52:01 minutes (24.97 MB)
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Last June, Susan Hamilton became commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, a state agency struggling to escape federal court oversight.
The DCF has been under scrutiny since the early 1990s, when critics said it was "incapable of meeting the needs of the state's children." Since that time, a variety of agency heads and plans have come and gone, and critics say the DCF has still not met it's goals of protecting children in state custody, providing foster services, caring for troubled and developmentally disabled youth.
Critics also worry about the "insiders" running the agency, long-term employees, unable to affect change in a broken system.
But the agency cites progress, especially since Hamilton's arrival. They're meeting 17 of 22 "performance measures" meant to get them out from under federal oversight. They're doing better at permanently placing children in homes, and working toward keeping more families together.
Where We Live speaks with Susan Hamilton about her vision for the state Department of Children and Families.
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