The sudden resignation of Bobby Cagle as head of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services this week closes a tumultuous period for the nation’s largest child protection agency and will force county leaders to grapple with important issues of policy on how social workers respond to reports. abuse and neglect and choose to intervene in families.
DCFS faces increasing scrutiny following a series of highly publicized deaths and injuries of children under its supervision, including a 4-year-old boy in foster care who was hospitalized in a coma last month.
The agency is still grappling with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, when teachers and other mandated reporters had much less contact with children and court closures led to a skyrocketing rise in backlogged cases.
And Cagle’s departure, which goes into effect Dec. 31, comes as county leaders and a number of civic groups have stepped up calls for DCFS to address racial and ethnic disparities, including an overrepresentation of black children in households. breeding. Although 7.5% of the children in Los Angeles County are black, they represent more than 27% of the children in foster care.
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