Report: State agency missed warning signs for girl who died


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A state investigative report issued Tuesday faults Connecticut’s child welfare office for missing the warning signs surrounding the family of a 2-year-old Plymouth girl who died in 2014 from an overdose of a drug prescribed to her mother.

A report by the office of Child Advocate Sarah Eagan faults the Department of Children and Families for assigning a “lower risk” to Londyn Sack’s family, despite her mother’s history of drug abuse, erratic behavior and a pattern of child welfare neglect complaints.

“Repeatedly, the formal ‘risk’ and ‘safety’ assessments of this family either minimized or did not appreciate the chronic and severe nature of parental impairment,” according to the report. Between 2007 and 2014, the girl’s family was the subject of 10 child welfare reports in both Connecticut and North Carolina that abuse and neglect had occurred.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined Londyn died from an overdose of suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction. Her death was ruled a homicide. The girl’s mother, Rebekah Robinson, has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and risk of injury to a minor.

DCF said it has since improved its risk assessment processes, including developing special protocols when working with infants and toddlers. The agency is also working with a nationally known private social services organization to come up with “predictive analytics” to help identify families that present the greatest risk of a fatality for very young children.

“The men and women at the department feel deeply the loss of this young child. Such tragedies are rare among the tens of thousands of families and cases we serve, but nevertheless we are always working to prevent these types of heartbreaking events form occurring again,” according to a written statement from the agency.

Eagan said she welcomes the changes made by DCF but still questions whether enough is being done. She recommended the agency conduct systematic case sampling and other reviews to make sure the low-, moderate- and high-risk assessments of families are reliable. Egan said she does not believe the risk assessment mistakes are isolated to this one case.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s