ACS reforms seek to prevent tragedies

The commissioner of New York's Administration for Children's Services, or ACS, said he is beefing up accountability so that abused children don't fall through the cracks.

Last year, Jaden Jordan, 3, of Brooklyn, and Zymere Perkins, 6, of Harlem, were beaten to death. Investigations determined that ACS social workers dropped the ball in these cases and failed to do their jobs to keep the children safe.

Commissioner David Hansell launched what he calls a new and improved model of ChildStat, which includes rigorous weekly meetings to review high-risk cases. The idea is to make sure children and families are receiving the city services they need and that social workers are performing their duties correctly.

"The ChildStat model is vital to improving the functioning of ACS, and fine-tuning our policies and practices. As we re-launch ChildStat, we will continue to modify and improve it as needed to ensure accountability and high-performance throughout our system," Hansell said. "We will be rigorous and thorough in using data to improve our performance, with the goal of substantive reform."

ChildStat is modeled after the NYPD's CompStat program.

He said establishing a uniform standard of practices for child protection across New York City is one of the goals. He also said that the agency is addressing the issue of social workers overwhelmed with too many cases.