Colorado

Feb 25, 2010 12:00 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Bill would create more oversight of social workers

Gov. Bill Ritter and lawmakers want to create more oversight of social workers charged with protecting children vulnerable to abuse.

Ritter plans to announce legislation Thursday to create an independent office to follow up on complaints that social workers aren't properly responding to abuse complaints. In the last three years, 35 children whose families had previous contact with the child welfare system died of abuse or neglect.

One of the most prominent cases was the death of Chandler Grafner in 2007. The 7-year-old lived starved to death after being locked in a closet for days without food or water. He was living with his mother's ex-boyfriend. The mother alleges social workers mishandled reports of suspected abuse from Chandler's school.

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