NYC First: Caseworker Charged With Contributing to Child’s Death


For the first time, a New York City caseworker has been charged with contributing to the death of a child, says the New York Times. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced the indictment of a former caseworker and a supervisor on charges of criminally negligent homicide in the death of a 4-year-old girl. Agency workers, officials, and some child welfare advocates expressed fears that the charges would make a tough job — attracting smart, qualified people — even tougher, and might even make things worse for vulnerable families too.

Marchella Brett-Pierce died after being repeatedly beaten and bound. Her mother has been charged with murder and now former caseworker Damon Adams and his former supervisor Chereece Bell have been charged with criminally negligent homicide. Adams also was charged with falsifying records, was accused of lying about visits to Marchella's home that he had not made; Bell was accused of failing to monitor him properly. Both have resigned. Hynes is convening a special grand jury to look at “evidence of alleged systemic failures” at the agency. The agency has attempted an overhaul since another prominent death of a girl named Nixzmary Brown in 2006.

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