County Executive George Latimer has offered Westchester's Department of Social Services to assist the federal government reunite children currently housed in local facilities with their families.
Under state law, county Departments of Social Services (DSS) are required to have plans and systems to return children separated from family and relatives if they have been removed from a parent or parents.
On Monday, June 25, Latimer, a Democrat from Rye, said: “The Westchester County Department of Social Services, as part of its child protection mission, has the ability to link children up with family members, both in and out of state. They are trained at doing this in an efficient fashion, with many tools at their disposal, while doing everything they can to reduce the trauma on the children involved."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New Castle, in a letter sent on Sunday to residential service providers across the state, demanded information related to the identities, care and needs of any children who had been placed by the federal government.
Kevin McGuire, Westchester's DSS commissioner, said: “In cases ranging from neglect and abuse to the loss of a custodial parent, our county Social Services Department often takes on the important task of locating family members and getting children reconnected with them. The Department is ready and willing to support the federal government if they ask."
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