DHS commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose

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Philadelphia DHS commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose (photo courtesy City of Philadelphia)

Hour 1

A grand jury investigating the shocking 2006 starvation death of 14-year old Danieal Kelly concluded that Philadelphia Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) caseworkers and their supervisors had contributed to her death by failing to spot the neglect when they visited her home.  The case highlighted what many considered to be a dysfunctional culture at the agency and a complicated maze of services and providers involved in protecting the city’s most vulnerable children.  In the intervening years, a series of recommendations to reform the system have been suggested and implemented, and in 2008 ANNE MARIE AMBROSE was appointed as the new commissioner.  Under her guidance some progress has been made in decreasing the number of children under DHS’s care and in increasing the number of children discharged from placement to permanent homes.  Most recently, Ambrose and Mayor Michael Nutter announced a new system of managing caseloads which will utilize community based organization to provide direct services.  Marty sits down with Ambrose to talk about the agency’s progress and changes ahead.

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[audio: 082312_100630.mp3]

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