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Mar 13, 2017 6:54 PM

NH DCYF director placed on administrative leave after closing 1,520 open child assessments in 2 days

NH1.com

CONCORD — The Division Director of the New Hampshire Health and Human Services Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) has been placed on administrative leave after the closure of 1,520 open child assessments over a two-day period in February 2016 was made public.

READ: NH Senate to vote on preserving child protection records as DCYF faces scrutiny for child deaths

In a joint statement Monday, Governor Chris Sununu and Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeff Meyers said they were considering whether or not to utilize outside counsel to investigate the issue and determine where the system broke down. They also pledged to review the status of all 1,520 assessment closures and determine whether any should be re-opened.

Division Director Lorraine Bartlett will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation. Bartlett had announced plans to retire in March, and was set to vacate her post on April 1.

READ: Head of embattled NH DCYF set to retire after 30 years

Effective Monday, Human Services Division Director, Maureen Ryan, has been appointed Interim Director of the Division of Children, Youth and Families. She will oversee the operation of DCYF until a new permanent director is appointed.

“The closure of 1,520 open child assessments over a two-day period was undertaken just days after my confirmation as commissioner of the department and was never discussed with me either before or after my taking office," Meyers said. "The closure of these cases was not undertaken consistent with best practices or in accordance with established DCYF policies and procedures.”

A national search is currently underway to recruit for the position.

The massive amount of case closures came to light following a request for DCYF records from the Concord Monitor Saturday.

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