Monday, September 28, 2015

Reforms For Department of Children and Families

Boston– Today, State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) issued the following statement regarding reform efforts announced by Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Department of Children and Families Commissioner Linda Spears, and SEIU Local 509 Chapter President Peter MacKinnon:

The DCF reforms announced jointly today by the Baker Administration and SEIU Local 509 are important and productive in many ways. Acknowledging that the state’s beleaguered child welfare agency has been suffering from systemic failures is a necessary and critical first step to actually confronting those failures in a realistic and productive way, and it sets a course toward desperately needed change.

Substantially, the reforms make good and practical sense, and that is confirmed by the support of the people who are working at DCF to protect kids every day. Accessing, using and sharing information, maintaining manageable caseloads with effective supervision, and providing technical support to case workers all have tremendous potential to give DCF new strength and effectiveness.

Perhaps most importantly however, clearly establishing the mission of DCF to keeping children safe, is critical to moving the agency forward by doing everything possible to reduce the risk of harm to our state’s most vulnerable children.

DCF is in clear need of reform and support, and now there is a plan to provide them. The Legislature should do what it can and must do to help bring that plan to fruition.