DCFS working with Antelope Valley school district to station social workers on school campuses

Over the last few years, DCFS has been at the center of controversy following the deaths of three boys in the Antelope Valley. What is the department doing to help keep kids safe from child abuse?

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Friday, July 10, 2020
DCFS plans to place social workers on school campuses in Antelope Valley
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KEEPING KIDS SAFE FROM ABUSE: Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has resumed all face-to-face contacts again with families and children, they are also working on a pilot program to have social workers placed on some school campuses in the Antelope Valley.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the death of 4-year-old Noah Cuatro. His parents are accused of killing him.

Sadly, Noah was among three young boys in the Antelope Valley, all being monitored by Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), who died while in custody of their parents. Their deaths sparked calls for reform within DCFS.

L.A. DCFS Director Bobby Cagle, joined ABC7 via Skype to discuss what they're doing to help keep kids safe amid the pandemic.

Pilot program to put social workers on campus

"We've been working with six of the 14 districts in the Antelope Valley to be able to place our social workers there," said Cagle.

Stay-at-home orders impacted how DCFS social workers conduct their in-person visits. Those visits were being conducted virtually for a time. Has the department resumed in-person visits?

"Actually, we never ceased doing in-person visits entirely. We've had about 60% of the visits being done during this epidemic because of the challenges around getting the appropriate safety equipment to protect both our staff and the families and children that we serve. Now, at this point, we've begun to do all face-to-face contacts again," said Cagle.

DCFS has something to celebrate - there were 358 foster youth graduates - and many will be going on to college. Specifically, you want to highlight the success of one former foster youth.

"Sedric has been amazing," said Cagle. "He has since graduated from UC Berkeley, also from UC San Francisco with a dental degree and now, he is headed off to the University of Minnesota where he'll specialize in pediatric dentistry with an intention of coming back to provide care for children in foster care."

Watch the full interview in the video above

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