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New Hampshire's Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) is charged with protecting our state’s children from abuse and neglect. However, we’ve seen the number of critical cases arise over the past few years and unfortunately, we’ve also seen too many children who were once under the care of DCYF become victims of abuse after leaving the system. Some valuable light has been shed on these issues, and we have made good progress in making DCYF reforms a priority, but there is a lot more work to do.
While it is clear that there are problems, the specific reasons why a child may fall through the cracks are less apparent. Addressing these problems presents a major challenge.
The Commission to Review Child Abuse Fatalities, of which I am a member, was created to address deficiencies either through the legislative process or by making recommendations for internal changes within DCYF. The state also had an outside entity conduct a review of DCYF policies. It was through this review that a number of concerns became public.