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State lawmaker requests investigation into DCFS following whistleblower's termination

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BATON ROUGE - A state lawmaker is requesting an investigation take place at the Department of Children and Family Services after an employee blew the whistle on questionable actions and was told her services were no longer needed.

State Representative C. Denise Marcelle said she believes a child welfare committee should also convene at the capitol to begin asking questions.

"I'm concerned about all of her allegations," Marcelle said. "But mostly the cases with fentanyl and the mismanagement of those cases."

Monday, Dr. Monica Fabre told WBRZ that she was terminated after bringing up allegations of impropriety at DCFS.

"Children are dying," Fabre said Monday. "An infant was just sent home last week or the week before that was still shaking from the fentanyl in this baby's body, and that baby was sent back of the home of that parent who was responsible for that child getting hold to fentanyl."

Fabre says after bringing concerns to higher-ups she was let go.

"I wasn't asking any questions Chris," Fabre said. "I was exposing what I saw, and I was advising them what I would not do. I was advised that I had to transport children in my personal vehicle which is totally against DCFS policy."

Last year, two children died of fentanyl overdoses that were under the watch of DCFS.

"When we have children that are in these situations particularly when there's fentanyl involved, I think that is an atrocity to return them to their parents if that happened," Marcelle said. "If that's true it's very problematic for me. I would love to know what actually happened, which is why I'm calling for an investigation and letting Ms. Ricks know that."

DCFS issued the following statement late this evening.

DCFS takes these allegations seriously, and we are dedicated to ensuring transparency, accountability, and the highest standards of care for the families we serve. As previously stated, we have taken proactive steps to address these concerns. We immediately requested an investigation by the Inspector General to thoroughly examine the initial issues raised. We are confident that those findings will tell a more full and complete story rather than the one being told about us. We want to emphasize our commitment to transparency and accountability. As Secretary, I made the promise to be open and honest, and we will not cover up anything. Our mission is to protect and support our state's most vulnerable, and that is a responsibility we will uphold.

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