Audit: RDSS putting the safety of kids at risk - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Audit: RDSS putting the safety of kids at risk

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The Richmond Department of Social Services is accused of putting children's safety at risk yet again. We got our hands on the new audit before anyone else and it claims that there have been many cases closed inappropriately.

According to the report, there were way too many cases closed in Richmond this summer compared to other similar sized localities.

After months of review, state investigators found, more than half of the cases they randomly selected - lacked important additional information, follow ups, and proper investigation.

So many cases closed too early ‘in order to reduce the number of open cases that were out of compliance with the state policy.'

Investigators found several sex abuse cases were not conducted jointly with law enforcement as required.

In others, there were unexplained physical injuries to infants that should have been investigated further.

In one case, a criminal investigation was inquired, but never followed up on.

Additionally, investigators found cases were closed without following proper practices mandated by policy.

The department has been in the hot seat since last May when several reports claimed Richmond's kids were left in the hands of caregivers with mental health issues or drug addiction. Also those kids with medical issues weren't getting the proper care and were forced to stay in dangerous homes.

In this most recent review, the allegations suggested the program manager - who sources say is Sheila Smith advised CPS employees to close cases without a proper investigation all to keep the numbers low.

Now the city is calling for disciplinary action against Smith. Thursday morning, NBC12 will be learning a more from the city auditor himself and others involved in this report. A press conference is set for 11:30. We'll keep you posted.

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