“It hasn’t changed nothing,” he said of the reform efforts.
A months-long investigation by the Dayton Daily News found hundreds of children have died in Ohio at the hands of adults whose histories were well known to agencies designated to protect the welfare of children.
In fact, more than half of the 474 Ohio children who died from suspected abuse or neglect between 2009 and 2016 had been on the radar of a local child protection agency prior to their deaths, according to the Daily News' examination of state records.
In 85 cases, a children services agency had investigated multiple reports of abuse or neglect before the child’s death.
And in at least 19 cases, the child had been initially removed from the home because of an unsafe living situation and then returned — sometimes just days before their deaths.
Children services leaders say there is no way to foresee every death, and that multiple steps are taken to ensure children are in a safe environment.
“The system will never be fail safe,” said Moira Weir, director of Hamilton County Job and Family Services. “Sometimes those in the child welfare system can make all the right decisions and take all the right precautions and a child may still die.”