The death of a four-year-old girl, Kristina Hepp has raised new questions about how cases handled by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) are handled. Kristina was born in July 2004 to her mother Elizabeth Hepp, 16-year-old, and immediately concerns were raised over the care of the child.
DCF contracted with Partnership for Strong Families (PSF), a private group, to manage Kristina’s case. Kristina was allowed to stay with her mom, but caseworkers visited routinely. Elizabeth was ordered to take parenting classes and have routine drug tests. In addition, she was ordered to disclose who the father of Kristina was. Paternity tests confirmed that Matthew Roland was the father.
Criminal background checks reveal that Roland, 22, had a criminal history that dated back to 2000, and included charges involving drugs, burglary, battery, and violation of probation. Records show that PSF was required to develop a case plan to help Roland parent Kristina. At that same time, Elizabeth’s attorney requested that her case be closed because she had successfully completed her case plan. Judge David Glant, who was assigned to the case, granted the request. However, DCF’s records indicate that Elizabeth’s case plan was not complete, and that Roland’s case plan was never adopted by the court.