker, over the methodology in which their nonprofit allocated contract funding from the Human Resources Administration and Homeless Services.   The nonprofit made the disclosure about the investigation in a required filing with the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. BEDCO said in the disclosure that “the matter was resolved and deemed unfounded.”  DOI did not respond to a request for information about the probe.

Even After the DOI report Homeless Services awarded the nonprofit two shelter services contracts worth a total of $19.6 million on July 1, 2016.The Bushwick Economic Development Corp. has also been previously investigated for maintaining a poor shelter and had their finances scrutinized by the Department of Investigation.

BEDCO Was Sued Twice for Failure to Pay Rent on Homeless Apartments It Leased
In 2014, real estate firm ENY Plaza LLC won a $1.86 million judgment against BEDCO for failing to pay rent for several months on a Brownsville apartment building it leased with city funding to house 200 homeless men, women and children, according to Brooklyn Housing Court records.  ENY Plaza LLC began a years-long battle to collect rent arrears by suing BEDCO in 2011. The two sides initially reached a stipulation in 2013 where the nonprofit agreed to pay $468,968 in back rent. ENY Plaza filed new claims in its ongoing housing court case with Bushwick in October of this year. It said that the nonprofit now owed $4.7 million. Bushwick “seeks to have the court view it as a tenant advocate when, in reality, [Bushwick] has received millions of dollars of city and state funds to maintain the building but has failed to address the habitability concerns of its clients,” Fleischman wrote in his Oct. 19 affidavit.

The Lawsuit Claimed Homeless Services Employees Were Getting Kickbacks

In his racketeering lawsuit, Peter Mione said he had been approached by the owner of two Brooklyn buildings, 85 Stanhope St. and 115 Stanhope St., to lease the properties and try to get a Homeless Service contract to provide cluster housing. Mione agreed and submitted a proposal to the city in 2003 to provide 27 furnished apartments to homeless families. The city turned him down, but Calvin Pitter, the the deputy chief contracting officer for Homeless Services, suggested they partner with Boswell and BEDCO, according to the lawsuit. They did and won a contract in June 2004, the lawsuit said. Mione said shortly thereafter the extortion started. “Bedco through Boswell began demanding moneys separate and apart from any contractual relationship and indeed began a shakedown whereby [Mione] had to pay certain moneys to Boswell,” the lawsuit said. The lawsuit said that a certain percentage of the money was to go to Homeless Services employees as a kickback.

The City is Pouring Money Into Any Organization That Will House the Homeless As Low Income Renters Suffer
Christian non-profit evicts Queens apartment residents toconvert building into homeless shelter (NYDN) A faith-based Queens nonprofit is trying to boot low-income renters into the street in the midst of the holiday season — in the hopes of converting their building into a homeless shelter, residents told the Daily News.




Where are the Council Hearing On the Homeless Crisis and the Large Unregulated None Profits Like BEDCO That Place Families in Bad Housing Landlords?

