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Report: DCF Not Responsible for Boy’s Death

Children-Kids playing
By BOB SALSBERG and STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — An independent group that examined the state Department of Children and Families says the agency should not be held responsible for the death of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy.

But the Child Welfare League of America, in its final report released Wednesday, said the case raised a number of significant issues and that the agency, along with other adults, failed to protect Jeremiah Oliver.

Gov. Deval Patrick asked the organization to conduct a review of the agency after Jeremiah disappeared last year. His family was under agency supervision. The boy’s remains were discovered last month.

The league issued a number of preliminary recommendations in March. State officials say many have already been implemented.

The final report said many of the agency’s case policies and protocols are outdated and the agency is understaffed.

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  • Jessica

    The agency is definitely understaffed. That is clear. As far as my experience with the agency (no I am not under investigation) this year, they have been fantastic and immensly thurough. It is quite possible they are as thurough as they are as a result of the recent inquiry, but nonetheless, I believe they are doing their job to the fullest of their ability. As a person who has dealt with many people in abusive situations, it is not always so cut and dry. Friends and coworkers of abusive people always say things like: I would have never expected that from him/her, s/he’s such a great guy/gal! Even with their expertise, it is still a difficult job.

  • Rags

    Frankly, I suspect that DCF, like many state agencies, is bloated in middle management and bureaucracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the agency actually has enough money but rather than applying it where it’s needed, they waste a large portion of it.

  • someone neglected by dss

    DCF needs to stop with the excuses and take responsibility for allowing kids to be abused by family members and forster homes. At the time it was called DSS I was a forster child in a Ma forster home DSS refused to believe I was being abused by my now ex stepfather they blamed my mom for neglect and headlice. its DSS reason why I have complexed PTSD. I was 13 when I had to take this test and fill out these sheets.

  • someone neglected by dss

    DCF allows my alcoholic drug addicted sister to abuse her kids to they know about the schools called them I was diagnosed when I was 16 with ptsd in CT after being forced to live with my dad DSS ignored what my therapist said EVEN CT children services I called refused to send me back and transfer back to DSS in M

  • Anon LMB

    Ya know, DCF has been full of shit for years, and will continue to be full of shit until a complete overhaul of the system is done. As a child, DCF, then known as DSS, was apart of my life and they continually played games and even tried to coach me to say stuff that wasn’t true. Maybe if the system wasn’t so currupt, children who actually really need their help, would get it. Instead it’s all about making their quota’s and commissions. They really don’t care what happens to the child once they place him/her in a home that’s likely not been inspected and with families who have no business taking care of children.