Nassau meeting heats up over issue of preventing another death like Thomas Valva's

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A public hearing of the Nassau County health committee was anything but orderly, calm and quiet when it came to focus on the death of Thomas Valva, the 8-year-old boy who died of hypothermia.

Valva died after being left in a cold garage at his home in Center Moriches. Valva's father and his fiancee' have been charged with his murder, child neglect and abuse.

At the meeting, Justyna Zubko-Valva addressed lawmakers in hopes of helping to prevent such a tragedy.

Nassau lawmakers are reviewing the Department of Social Services and Health.

"When it comes to our children and to the safety of our children than we have to find money whether it's right there in front of us or not," says Nassau Legislator Rose Marie Walker. "We have to make sure we have it."

MORE: Suffolk legislators hear from DSS in the wake of Thomas Valva's death

Some people in attendance shouted at lawmakers during the hearing and at the head of the union that represents Nassau's CPS workers.

Jerry Laricchiuta, of the CSEA, says workers have caseloads above the recommended average.

According to Nassau's Department of Social Services, there are about 65 caseworkers averaging about 16 cases each, but admitted that some have way more.

The head of Social Services told Nassau lawmakers she is in the process of hiring 11 workers and has put in a request for 20 more.

Lawmakers say they are going to review all of the information from the meeting and determine if there are changes that can be made.

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