Sen. Seminara on Harwinton DCF group home closure: “Get to the root of the problem.”

November 24, 2023

For Immediate Release

Sen. Lisa Seminara, who represents Harwinton and serves as Ranking Senator on the Committee on Children, today issued the following statement regarding the Department of Children and Families (DCF) electing to close the Short-Term Assessment and Respite (STAR) Home for adolescent girls in Harwinton.

“This is a positive step, and it comes on the heels of a year’s  of troubling incidents which have jeopardized public safety on multiple levels.  Harwinton officials and state law enforcement officials have repeatedly raised alarm bells about how the entire system needs to be revamped.  The girls and boys in this program are extremely vulnerable.  They were failed by the system.  First responders’ safety was endangered.  Local resources were strained to the limit.  What we need now is a serious discussion about policies which can get to the root of the problem: How do we make state government more accountable to these children, and how do we fix what is broken? Last month, I urged Governor Lamont to convene a panel that would dig into these issues and consider recommendations made by the Office of the Child Advocate.  I will continue to work with lawmakers on a bipartisan basis to make these necessary policy fixes.”