Plan To Investigate Child Abuse Complaints Widely Criticized

November 27, 2013

A Department of Economic Security plan to deal with a backlog of uninvestigated child abuse complaints is drawing fire from both sides of the political aisle. DES Director Clarence Carter promised to have a preliminary review of all 6,000 cases completed by Monday. He said all of the cases can be investigated by the end of January, but Republican Senator Nancy Barto, who chairs an oversight committee, questions how thorough that work can be. 

Democratic Representative Debbie McCune Davis cited a lack of details on how that work will be done, on top of an existing backlog of 10,000 cases.

“The critical issue is to make sure that the cases that were improperly directed get reviewed and resolved and investigations be completed,” Davis said. “We need to hear from the director that other cases that are part of the backlog are also getting addressed.”

Some Democrats also want an immediate special legislative session to give CPS additional funding to deal with the problem, something the governor’s press aide, Andrew Wilder, said his boss does not believe is necessary.

“There's a process in place to tackle the immediate task at hand, which is making sure that each one of those 6,000 cases are thoroughly investigated,” Wilder said.

He would not address Barto's comments but said Democratic calls for additional cash are, “a predictable, tired solution.”