Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday named David Hansell, a former administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services, as the new Administration for Children’s Services commissioner.
“David understands that our mission is simple and yet extraordinary at the same time: the goal is to save every single child,” de Blasio said at a news conference announcing the appointment. “He understands how challenging that mission is.”
“I’m convinced he is the person who will take us to the next level that we have to get to,” the mayor said.
Hansell said he will build on what the organization is doing well, fix what isn’t working and “move mountains” to support the work of the ACS staff.
He pledged to “do everything in our power to protect all of our city’s children,” and said he would work closely with NYPD officials to “identify opportunities for closer collaboration.”
Former ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrión resigned in December, following two controversial deaths related to child abuse.
In early December, 3-year-old Jaden Jordan died after he was found beaten in his Brooklyn home. A Department of Investigation report, investigating Jordan’s case, showed that there were “systemic problems” with the ACS’ emergency unit that had received a tip about Jordan’s abuse.
And in September, ACS had come under fire when 6-year-old Zymere Perkins died after he was brought to a hospital with bruises and a head injury. His mother and her boyfriend were later charged in his death.
ACS also has come under scrutiny from the city’s Department of Investigation, which last May issued a report outlining systemic failures at the agency such as caseworkers failing to properly track and follow up on abuse complaints.
Hansell, a graduate of Yale Law School, will assume his new post March 6, city officials said.
– With Laura Figueroa