DCF criticized in state audit

Jeremiah Oliver

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families failed to keep proper background check records on people living in foster homes, and has not been properly using sex offender registry information to protect children, a state audit has found.

Wednesday, Auditor Suzanne Bump released her report on the DCF, which has been under intense criticism following the disappearance of five year-old Jeremiah Oliver last year.

The time examined during the audit ranges from July of 2010 through September of 2012, and found among other things that:

  • The DCF did not update its department-wide risk assessment for years
  • The agency was not ensuring that children in their custody were receiving required medical examinations
  • The agency did not conduct “proximity” checks to ensure that children weren’t being placed in homes in the same area of Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders.

In a news release sent to 22News, Bump said that there needs to be more accountability.

“The importance of this audit is not in its tally of how many health checks or background checks are performed, but in DCF’s inability to account for them. As with many of our past audits of other state agencies, this audit demonstrates a need for better oversight. Without proper documenting, DCF’s management cannot effectively supervise its staff and ensure the public that it is achieving its mission,” Bump said.

You can click here to read the complete report.

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