Conditions ‘sliding backwards’ at city’s mixed homeless shelters (NYP) Despite multiple commitments to make all shelters safe for homeless residents, conditions at the city’s 280 cluster sites — the same mixed-residential buildings where a radiator leak this week killed two toddlers — have actually gotten worse over the past year, records show.  There were 14,418 violations in cluster sites in December 2015, just months after the city said it was expanding its shelter repair program to include all types of residences where the homeless are placed.  But as of Oct. 31, the number of open violations at the sites had increased by more than 7 percent — with 15,480 violations awaiting repairs.  The number of open high-priority violations at these buildings also edged up, from 1,065 in December 2015 to 1,096 in late October. Remarkably, the increase in violations includes those at a building that was specifically highlighted by the Department of Investigation in a March 2015 probe of shelter conditions.  The report found 56 violations at a building on East 174th Street in The Bronx run by the Bushwick Economic Development Corp. on July 9, 2014.  As of Oct. 31, 2016, the building had 95 open violations, including 10 tagged high priority.  BEDCO is the service provider that helped place and support the five homeless families at the building where the Ambrose sisters — 2-year-old Ibanez and 1-year-old Scylee — died this week.  A staffer at the Brooklyn-based firm said executive director Frank Boswell was busy Friday, and wouldn’t pass along a message seeking comment.  The agency provides social services out of 42 cluster-site buildings with 422 units — which house both homeless and non-homeless residents — and at which city inspectors have logged 2,274 violations.  The entire cluster program costs the city about $125 million a year for housing and support services covering 11,000 homeless people. * De Blasio’s disastrous shelter scramble (NYP) The horror left Team de Blasio scrambling to rethink its use of “scattered-site housing” — putting the homeless up in whatever apartments it can find, including ones run by negligent landlords. This, after the mayor earlier vowed to phase out the use of “cluster-site housing” and hotels to shelter the homeless.  Hotels aren’t the answer, though the city’s actually been using them more: The average cost runs $6,570 a month per family.  Overall, it’s just painfully obvious that City Hall is desperately scrambling for answers to a crisis that not so long ago it was denying even existed. It’s trying to ram new shelters into areas without getting community input — and calling the locals racist when they object. It’s using more hotels despite its own policy; it’s rushing to use “affordable” units to house the homeless, and dithering over “scattered” vs. “clustered” shelters.* After Burst Radiator Kills 2 Girls, Investigators Scrutinize Bronx Building (NYT) The Bronx district attorney’s office was investigating conditions in the building and its landlord, Moshe Piller. The radiator was sent to the F.B.I.

As the of the Number of Homeless in the Shelters Continue to Rise Nobody is Giving A Reason Why?  1. Gentrification, 2. 421-a 3. Airbnb . . . 

The population of the city’s homeless shelters has hit a record high as the number of families and single adults – at 60,686 – with nowhere to live continues to rise under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure

City’s homeless shelters reach record-high population numbers (NYP)  De Blasio can’t seem to get it right with the homeless The population of the city’s homeless shelters has hit a record high as the number of families and single adults with nowhere to live continues to rise under Mayor de Blasio’s tenure.  The total city-run shelter population reached 60,686 on Monday. Adults accounted for 36,898 of the homeless while there were more than 23,000 homeless children in shelters.  The number of families with children living in city shelters has risen 25 percent to 13,164 since Mayor Mike Bloomberg left office in 2013, according to data released Tuesday by the Department of Homeless Services. There are 13,472 single adults among those living in shelters.  The number of homeless in the city is 83 percent higher than it was 10 years ago, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.  The coalition claims that the primary cause is lack of affordable housing.  About 58 percent of the city’s homeless population is African-American, while 31 percent is Latino, records show.  Just 7 percent of the homeless are white.


de Blasio ACS Failed Management: More Bosses less Hands On Case Workers 
More than 28 percent of employees at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services held management titles in 2016, outnumbering the number caseworkers sent to investigate suspected child abuse
ACS employs more bosses than abuse caseworkers (NYP) The city’s beleaguered child-welfare agency has become bloated with bosses under Mayor de Blasio, with honchos accounting for more than one-quarter of its workforce — and even outnumbering the caseworkers sent to investigate suspected child abuse, an analysis by The Post has found.  And, adding insult to injury, the biggest earner this past fiscal year was a staff plumber.  Payroll records reveal that more than 28 percent of employees at the Administration for Children’s Services held management titles during fiscal 2016.  Of the 1,932 upper-echelon workers employed by ACS, only 496 were “child protective specialist supervisors” dealing directly with cases of abuse and neglect, while the rest filled out the agency’s bureaucracy. Under de Blasio, the entire ACS staff shrank to 6,883 employees during fiscal 2016 from 6,995 during fiscal 2013, the last budget period over which Ex-Mayor Mike Bloomberg had complete control.  But while the total number of workers fell, de Blasio added 187 bosses to the 1,745 under Bloomberg. Yet there were just 1,864 workers directly handling child-welfare cases. Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) compared ACS unfavorably to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, saying it spends “a billion more to investigate less than half the cases.

