Thursday, March 13, 2014

Statement on a Report Released Today by the Child Welfare League

Today I released the following statement regarding a report issued by the Child Welfare League, who has been hired to review the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families:

“Today’s progress report from the Child Welfare League makes it clear that we have substantial work to do to reform the Department of Children and Families, and to ensure that the health, safety, and well-being of vulnerable children are not jeopardized by this agency.

The report confirms the need for responsible caseloads, more modern technology and better medical screening protocols, and woven through all of these issues is greater accountability at all levels.

In addition, the report also points to the immediate need to confront the problem of granting waivers for children to be placed in homes with those convicted of felonies and other crimes.  There is a clear contrast between the situation we have today and the system we need to have, which bans some placements outright and puts in place monitoring and accountability to protect the children in others.

Changing from a system that grants waivers to one that requires approval, as expressed in the report, reflects the intent of the amendment offered by Senate Republicans and approved by the Senate on February 13th, to require that the safety and necessity of these placements be certified in writing before they are allowed.”