US: Child advocate office criticises the handling of trans teen Jane Doe’s case

Katie Dupere July 25, 2014
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Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate issued a statement Wednesday criticising the Department of Children and Families for its handling of transgender teen Jane Doe’s case.

The teen was housed in an adult women’s prison – without having criminal charges filed – for over 50 days.

She was then moved to a girls’ juvenile training school before a reportedly violent altercation triggered DCF to move her to Connecticut’s juvenile home for boys earlier this month.

The OCA statement criticised DCF for singling out Jane Doe’s behaviour by reporting the uninvestigated and uncharged altercation that lead to the girl’s transfer to the general public.

That altercation reportedly involved four other girls, none of whom had their behaviour, or notice of transfers, announced to the public.

The statement said: “DCF is Jane’s guardian and is legally obligated to make decisions that protect her best interests.

DCF’s rush to publicize a fraction of an incident is difficult to reconcile with its parental role.”

The statement goes on to say: “Jane Doe’s life has already been marked by years of institutional or hospital care, moving between facilities, the state psychiatric hospital for children, local emergency departments, juvenile detention, and out-of-state programs, moving at least 12 times in the last four years. In the last 7 months alone, Jane has been moved 4 times and switched therapists at least 5 times.

“Jane’s abuse history, mental health challenges and disrupted placements are not unique, however…

“The repeated and misleading stories about Jane Doe as an anomaly in our juvenile services system must not obscure the opportunity and obligation presented to engage in a rigorous and public assessment of what it is we can accomplish for the most vulnerable and challenging of our youth; how do we help them and us; where do we go from here?

“There are answers, and the state, the advocates, and the community must take this opportunity for change.”

In a statement made to The New Haven Register, DCF said its decision to release information about Jane Doe “was driven by the extensive news coverage she has received over the past several months.”

DCF denied any wrongdoing in the case.

Related topics: #JusticeforJane, Americas, Connecticut, DCF, Department of Children and Families, department of correction, jane doe, OCA, Office of the Child Advocate, Transgender, US

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