To fix the systemic problems, the panel recommended a series of reforms, ranging from a rethinking of its core mission to the development of a new DHS document. Among other steps, it said the agency must:
Visit all children under 5 within two hours of getting a warning that they might be abused or neglected. Currently, the agency takes up to five days to conduct many such visits.
Require social workers to use a common set of guidelines to evaluate whether children are in danger. Currently, DHS has no such common standard, leading it to rend important decisions about families randomly and capriciously.