Once again, the City Administration for Children’s Services made headlines this week—for all the wrong reasons.
An ACS staffer who served 28 years in prison for murder, and was paroled in 2010, now stands accused of attacking a 6-year-old boy he was supervising. According to NBC News, Jacques Edwards, 55, has been charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly slammed the child into a door frame and tried to put him inside a file cabinet, according to the City Police Department.
The agency has indicated that it is conducting a full and thorough investigation.
How about you start with why was this man, with such a history, hired for such a sensitive position? We’re all for second chances, but not at ACS, a City agency with a more checkered past than Mr. Edwards.
This latest ACS insult reminded us of an editorial we penned in December 2016:
There is a boy, all of 3 years old, who, as of Wednesday evening, is lying on a hospital bed in Manhattan, his eyes closed, a machine helping him breathe. He most likely is brain dead.
Jaden Jordan has been in one hospital or another since Monday, when he was found in his Gravesend, Brooklyn, home with his skull fractured, covered in his own waste.
Jaden’s mother’s boyfriend has been charged with assault. It seems that he made Jaden’s life a living hell well before Monday afternoon.
“He kept the kids in a dog cage, used a pit bull to terrify them,” a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News in an exclusive report.
Just two days before the boy was rushed to Coney Island Hospital, the Administration for Children’s Services investigated an anonymous tip about his mom’s boyfriend, but since the source of the tip accidentally gave the operator the address of the apartment next door to the house of horrors, the agency allegedly took no action.
So many figures in little Jaden’s world failed to protect him.
His City failed to do anything about it.
“When it comes to child welfare, this is as horrific as it gets. It’s heartbreaking,” said City Comptroller Scott Stringer in a statement released on Wednesday morning. “As our office continues to look into ACS procedures, we call on the agency to be as transparent and swift as possible with its investigation into this specific case. We must know what happened and why, because this is happening too often. We can’t allow a single child to slip through the cracks.”
Stringer also indicated on Wednesday that his investigation of ACS procedures following the tragedy of Zymere Perkins is ongoing. Zymere, a badly beaten and malnourished Manhattan boy who was already part of an ACS investigation died in September allegedly at the hands of his guardians. He was 6.
The Perkins case follows an audit released in June by Stringer’s Office that found ACS conducted inconsistent and incomplete investigations into child abuse.
“I want to find out, in terms of those in government who were engaged directly in this case, what happened, what people did wrong, what people did right, who is responsible, and I want to assure all New Yorkers that anyone who works for the City of New York found to be negligent in this case will pay very serious consequences for that,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio following the Perkins tragedy.
Be careful what you wish for, Bill – unless gross incompetence is actually a personal goal of the members of your administration who have been entrusted with well-being of our most precious gifts.
Zymere is dead. Jaden is a vegetable.
Boys failed by their City and the grown-ups who were supposed to protect them.


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