DCS Report Paints Tragic Picture For Children

(Memphis) A report released about the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has resulted in questions from lawmakers.

The big Concern how calls to the agency are tracked and how children have died while in state care.

The report is 113 pages long.

Inside, there are answers to tough questions posed by lawmakers about the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and its operations for the last three years.

DCS is still collecting information on the number of children critically injured after being entered into the state system.

“I know they have struggled over the years, DCS has struggled with its computer system that would help them keep up better with the location of the children, exactly what was going on with the children,” said Larry Scroggs, Shelby County Juvenile Court.

Scroggs is a former lawmaker now chief administrator at Shelby County Juvenile Court.

He says the court depends on accurate reports from DCS to decide abuse and neglect cases when terminating parental rights, “In any given day in Shelby County there are about 1200 children in DCS custody that are actually in foster care.”

Juvenile Court says it doesn’t do the investigations, that’s up to DCS.

The report found 11 times since 2010 when DCS was asked to intervene and didn’t, the child died.

Scroggs said, “The court has felt that the DCS office in Shelby County is under staffed, that there was too much of a caseload on individual case workers.”

The new interim commissioner for DCS will appear before a state legislative committee for a hearing next week to explain these findings.

That’s where lawmakers from various parts of the state are scheduled to ask for even more details on DCS operations.

More on our DCS investigation