A city audit released Thursday criticized weekend child-welfare workers for failing to locate a toddler who died after being beaten severely, despite information that should have led them to his home.
After receiving an anonymous tip around Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, that 3-year-old Jaden Jordan of Brooklyn was being abused, Administration for Children Services investigators went to the wrong address and didn’t take advantage of databases that auditors concluded would have yielded the correct location, according to the New York City Department of Investigation.
The boy wasn’t found until Nov. 28, unconscious and covered in feces, and he died at the hospital Dec. 3.
“The depth of errors over a two-day period was so significant, and the errors involved the overall implementation of policies so basic, that they go to the heart of ACS’s core mission of protecting children and implicate high-level, systemic problems,” the report said.
Six staff members are being scrutinized by the agency. Possible consequences include “corrective-action plans,” retraining and suspension, the audit said.
Agency spokeswoman Aja Worthy-Davis said, “The loss of Jaden Jordan’s life is deeply disturbing. From the time we received an anonymous report with various inaccuracies, to the 48 hours in which when we clarified data and visited the location, vital time was lost.”
The agency was already under scrutiny for repeatedly failing to protect a 6-year-old Harlem boy named Zymere Perkins last year, allegedly from family beatings that resulted in his death. The case helped spur the resignation of the former child-welfare commissioner, Gladys Carrión, last year.
New York State has ordered the de Blasio administration to hire an independent monitor to oversee the child services system.
In the Jordan case, the death revealed “systemic issues” in the agency’s Emergency Children’s Services unit, which handles cases on nights, weekends and holidays, the audit said.
Had the abuse tip come in during regular business hours, auditors concluded, better trained workers likely would have searched databases to find the boy and his family.
His mother’s boyfriend, Salvatore Lucchesse, has been charged in the case. He is due in court Friday, according to court records.