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IMPACT! DC Auditor To Probe Infant Deaths After SpotlightDC-funded Investigation


DC Auditor Kathy Patterson is seeking to undertake a thorough review of how the District monitors child abuse that leads to infant deaths, based in part on  SpotlightDC awardee Jonetta Rose Barras exhaustive, five-part series STILL BROKEN: DC’S CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM, published by media partner DCLine.
Barras reports that DC’s Child and Family Services Agency:
  • Fails to respond to Hot Line alerts about abused children.
  • Closes investigations without completing basic reporting.
  • Allows abused children to remain in unsafe homes.
  • Two committees responsible for reviewing child deaths take years to make determinations and then refuse to make their reports public.
Intentional or not, DC’s endemic failures to protect vulnerable children covers up murders and allows killers to go free. In her final segment, Barras reports on how the system could be reformed and who’s responsible:  Two council members – Charles Allen of Ward 5 and Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 – chair relevant committees and sit on an infant death review committee, yet neither has taken action.

Click below to check out an interview with Barras on this important story.
Thanks to you – our subscribers and supporters – SpotlightDC completed a successful fundraising drive from June to December. With gratitude for your trust and humility in our mission, we will continue to build the community of investigative reporters and editors in the DC region.
SUPPORT LOCAL INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
YOUR FUNDS ARE SENDING WATCHDOG REPORTERS OUT TO:
  • Investigate how unscrupulous developers get rich from DC’s affordable housing program while providing substandard housing.
  • Whether your sorted bottles, cans and newspapers get recycled or just enrich major trash haulers.
  • How police tracked down a serial rapist.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A GRANT
  1. Send a short query to info@spotlightdc.org or harry@spotlightdc.org.
     
  2. Following a positive response, apply for funds with a proposal of 750–1,000 words describing the project, reporting path, impact, budget and deadlines.
     
  3. Members of SpotlightDC’s Advisory Board evaluate the proposal and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for funding, after opportunities to revise.
APPLY FOR A GRANT
Local watchdog journalism is on life support — let’s revive it together.

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