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The Director Of LA County's Child Protection Services Agency Just Resigned

Bobby Cagle is dressed in a olive green suit with a white shirt in this headshot portrait.
Bobby Cagle
(Courtesy L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services)
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Bobby Cagle, the director of L.A. County's Department of Children and Family Services, has announced he will step down at the end of the year.

Cagle submitted his resignation letter to the County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, notifying them that his last day would be Dec. 31. He didn't cite a specific reason but his departure comes after a series of high-profiles cases in which children under the watch of DCFS have been abused or died.

Currently, a 4-year-old boy is in the hospital with life threatening injuries he sustained in foster care. His foster mother is facing child abuse charges.

Journalist Garrett Therolf, who has covered DCFS for several years, said that Bobby Cagle was known for defending his social workers, “and he actually didn't emerge too frequently to answer questions about how they may have failed.”

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He added that the department is also reckoning with a pattern of racial disparities in the investigations it pursues.

“We know that the low-risk children who go through investigations that are unnecessary tend to be disproportionately black,” said Therolf.

In the case of the 4-year old Norwalk boy, L.A. County Supervisors ordered an investigation into why DCFS removed the boy from his family, and whether there was a communication failure due to the fact that his family speaks an indigenous language.

Supervisor Hilda Solis called for “really understanding his cultural and linguistic abilities and our lack in terms of staff understanding what that meant."

DCFS said in a statement that Cagle will pursue a career in the private sector, and that he will be temporarily succeeded by Chief Deputy Director Ginger Pryor. Cagle has been the director of the department since Dec. 1, 2017 and oversees the largest child welfare agency in the U.S., according to DCFS.

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Cagle wrote an email to his staff, saying, "It has been an honor to lead this important work and serve alongside all of you, the thousands of committed child welfare staff in LA County DCFS."

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