How Did Colorado's Child Abuse Email Account Go Unchecked for Years?

July 16, 2019 AT 8:05 AM

A Colorado state email account that was created to report suspected child abuse and neglect went unchecked for over four years, and five possible cases that were undiscovered until May are now being investigated, officials said.

Minna Castillo-Cohen, director of the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Children and Families, said agency officials wish they had identified those cases sooner, but they didn’t know the email account existed, KCNC-TV reported.

Social Caseworkers at Denver's Department of ...Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver PostSocial Caseworkers at Denver’s Department of Human Services maintain a call center to report child abuse. It is part of the state wide network from Colorado Department of Human Services that began one year before this photo was taken Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.

“It’s of great concern that we had five that did not reach the level of attention they needed in a timely way,” Castillo-Cohen said.

The state set up a child abuse and neglect telephone hotline in 2015, and created an email account to support it. Soon after, state health officials created a new email account for the hotline with a different address, because the original address included an incorrect format.

But after the switch, the original account wasn’t deleted and nobody was assigned to monitor it.

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