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Governor calls recent tragedies at DCFS 'real failure'

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BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers and parents are looking to Governor Edwards to rectify the recent failings of the state-run Department of Children and Family Services.

During a legislative hearing in which DCFS higher-ups were grilled, Governor Edwards was out of the country.

Tuesday, at a press conference about litter, he finally responded to the death and sexual assaults of children on their radar.

"They weren't just unfortunate. I think they represent a real failure. We have to figure out where those failures occurred and why and what policies and procedures weren't followed, what policies and procedures need to be changed, what additional supervision needs to be brought to bear and what we can do with respect to staffing and that means moving out people who have proved that they are not up to the task," he said.

State Rep. Jason Hughes has been calling for an overhaul at DCFS since news of the tragedies broke.

"I am convinced at this time we need a complete overhaul in leadership at the top," Hughes said.

He's demanded secretary Marketa Walters step down.

"I've had conversations with a number of lawmakers and I've had conversations with secretary Walters as well," Edwards said.

So far, the governor says he has no plans to remove her or any other secretaries.

"Well, if I come to that belief, the leadership will change, and you all will know."

Hughes says he doesn't plan on quieting down anytime soon.

"I certainly hope that the governor is really looking into the inner-workings of DCFS and has his pulse on what is taking place," Hughes said.

The governor says he plans on having more of those conversations with the higher-ups at DCFS and lawmakers.

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