16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Gloria Campos works predominantly in the Investigations Unit of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families as first responder to new reports of child abuse and neglect. Well-known and respected in the community for her professional and calm demeanor as well as her thoughtful approaches to providing services to families, she emerges as a leader in the Department.
The outstanding performance of Ms. Campos during the case of a child fatality calls for special recognition. Four-month-old Maximiliano, Baby Max, lived with his young mother in the local community at the time of his death, cared for by relatives and periodically by his mother's new boyfriend while the mother worked. The local hospital notified the Department of Children and Families after Max presented to emergency responders in a life threatening condition consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome. Assigned the investigation, Ms. Campos worked in collaboration with the local police department to determine the cause of his injuries and to protect Baby Max from further harm. Throughout the investigation, Ms. Campos handled well the extremely difficult positions she experienced: as she interviewed the family and other individuals on her own and also acted as a translator between the family and the police department and as interpreter between the family and the hospital staff. She was present when the family made the decision to take Baby Max off life support and at the time of his death.
Ms. Campos took the initiative in proposing to the Department that it assist the family in arranging and paying for Baby Max's funeral. In response to the family's request, she also attended the services. Other Department of Children and Families staff also present during the funeral observed that the family highly respected Ms. Campos, appreciated her work, and valued her as an individual truly committed to helping their family.
All that Ms. Campos represents to the family of Baby Max demonstrates her values and the ongoing commitment and compassion she extends to the families with whom she works on a daily basis. The State of Connecticut foresees a long and productive career in child protective services for Ms. Campos.