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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 the 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 the 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.

 

When a judge signs off to remove children from an unsafe home, the child protection agency often turns to foster parents for support.But the state...

Four days after Katlin Paquette gave birth to a baby girl, child protection workers were among her first visitors. They came to the hospital to...

It was midweek and Demetrios Tsaros’ caseload was already becoming hard to handle. He had to investigate three new reports of child neglect – two...

The 911 call came in just past 11:30 a.m. Nashua police sped to a beige house on Oak Street and found 3-year-old Brielle Gage lying unconscious...

Every 19 hours on average, a baby was born exposed to drugs last year, according to state data. As the opioid crisis continues to ravage New...

Wesley Botelho was 1 when he drowned in a bathtub while his mother used her computer outside their Manchester apartment. Three-year-old Jayleah...

It’s almost impossible for the public to get information about what the state does or how judges rule in child abuse and neglect proceedings. The...

Leaders at the state’s child protection agency announced a plan Monday to pay workers overtime to help shrink the backlog of open abuse and neglect...

Who is to blame for inadequate staffing at DCYF?The Monitor’s recent article “DCYF still faces sizable case backlog” (Sunday Monitor front page...

Lawmakers are considering giving more options to child protection workers when they respond to reports of abuse and neglect. The change would let...

The state’s child protection agency is still facing thousands of open abuse and neglect investigations, despite past efforts by agency leaders to...

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu put the head of the state’s child protective services on administrative leave Monday, following aMonitor story that...

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