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The social worker who pleaded in vain for the city to intervene in the Banita Jacks case has a new job: She’s working for Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso.
Kathy Lopes had been a counselor at Booker T. Washington Public Charter School, where 16-year-old Brittany Jacks had attended. After Brittany stopped going to school for a month last spring, Lopes visited the Jacks home and repeatedly tried to get the city’s Child and Family Services Agency to intervene. After it was discovered in January that Brittany and her three sisters had been murdered, the city released tapes of Lopes all but begging a CFSA social worker to check on her.
Lopes started as a “program analyst” on March 3; according to Reinoso, her job is connected with a pilot program that aims to identify at-risk schoolkids and coordinate the delivery of city services to help them. She currently works out of the deputy mayor’s Wilson Building office suite, but Reinoso says that next month Lopes will start working in one of two DCPS schools slated to debut the program this school year. Another five schools will start the program in August. (The chosen schools are scheduled to be announced at 10:30 this morning.)
Reinoso says Lopes came to his notice due to her involvement in the Jacks case. “We reached out to her,” he says. “She obviously understands the importance of people coordinating on these issues.”
Lopes went through an interview process along with about a dozen other social workers before she was selected. “She obviously has a lot of persistence,” Reinoso says. “You’ve got to have a lot of persistence in this line of work.”
Lopes could not be immediately reached for comment.