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Children's Services Has 'Systemic Problems,' Failed in Saving Boy: Report

By Ben Fractenberg | January 26, 2017 2:14pm
 Jaden Jordan, 3, was fatally beaten by his mother's boyfriend, Salvatore Lucchesse, in his Gravesend home, officials said.
Jaden Jordan, 3, was fatally beaten by his mother's boyfriend, Salvatore Lucchesse, in his Gravesend home, officials said.
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BROOKLYN — The city’s Administration for Children’s Services has “high-level, systemic problems” in how it investigates reports of child abuse that hampered the agency’s ability to find 3-year-old Jaden Jordan before he was fatally beaten in his Brooklyn home, a Department of Investigation report released Thursday charged.

A concerned neighbor called ACS on Thanksgiving weekend and told them a child was being held in a dog cage, but the tipster gave the wrong address and the agency’s holiday staff were unable to find Jaden, who was later rushed to the hospital from his Gravesend home on Nov. 28 unconscious and covered in feces.

“DOI’s investigation found that the depth of errors over a two-day period was so significant, and the errors involved the overall implementation of policies so basic, that they go to the heart of ACS’s core mission of protecting children and implicate high-level, systemic problems,” the agency wrote in the blistering report.

ACS workers had “access to databases” that should have led them to Jaden's correct address two days before he was beaten into a coma, the agency added.

The report recommended that ACS better coordinate with the NYPD “in every case” where criminal activities are suspected.

The boyfriend of Jaden's mother, Salvatore Lucchesse, 24, was indicted on assault and child endangerment charges in December. Lucchesse originally told investigators that Jaden slipped in the shower.

ACS should also form a new unit to better search statewide databases and make sure Child Protective Specialists and supervisors are performing exhaustive searches to find possible abuse, the report added.

The children’s agency said they were  putting into effect "many" of the DOI recommendations and that six staff members were facing various disciplinary measures. 

“The loss of Jaden Jordan’s life is deeply disturbing,” ACS spokeswoman Aja Worthy-Davis said in a statement. “From the time we received an anonymous report with various inaccuracies, to the 48 hours in which when we clarified data and visited the location, vital time was lost. We have reviewed and are implementing many of DOI’s recommendations, and are disciplining staff who failed to exercise critical thinking in investigating this case.”

He is being held without bail and is due back in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday, according to court records.