State to hold CPS hearing in wake of child deaths

Nov 7, 2013

A state hearing on Child Protective Services, prompted by the deaths of two boys who suffered abuse in their homes, will be held in Buffalo next week.

The state Assembly's Committee on Children and Families and Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation are working with Assemblywoman Crystal People-Stokes and Senator Tim Kennedy of Buffalo. The hearing will be held Thursday, November 14 at City Hall. 

State officials will probe the circumstances that led to the death of 5-year-old Eain Brooks.
Credit facebook.com/restinpeaceeainbrooks

The hearing follows the recent deaths of 5-year-old Eain Brooks and 10-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud. The boyfriend of Brooks' mother, Matthew Kuzdal, is charged with second-degree murder in the boy's death. Mohamud's stepfather, Ali-Mohamad Mohamud, was convicted of murder in 2012 and sentenced to 25 years-to-life in prison.

Kennedy tells WBFO News the hearing will focus on changing Child Protective Services in the county and state to prevent future tragedies.

"We're going to be listening to experts in the field, we're going to be listening to parents, and we are going to be listening to folks who care about the safety of our children," Kennedy said.

Brooks was allegedly beaten to death by Kuzdal, his mother's live-in boyfriend, after repeated calls to Erie County Child Protective Services by family members. Mohamud was murdered by his stepfather after CPS conducted an investigation. 

Following the death of Brooks, two case workers were fired, others in the department were reassigned, and their supervisors were disciplined.  

Next Thursday's hearing will be held in Common Council Chambers at 10 a.m.