Mother in DHS case gets 40 year sentence

    A grand jury report on Danieal Kelly’s death faulted her parents, Department of Human Services workers and a subcontractor for poor oversight.

    The mother of a Philadelphia teenager who died of starvation has been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison. A grand jury report on Danieal Kelly’s death faulted her parents, Department of Human Services workers and a subcontractor for poor oversight.

    The case highlighted problems in the city’s Department of Human Services, and prompted a call for reform.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090430lfdhs.mp3]

    DHS is now knee-deep into the process of implementing reforms, and one expert says she’s cautiously optimistic.

    Carol Tracy is a member of the Community Oversight Board, which monitors DHS reforms. She says increased accountability and changes in practice will help protect the city’s youngest residents.

    Tracy: A new process was put in place that requires when a complaint comes into the hotline that the child been seen within two hours. The people who see the children are workers who are not the ongoing workers in the case which was one of the tragedies in Daniael’s case.

    Tracy says there’s a whole new department related to accountability. She says DHS now uses a limited number of childrens’ service providers so the agency can have better oversight of their activities as well.

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