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DAY 1: BRIELLE GAGE

 

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BrielleGage.JPGA TRAGEDY FOR FAMILY AND STATE

Brielle Gage died on Nov. 25, 2014 after a severe beating by her mother, Katlyn Marin. Gage’s death touched off questions about the involvement of the state's Department of Children, Youth and Families. The Monitor pieced together the final year of her life with DCYF, court and police records and with interviews with family and those who tried to protect her.
 

BEHIND THE DATA

Court proceedings in DCYF cases are kept confidential, shielding agency from examination. 

Video: Attorney Rus Rilee talks about his efforts to make Gage case public.
 

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DAY 2: THOSE WHO DIED

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DCYFChart.JPGWHY THE LOW NUMBERS? PLUS, MAP AND GRAPHICS

In 2014, only 4.7 percent of abuse reports in New Hampshire were found to have merit, far behind the national average of 19 percent and last in the country. That year, DCYF substantiated 652, out of nearly 13,900, according to most recently available federal data.

 

WITHOUT DATA, 'HARD TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE’

It’s impossible to know the total number of child deaths in New Hampshire related to abuse and neglect – or even the instances of child mistreatment – because no  single entity in the state is tracking all the data, advocates say.

 

Video: Two parents whose son died discuss their experience with DCYF.

 

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DAY 3: GROWING CRISIS

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DCYFPic3.JPGCASEWORKERS SAY THEY'RE OVERLOADED

While national standards recommend child protection workers investigate no more than 12 reports of abuse or neglect at one time, New Hampshire’s DCYF staff can have an average monthly caseload of 54 reports, according to an outside review of the agency that was released last year.

 

DRUG ABUSE DRIVING NUMBER OF REPORTS MADE TO DCYF

Nearly 470 babies were born exposed to drugs in 2016, child protection agency says

 

Video: DCYF caseworker Demetrios Tsaros (left) discusses the challenges of the job
 

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DAY 4: CHALLENGES AHEAD

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DCYFPic4.JPGA WORK IN PROGRESS

How far along is the state in its effort to reform the embattled agency? Gov. Chris Sununu promises changes are coming. 

HOW TO HELP

Agencies say need is high for foster parents and volunteer advocates