NYC child welfare agency concedes inaction in Myls Dobson case
The head of the city's child welfare agency conceded Friday caseworkers should have "done something differently" to intervene before a preschooler was tortured and slain in Hell's Kitchen earlier this month.
The Administration for Children's Services said in a report it did not fully investigate allegations of domestic violence involving 4-year-old Myls Dobson's caregivers or seek an emergency order to remove the child. Nor did the agency know the child's father, Okee Wade, 37, had been arrested and jailed for five months in New Jersey on fraud charges, or do enough to find better child care for the boy, the report said.
Caseworkers visited the child nine times during Wade's incarceration, finding the child well cared for, but they did not adequately question why Wade was never around. Wade's girlfriend claimed he was at work, said Gladys Carrión, the agency's commissioner.
"Should we have done something differently? Yes, we should have," she said.
The mother lost custody in 2011 after allegations of maltreatment. Agency supervision of the father ended in 2013, according to a city official not authorized to speak on the record.
The girlfriend, Kryzie E. King, 27, has been charged with felony assault in connection with Myls' death.
Carrión appeared at City Hall with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who released interim findings about the agency's actions -- a report he ordered after the child's death.
"It's very, very painful to know that this child went through such agony and that a child was lost," de Blasio said.
Though the report did not fault caseworkers, de Blasio said he would seek changes to agency procedures for handling allegations of child abuse and neglect, including:
Requiring court-ordered supervision not end without a hearing to consider a child's well-being and a judge's approval.
Reviewing all 3,200 open court-ordered supervision cases to ensure orders are being followed.
Expanding access to court databases from convictions to all arrests.
Expanding jurisdiction to supervise parents who are caregivers to children under agency supervision.