Another de Blasio Commissioner Quits Carrión Head of Child Welfare Agency
Embattled Head of City's Child Welfare Agency Quits(DNAINFO) The embattled head of the city's child welfare agency, Gladys Carrión, resigned Monday in the face of withering criticism over her leadership. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that his administration is currently looking for her replacement, days after he expressed confidence in the agency and its "very, very important work." * Embattled ACS commissioner Gladys Carrion is stepping down (NYP) * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that his child welfare commissioner, Gladys Carrión, was stepping down after a succession of child deaths that renewed long-running concerns about the city’s supervision of vulnerable children, The New York Times reports.  * New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that a small group of 11 landlords housing homeless families account for more than half of the most dangerous health and safety code violations at these cluster sites, the Daily News reports.

The kids are waiting for forceful ACS leadership(NYDN Ed)  Allow for the slim possibility that Gladys Carrión retired as commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services “because it is best for my well-being,” as she explained in her resignation letter to Mayor de Blasio after nearly three years in charge. Almost certainly, her departure signals failure to adequately wrestle with forces that sometimes prevent her agency from rushing to the rescue of children in crisis, and deals a blow to de Blasio’s approach to rejiggering child protective services. Just how profoundly ACS has fallen down on the job will come into focus as city and state both complete investigations into the horrific death in September of Zymere Perkins, just 6 when his mother’s boyfriend or his mother or both brutalized him until lifeless in their Harlem apartment.* The Daily News writes that no individual commissioner will succeed or fail New York City’s vulnerable children, but rather the buck will stop with de Blasio and his belief that it’s possible to keep kids safe while living with families known to have neglected or abused them if family members are steered to services such as drug treatment. * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Gladys Carrión was stepping down as commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services, which comes after two high-profile beating deaths of boys in the city, the Daily News reports.




















Another ACS Failure As Child Dies Mayor Announces Same Reforms Which Will Not Get Done Again 
Alert: More Reforms Will Come After the Next Child Dies
De Blasio child safety reforms show how severely the system failed ZymerePerkins (NYDN Ed) With a lawyer on hand to give the impression he was barred from saying little more than expressions of sorrow for the murder of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins, Mayor de Blasio announced appallingly basic child protection reforms.  He pledged that the Administration for Children’s Services would bring in the NYPD when children are believed to have endured serious abuse — tacitly confirming that caseworkers have given a pass to criminal assaults.  He promised that caseworkers with non-profit agencies that provide services to troubled families will no longer close serious abuse cases without ACS approval — tacitly admitting that the city had outsourced life-and-death judgments. He vowed that a team of independent supervisors will routinely review cases — tacitly suggesting that ACS had failed to adopt the Department of Investigation’s recommendation in May to do something similar. He said the school system would develop clear protocols for notifying ACS when children become chronically truant — as Zymere had — tacitly indicating that the Department of Education and ACS were slipshod about a fundamental indicator of neglect.  He ordered enhanced training for child protective workers — tacitly conceding that the enhanced training he imposed two years ago after the death of 4-year-old Myls Dobson needed further enhancement.  At that time, de Blasio also formed a 21-top-official “Children’s Cabinet,” apparently none of whom checked on whether caseworkers were calling cops, schools were contacting ACS, and so on.  De Blasio was joined by his previously missing-in-action ACS commissioner, Gladys Carrión, who a day earlier was the portrait of defeatism, saying in a TV interview that “we can’t keep every child safe,” apparently not even a child who had been the subject of five investigations and whose school had reported he had been bruised. Carrión has placed five ACS workers on modified duty and vowed to impose further accountability after the Manhattan DA completes an investigation that covers Zymere’s mother, her hulking boyfriend and the protective workers who handled the boy’s case. Amid a fog that extended to simple questions about ACS practices, de Blasio wove a self-congratulatory narrative of his concern for child protection dating to his days in the City Council.  The mayor also noted that, faced with child fatalities, his predecessors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg had reformed ACS.  He praised them, and declared the loss of Zymere Perkins “an unacceptable tragedy.” At the same time, he joined Carrión in more artfully selling the exculpatory premise that the city’s child welfare system remains a work in progress. That explanation does no justice to a boy whose battered body will go to the grave on Friday.  
* An array of New York City officials sat with Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to figure out how the case of Zymere Perkins, the 6-year-old who died as a result of domestic abuse, slipped through the cracks, but no clear answer emerged, The New York Times writes.

