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Lawmakers Fight Closing of Norwalk's DCF Office

State Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, and state Rep. Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, took action this week on the future of Norwalk's Department of Children and Families office, which is expected to close later this year. After meeting with Commissioner Joette Katz, they released the following statement:

Earlier this week, we met with Commissioner Katz to discuss the fate of the Norwalk DCF office. This past December, the department announced that the Norwalk office would be merged with operations in Bridgeport in the second-half of 2011 — a cause for serious concern not only over how the local caseload would be managed but also about how agency functions in regards to family and youth issues in Norwalk and neighboring communities would be impacted.

We had a meaningful exchange of ideas at our meeting with Commissioner Katz, and we are encouraged by the commitment she displayed toward making sure our concerns are realized. We are also extremely pleased to report that the commissioner offered her assurance that DCF will continue to have a presence in Norwalk.

We fully recognize and support efforts to reduce cost and find efficiencies in DCF operations. However, closing this office completely would not be good for the children and families and would not be good for DCF. While operations may be moved to a different location, we're thankful for the commissioner's honest assessment of the situation and her commitment to maintain that Norwalk presence.

We appreciate Commissioner Katz taking the time to meet with us, and we will continue to work with her and her department to find solutions that save money while maintaining critical services for children in Norwalk.

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