Report details DHHS involvement with Kendall Chick, until her death

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services released a report on Tuesday detailing its history with Kendall Chick, 4, on the day the woman convicted of killing her was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

A judge convicted Shawna Gatto of murder earlier this year for killing Chick in December 2017.

The DHHS report shows its interactions with Chick up until her death.

The Department said it first received a report when Chick was born in November 2013.

DHHS said it completed an assessment and identified safety and/or well-being problems and opened a case. Exact details of what was reported were not released.

Chick stayed with her parents while they received services, including parenting education, housing assistance and treatment related to the problems reported, the report said. The case was closed in August of 2014.

DHHS said it received a second report regarding Chick in October 2014. The department investigated and found no evidence of abuse or neglect.

The Department received a third report regarding Chick in May 2016. DHHS said there was evidence of neglect by Chick's parents. The Department said Chick was placed in the care of her paternal grandfather, Stephen Hood, and Gatto.

The report said DHHS conducted a review of Hood and Gatto and their home prior to placing Chick there. DHHS said after Chick's death, it found deficits in the casework and oversight, including failures to follow agency policies. The report did not go into detail about the deficits found.

DHHS said it closed the case in February of 2017, with Chick remaining in Hood and Gatto's care.

The Department said it had no further involvement with Chick until her death in December 2017. DHHS said it opened an investigation and substantiated allegations against Gatto for physical and emotional abuse.

DHHS said since last October it has added more than 100 new workers to the Office of Child and Family Services. Most work in child welfare. The Department said they are planning to hire another 62 new staff members for OCFS.