NYS OCFS Commissioner Carrion responds to Renee Greco's murder
NYS Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS) Commissioner Gladys Carrion responds to Renee Greco's murder. The 24 year old youth counselor was bludgeoned to death on June 8th while working alone at Avenue House, a group home for troubled youth, formerly under the auspices of New Directions Youth & Family Services, Inc.
According to Commissioner Carrion, the state will take steps to ensure safety at group homes. The agency started providing the local police department with any and all information the local police department requested just hours after "...getting the call about the incident on East Avenue in Lockport,...".
The Office of Children and Family Services started this process on June 8. Just hours after getting the call about the incident on East Avenue in Lockport, the agency immediately started providing the local police department with any and all information it requested.
Within 24 hours, our office’s chief of investigations and agency experts were on site to initiate our own comprehensive review.
In conjunction with this review, I soon will formally announce the membership of a work group to review the regulations governing the 69 agency-operated boarding homes operating across the state.
I am currently considering candidates from the Office of Children and Family Services, the local counties and the not-for-profit agencies that run these homes — including direct care staff.
We want policy recommendations. And we want them no later than the end of the summer.
Thirdly, I’ve directed special teams to start making unannounced inspection visits to these homes, as an extra safeguard, to assess compliance with current regulations.
The Office of Children and Family Services’ three-pronged response to this tragedy — the comprehensive on-site review headed by our chief of investigations, the formation of a policy work group and the new policy of unannounced inspection visits to these agency-operated boarding homes— should support the office’s ongoing mission to improve services for children and families across New York State.
Carrion's "three-pronged response" may be too late. Greco's murder has triggered tough questions for NYS OCFS. Olean State Senator Catharine Young has called for an investigation into NYS OCFS and announced on June 22nd the creation of a new Special Legislative Task Force on fixing New York State's broken juvenile justice system. The announcement of the Task Force also comes in the wake of Greco's murder. Previous to this announcement, Senator Young had called for state investigation into NYS OCFS.
Republican State Senator George Maziarz also supports the Task Force stating, "There's just such a complete lack of accountability,"... A drastic overhaul needs to be done and the start of that process is this Juvenile Task Force."
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North Tonawanda, New York, United States