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Deborah O'Flaherty-Lewis

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Deborah O’Flaherty-Lewis Advocates Change in Child Protection Investigation Services
As part of her involvement in the Transformation Project, Child Protective Investigator Supervisor Deborah O’Flaherty-Lewis mandated requirements for more detailed records on every family in each investigator’s caseload., 5/18/2015 - Child Protective Investigators Supervisor for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), Deborah O’Flaherty-Lewis instituted much-needed change in how family records are kept in her department. Her investigation team deals with at-risk children in Broward County, in southern Florida. These children could be in difficult situations, such as having absent mothers or fathers, suffering from abuse or neglect, or incompetent parents because of issues such as drug addiction. Her investigators dedicate themselves to the family of an at-risk child and find the root causes of the problem. They record all of the pertinent information into their files for O’Flaherty. All information required by O’Flaherty-Lewis’ new record system is designed to dig into what is really causing concerns of abuse, neglect, or inadequate parenting.

Deborah O’Flaherty-Lewis uses her contacts within Florida’s extensive child welfare community to get every at-risk child in her county the attention and services they and their families need. The more she knows from her improved record-keeping system, the more information she can pass on to other agencies if needed. Her dedication and service have already made a difference in the lives of many children and families in Broward County. O’Flaherty has worked directly in her community to develop and support development programs designed to improve social infrastructure.

Deborah O’Flaherty-Lewis takes information— such as evidence of drug abuse and meticulous interviews with parents, neighbors, family friends, and others— to decide how to solve problems causing a dangerous situation for a child. She can now work with parents for the benefit of their children, instead of against them. Her system allows her to find the right course of action for each individual situation.

Deborah O’Flaherty-Lewis has excellent experience within the child welfare community and in managing staff, committees, and investigators. She says her goal is to improve the lives of as many children who truly need her help as she can. The best way to do this, she says, is to understand the problems that each child faces. She calls every situation different, with its own set of challenges that have to be dealt with in an intelligent, sensitive manner.

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