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DCFS whistleblower says she was fired after raising concerns over child safety

7 months 1 week 1 day ago Monday, October 09 2023 Oct 9, 2023 October 09, 2023 4:49 PM October 09, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A Department of Children and Family Services Child Welfare Specialist said she was terminated last week after telling higher-ups about problems she was witnessing and documented them in emails.

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Dr. Monica Fabre is the President of the NAACP chapter in Pointe Coupee Parish. She said over the summer she accepted a job with DCFS in hopes that she could make a positive change. She said she began noticing problems at the agency almost immediately, and when she tried to get answers about things, she was sent packing.

"Refuse to be silent, that's what I say to DCFS," Dr. Fabre said. "I refuse to be silent."

Recently, she said a child was released back to the home where a fentanyl exposure happened.

"Children are dying," Fabre said. "An infant was just sent home last week or the week before that was still shaking from the fentanyl in this baby's body. And that baby was sent back to the home of that parent who was responsible for that child getting hold to fentanyl."

It's a shocking claim by Fabre who worked at the DCFS office off of South Ardenwood in Baton Rouge. It's shocking because last year CPS had two children die on their watch who were exposed to fentanyl. Secretary of DCFS Marketa Walters resigned after months of scrutiny over a series of missteps at the agency.

That controversy led to a complete overhaul at the top of DCFS.

"Just because you change the guard, if you don't change your intent you're not doing anything," Fabre said.

WBRZ asked DCFS about that specific case after Fabre provided the name of the child and what was DCFS' reasoning.

"You all sent this baby back to the mother who exposed it to fentanyl," Fabre said. "The response was, 'We don't get our way all of the time.' Now, that baby is in the home with the mother who is an active drug user."

Fabre said DCFS terminated her, saying she was still on probation and they were executing their window to part ways with her. It's happening as she says there is a backlog of 150 cases.

"I would like to say to them, stop lying to the public," Fabre said.

DCFS said they would provide a statement for this report. A spokeswoman issued the following statement:

While the Department cannot discuss individual personnel matters or specific cases, we do take the allegations seriously and will immediately look into and address these concerns.

We would like to remind you that the law (R.S. 46:56) prohibits the release of any confidential information, including names, findings, case outcomes or any other specific case information.

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