N.H. Child Advocate Asks for Greater Authority to Protect Kids

Apr 17, 2018

New Hampshire State House.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's new child advocate is pressing for changes to the law to strengthen her office's ability to protect the state's most vulnerable residents.

Lawmakers created the office last year as part of larger effort to reform New Hampshire's Division of Children, Youth and Families, which has been under scrutiny since two toddlers under its supervision were killed in 2014 and 2015.

Its first director, Moira O'Neill, told lawmakers Tuesday that the office should have greater authority to communicate with teachers, health care providers and others who care for children, and to share some information with the public in limited circumstances.

She spoke in favor of a bill that she said also would allow the office to share more information with lawmakers, such as details of investigations into a facility, without identifying individuals.