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NH DHHS Issues Recommendations for DCYF and Child Health Support Providers Based on Quality Assurance Investigation of Supervised Visit Incident

Jake Leon, Director
Public Information Office
Work: (603) 271-9290
Cell: (603) 545-2964

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Commissioner's Office
Publish Date:
May 12, 2017

Concord, NH – The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued recommendations based on an investigation of an incident on April 28, 2017, when a two-year old child was taken by his mother during a supervised visit at the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester. The child was found later that day in Massachusetts and returned to the State’s custody.

In December 2016, a referral was made to Home Base Collaborative Family Counseling to provide supervision for the parents’ visitations. Home Base Collaborative Family Counseling is a certified Medicaid Provider of child health support services. Referrals to providers are made based on geographic availability of services.

A comprehensive quality assurance investigation into the incident was conducted by DHHS, led by Deputy Commissioner Lori Shibinette. After review of all relevant information and interviews with all involved parties, the following recommendations are being made for the Division for Children Youth and Families (DCYF) and child health support service providers:

  1. The He-C 6339 rules should be amended to require DCYF to conduct structured and consistent compliance inspections to ensure that all providers of child health support services are following the rules and laws of the State of New Hampshire.
  2. DCYF should conduct child health support service reviews on all child health support service providers within the next 90 days from the issuance of these recommendations and provide an inspection report containing its findings to the Department and each provider.
  3. Home Base Collaborative Family Counseling should submit a plan of correction to the Department within the next 60 days following the issuance of these recommendations.
  4. A concise but comprehensive risk assessment tool should be created for use by child health support service providers to measure the risk profile for children and their families.
  5. The rules should be amended to encourage consistent communication between DCYF and child health support service providers. Notification requirements should be outlined for both DCYF and the provider to include any change in risk level.

“Supervised visits must be conducted in a safe and secure environment that protects children from potential risks. These recommendations are an opportunity for DCYF and its contracted providers to examine and strengthen current practices to ensure that a safe and comprehensive array of services is provided to the children and families of New Hampshire. I have directed the Commissioner to implement these reforms without delay,” stated Governor Chris Sununu.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

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