Cagle Begins ‘Top Down Assessment’ Of DFCS As Details Of Child’s Death Emerge

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The new head of the Division of Family and Children Services says he’s doing a “top down assessment” of the agency’s practices.As heard on the radio

Bobby Cagle’s first day as DFCS director was Monday, but he says he’s already began looking at everything from DFCS’ intake process to how the agency finds permanent homes for children to its policies.

“Systemic issues are certainly something we are looking for and will continue to look for, and as I’m able to complete the larger assessment then I will be making those known,” he said.

Cagle’s first week on the job comes as new developments emerge in the death of five-year-old Heaven Woods, who the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says died from blunt force trauma to her abdomen. An autopsy of her body revealed the girl had multiple injuries, both new and old.

Heaven’s mother, Amanda Hendrickson, and her mother’s boyfriend, Roderick Buckner, have been charged with Heaven’s murder.

According to a heavily redacted case report, DFCS received at least nine abuse or neglect reports about Heaven dating back to 2009.

The most recent claim came just 20 days before her death and was still under investigation.

Cagle said he’s still reviewing the case, but he does have some concerns as to how it was handled.

“We may not have been as thorough as we needed to be, and we may not have had the child’s safety as the first and foremost priority when entering that home,” he said.

The new director reaffirmed his promise to make child safety his priority – and put less emphasis on keeping families together.