Senator Kane Calls For Legislative Hearing Regarding Torrington Child Neglect Case

July 19, 2010

Requests Co-Chairs Of Human Services Committee To Examine State Department Of Children & Families Response

Senator Rob Kane (R-32) has formally asked co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Human Services Committee to call a hearing regarding the state Department of Children & Families’ recent handling of a case regarding Torrington children, now in state custody, who were returned to their parents after police found them living in unsafe conditions. Senator Kane is a ranking member, the leading Republican Senator, on the Human Services Committee.

“I appreciate that DCF Commissioner Susan Hamilton has already ordered a review of her agency’s involvement and handling of this matter. However, as our committee has cognizance over DCF, I believe we have an obligation to fully understand exactly what happened in this situation and, if necessary, propose legislation designed to ensure that the agency has the necessary authority and direction to quickly and appropriately respond in the future,” Senator Kane wrote in his letter to co-chairs of the Human Services Committee, Senator Paul Doyle (D-9) and Representative Toni Walker (D-93).

Senator Kane said that he believes the state Department of Children & Families’ responsibility to protect children is both the most difficult and most important of any state agency.

“With this case, we have an opportunity to closely examine what happened, and take a very close look at what DCF does right, and what it should and must do better. Maybe we will find out that new legislation is necessary. Maybe, we will find out that DCF has to take certain steps internally to better handle situations like this. First, we need information above and beyond the media reports. That is why a hearing by the legislature’s Human Services Committee would be useful and, in my opinion, a necessary first step toward making whatever changes are necessary to ensure that the state responds quickly, responsibly and appropriately when children’s safety is at stake,” said Senator Kane.