Department of Children and Families meets goals pointed out in 2009 report, but doesn’t get the state out from under federal oversight of agency

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy this morning announced the receipt of an encouraging letter from federal officials on the way the state Dept of Children and Families is responding to a 2009 report.

“It is encouraging to see others from outside Connecticut validate the impressive improvements that are underway,” Malloy said in a statement.  “The department’s staff has been making important strides in building new relationships with families and communities, and the results reflect it.”

This is not the federal court saying the consent decree is over. The federal Department of Health and Human Services has a division within it called the Division of Children and Families. Every state in the country undergoes a review or assessment of child welfare. Connecticut went through a review, which was issued in March  2009  that identified outcomes and systemic factors that the state was not in compliance and called for a plan to make improvements. A recent letter from HHS means DCF met the requirement that a program-improvement plan be implemented. “What’s important is that we took what we learned from the federal report and instituted an improvement plan,” said Gary Kleeblatt, DCF spokesman, noting that family-centered and strength-based protocols have been instituted under Commissioner Joette Katz.