New report blasts Richmond Department of Social Services - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

New report blasts Richmond Department of Social Services


Richmond's mayor is vowing to fix problems with the city's Social Services Department, which has been under scrutiny since last winter, after claims children were in unsafe and unhealthy situations.

A state report highlighted major problems and now a new report from the Child Welfare League. The more than 20-page report listed problem after problem, and suggestions for fixing them.

One report said children who needed transplants were left off of transplant lists, because Social Services left them in homes with inadequate care.  Another said that serious medical conditions were not being addressed by caretakers. Yet another example found that Richmond Social Services did not always try to keep siblings together.

"Those were some of the first cases that were looked at and handled," said Tonya Vincent, who works for the police department, but was tasked with taking on the failing social services department and helping it rebuild. "Those cases have been reviewed and the proper action taken. Those children are safe."

The report went on to say there is a direct correlation between the lack of responsible, transparent, competent leadership and the challenges faced by RDSS. It found consistent problems with RDSS' ability to follow policy, use funds appropriately, and respond to problems.

It also said records were in disarray and that workers were not always properly trained. But the recommendations are also listed on how to correct the problems. And officials who have taken on the problem say change is possible.

"We are committed to ensuring we move department of social services in the right direction and that the children of the city of Richmond are safe," said Vincent.

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