© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

In Conn., Committee Rejects Plan To End Child Welfare Agency Oversight

The Connecticut State Capitol Building in Hartford

The Connecticut Legislature will vote this session on a plan to end federal oversight of the state child welfare agency that has lasted more than two decades. The Appropriations Committee opposed the new settlement plan for the Department of Children and Families this week.

The plan would boost funding for DCF by more than $5 million. Under it, DCF would only need to meet six federal requirements for child care, instead of 22.

DCF Commissioner Joette Katz told the Appropriations Committee that the new settlement would help avoid expensive federal court fees.

“If you reject this, we will be in court and we will be looking at the end of the day at extensive litigation costs, and a determination by the court that currently we are underfunded.”

Katz says federal oversight costs about $1 million a year.

Representative Cathy Abercrombie, D-Meriden/Berlin, rejected the plan because it would keep lawmakers from cutting DCF’s budget until federal oversight ends. She says that could come at a cost to other social services during a budget crisis. 

This report contains information from CRN.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.