NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- At its most basic level, the job of child welfare agencies is to keep children alive. Recently, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services has had trouble keeping track of how many children died in its custody.
The disarray in the department's records was one of the problems that pushed commissioner Kate O'Day to resign this week. Child advocates wonder whether the agency's administrative troubles could be putting children in jeopardy.
Ira Lustbader is associate director of Children's Rights, which works with independent monitors to keep track of how well DCS cares for foster children. He says DCS has to have a way to track child deaths and investigate them.
Lustbader says he is hoping to work with interim commissioner Jim Henry to get the agency back on track.