St. Lawrence County hires private firm to review foster care program

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CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — St. Lawrence County is taking steps to review is foster care and preventative services.

The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators issued a press release on Wednesday, October 20, stating that it has hired the Bonadio Group, an outside consulting group to conduct an agency review of its foster care, child protective and preventative services.

The Board stated that the Bonadio Group will interview a group of parents who have filed complaints against the departments and made accusations on how cases are handled.

“With the turnover, we’ve seen in top-level management over the past few years and a large number of new
the staff we have hired to help reduce caseloads being handled by the department, we consulted with some of New York State’s top experts and decided we should bring in an agency like the Bonadio Group which has the experience and expertise to help our agency,” St. Lawrence County Legislature Chair William Sheridan said in the press release. “The Bonadio consultants will conduct and an independent review. It will evaluate and assess complaints made against the department while examining policies, procedures and practices.”

According to Sheridan, the Board will give the Bonadio Group “full and unrestricted access to all personnel and documentation produced.”

“We believe this will allow us to assure the citizens of St. Lawrence County that families in crisis will receive the help they need and our children the care they deserve,” Sheridan added.

Sheridan said this review will assist the Board in ensuring Child Protective Services and Foster Care program employees have needed resources.

The Board did not list dates as to when this review will begin or when it is expected to be completed.

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