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Back county proposals to improve child safety

In recent months, there has been a great deal of focus on Erie County Child Protective Services resulting from a number of child fatalities. Members of the community – legislators and citizens alike – have expressed a desire to improve the system in hopes of preventing future tragedies.

Recently the Western New York Citizen Review Panel – established through federal legislation for the purpose of assessing whether state and local agencies are effectively carrying out their child protection responsibilities – met with the Erie County commissioner of Social Services. We were pleased to learn that, with the support of the county executive, many steps have been taken to improve services, including measures to reduce the size of caseloads.

Protection of children is a communitywide responsibility, and we urge our local legislators to support measures that have been proposed that would improve the ability of child protection workers to intervene with troubled families and ensure the safety of children.

Ellen Kennedy

Chairwoman, Western New York

Citizen Review Panel

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