“Agency called dysfunctional, seen putting children at risk”

Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje
San Antonio Express-News  
June 09, 2013 


Reporter Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje investigated the death of Sarah Brasse, an 8-year-old who for almost two years had been under the watch of state Child Protective Services. In addition to a complete account of what led to her death, Stoeltje, for an accompanying article, interviewed former and current employees of the agency and examined hundreds of records to report the troubled working conditions and management shortcomings. Inadequate training, high turnover, unequal workloads, inexperienced caseworkers, a lack of accountability among managers — all contributed to a regional office that had one of the highest child fatality rates in the state. For example, two managers who were responsible for key decisions in Sarah’s case had been evaluated only once in five years, Stoeltje found. Her article put pressure on the state commissioner to order a review of the agency staff in Bexar County and initiate regular evaluations of employees.

LINK to story online

Submitted by Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje.

Headliners Foundation