* An array of New York City officials sat with Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to figure out how the case of Zymere Perkins, the 6-year-old who died as a result of domestic abuse, slipped through the cracks, but no clear answer emerged, The New York Times writes.



Another ACS Failure As Child Dies Mayor Announces Same Reforms Which Will Not Get Done Again 
Alert: More Reforms Will Come After the Next Child Dies
De Blasio child safety reforms show how severely the system failed ZymerePerkins (NYDN Ed) With a lawyer on hand to give the impression he was barred from saying little more than expressions of sorrow for the murder of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins, Mayor de Blasio announced appallingly basic child protection reforms.  He pledged that the Administration for Children’s Services would bring in the NYPD when children are believed to have endured serious abuse — tacitly confirming that caseworkers have given a pass to criminal assaults.  He promised that caseworkers with non-profit agencies that provide services to troubled families will no longer close serious abuse cases without ACS approval — tacitly admitting that the city had outsourced life-and-death judgments. He vowed that a team of independent supervisors will routinely review cases — tacitly suggesting that ACS had failed to adopt the Department of Investigation’s recommendation in May to do something similar. He said the school system would develop clear protocols for notifying ACS when children become chronically truant — as Zymere had — tacitly indicating that the Department of Education and ACS were slipshod about a fundamental indicator of neglect.  He ordered enhanced training for child protective workers — tacitly conceding that the enhanced training he imposed two years ago after the death of 4-year-old Myls Dobson needed further enhancement.  At that time, de Blasio also formed a 21-top-official “Children’s Cabinet,” apparently none of whom checked on whether caseworkers were calling cops, schools were contacting ACS, and so on.  De Blasio was joined by his previously missing-in-action ACS commissioner, Gladys Carrión, who a day earlier was the portrait of defeatism, saying in a TV interview that “we can’t keep every child safe,” apparently not even a child who had been the subject of five investigations and whose school had reported he had been bruised. Carrión has placed five ACS workers on modified duty and vowed to impose further accountability after the Manhattan DA completes an investigation that covers Zymere’s mother, her hulking boyfriend and the protective workers who handled the boy’s case. Amid a fog that extended to simple questions about ACS practices, de Blasio wove a self-congratulatory narrative of his concern for child protection dating to his days in the City Council.  The mayor also noted that, faced with child fatalities, his predecessors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg had reformed ACS.  He praised them, and declared the loss of Zymere Perkins “an unacceptable tragedy.” At the same time, he joined Carrión in more artfully selling the exculpatory premise that the city’s child welfare system remains a work in progress. That explanation does no justice to a boy whose battered body will go to the grave on Friday.  
* An array of New York City officials sat with Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to figure out how the case of Zymere Perkins, the 6-year-old who died as a result of domestic abuse, slipped through the cracks, but no clear answer emerged, The New York Times writes.

