Advocacy Group Notes “Serious Problems” With DCS Child Fatality Investigations

(Nashville) A national advocacy group, Children’s Rights, filed a motion against the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services in federal court in Nashville Thursday.

It states the plaintiff believes DCS has “serious problems” with child fatality investigations that could be putting kids at risk.

Children’s Rights is asking for all fatality records from 2011 and 2012. It notes 57 fatalities that happened during that period in which DCS had prior contact with the child.

This includes one child who died after being left in a home with no power or water, with a family that had a history of making meth. 

Another example cited in the motion included two children that died in the same foster home within six months.

Children’s Rights sued DCS more than a decade ago over mistreatment of a child in foster care. Thursday’s motion was filed under the same case. The watchdog group contends the settlement provides access to the records.

Also on Thursday, Democratic party leaders sent a letter to Governor Bill Haslam, calling for an investigation into why DCS won’t release fatality records.

The governor’s office confirms Haslam is aware of the letter, but won’t comment any further.

Earlier this week, two high level DCS employees were fired. It happened the same day the department was in Chancery Court in Nashville .

WREG and several other media outlets are suing DCS, petitioning for access to child fatality records.

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