Child Protective Services to be fully funded in 2017 county budget

    The grandfather of Brook Stagles says Brook would be alive if child protective services did their job. He's pleased to hear the county will fully fund CPS. (Photo provided by family)

    UPDATE: After a lengthy session Tuesday night, the Monroe County Legislature approved the proposed Monroe County budget for 2017.

    The measure was passed in a 19-10 vote.

    The budget contained one amendment which allocated an additional $52,000 for child care.

    Rochester, N.Y. - (WHAM) - It has been nearly a year in the making and on Tuesday night, Monroe County will present its 2017 budget.

    Many are keeping a close eye on funding for Child Protective Services (CPS) after the death of three-year-old Greece toddler Brook Stagles.

    Her family, including grandfather John Geer, is adamant that CPS failed the little girl by refusing to return phone calls or go into the house.

    "They were all I had," Geer said. "I was told CPS was it. Call CPS, call CPS, call CPS. And nothing happened."

    Brook's story has child advocacy groups calling human services a department in crisis.

    Brigit Hurley works for The Children's Agenda and said if the county passes the budget as is, there will be serious oversights when it comes to the safety of children.

    "We need to have stronger child protective services," Hurley told 13WHAM News. "The situation with CPS is in crisis in Monroe County. There are not enough county case workers."

    Hurley said there are 10,000 reports called in every year in Monroe County, nearly 27 each day, and case workers cannot keep up.

    "The reality is there is not enough staffing," Hurley continued.

    Monroe County Chief Financial Officer Robert Franklin said they are making positive gains, including fully funding CPS in their 2017 budget.

    "That's an important step and something the county executive felt very strongly about," Franklin said. "Children and families in our community are of paramount importance to the county executive and all legislators."

    Child advocate groups are critical of a nearly $465,000 budget cut to child care for at risk families.

    The county said it was the best option and that they cut non-mandated services while increasing mandated services.

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