* An array of New York City officials sat with Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to figure out how the case of Zymere Perkins, the 6-year-old who died as a result of domestic abuse, slipped through the cracks, but no clear answer emerged, The New York Times writes.



de Blasio Went After Bloomberg Each Time A Child Died Because of Abuse 


de Blasio Was Not Silent About Child Abuse Before He Became Mayor “That says we are missing an opportunity to intervene asearly as possible,” the public advocate, Bill de Blasio, said in an interview. (2012, NYT) * PUBLIC ADVOCATE BILL DE BLASIO CRITICIZES THE CITY FORCRITICIZING HIS REPORT ON CHILD DEATHS (2012, Village Voice) * There was a City Council hearing on the ACS in September 2007, announced by then-Councilman Bill de Blasio, the chairman of the General Welfare Committee, which has jurisdiction over the ACS. De Blasio cited the death of 21-month-old Hailey Gonzalez after she was allegedly beaten by her mother's boyfriend and the death of a 2-month-old after the child was allegedly shaken by his mother in a homeless shelter. The Councilman said that ACS has made some progress but noted that children were still being lost. * Following Reports of Abuse at PS 87, De Blasio Calls onChancellor to Explain Lack of Discipline for Prior Incident *   De Blasio: Six Years After Nixzmary, Children Still Lostin Preventable Deaths (Brooklyn Eagle) *  De Blasio's Past as ACS Watchdog in Spotlight After MylsDobson's Death (DNAINFO)*'WHY DID THEY DO THIS TO HIM? HE WAS AN INNOCENT BABY': Fatally battered 6-year-old Zymere Perkins remembered as 'playful, loving' at Brooklyn funeral (NYDN)



4 Child Care Workers Suspended On Their Handing of 6 Year Old Zymere

Four top NYCchild welfare officials suspended over handling of case leading to 6-year-oldZymere Perkins' death, sources say (NYDN)  The hammer came down Wednesday on four top officials of the de Blasio administration’s child welfare agency who the city says dropped the ball in the tragic case of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins, the Daily News has learned. The city Administration of Children’s Services removed from their positions an assistant commissioner, a borough commissioner and two top officials in the agency’s general counsels office, sources said. All were suspended for 30 days without pay. Further discipline is possible as the investigation unfolds, the sources said.* ACS removes 4 top officials in wake of 6-year-old’s death (nyp) * New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services temporarily removed four top officials from their positions, suspending them for 30 days without pay in the wake of the death of 6-year-old Harlem boy Zymere Perkins, the Post writes. * De Blasio says ACS suspensions ‘the first step’ in Zymere case (NYP)








ACS Team de Blasio Took Eye Off the Ball ADMINISTRATION OF CHILDREN SERVICES 

Another sign Team de Blasio took its eyes off ball at ACS (NYP Ed)  Call it another fire Team de Blasio was slow to put out: An Independent Budget Office report this week flagged rising troubles at the Administration for Children’s Services over the first two years of the mayor’s time in office — right in the runup to the death of little Zymere Perkins. Long-term, the report has better news: The city met the goals set 10 years ago by the Bloomberg team in the wake of the 2006 death of Nixzmary Brown to increase the ACS investigative staff and lower caseloads. But caseloads and caseworker resignations both began rising in the first two de Blasio years. City Hall says it has turned things around since — and, indeed, the IBO study only covers through June. Even then, the average caseload had risen only to 10.6, below the target of 12. But it’s still not clear that citywide numbers mean everything’s up to snuff in every borough: A Bronx ACS worker argued otherwise in Friday’s Post. And the IBO says The Bronx usually has higher caseloads.




Another Child Dies While Under ACS Care 

What we owe Juan(NYDN Ed) Another child dead who was under the city’s watch. Four-year-old Juan Sanchez is the latest child to die right under the nose of the Administration for Children’s Services. He must be the last. The sordid details are painful even to recount. The little boy died on April 28, apparently after swallowing rat poison while playing unsupervised in a stairwell in his building.As seen by police after his death, Juan’s family apartment was squalid even for a rat. Empty drug bags were strewn across the floor. There was no food in the kitchen save for a box of pancake mix and a few packets of ketchup. Tempting as it is to solely blame Juan’s prime caregiver, who seems to hold primary accountability for neglect, the city’s neglect appears equally infuriating.His mother, Migdalia Morales, had been investigated by ACS a whopping 11 times since 2003 — and six since Juan was born in 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment