BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Families are having difficulty appealing decisions made by the Department of Children and Families. A seven-month review of the State DCF shows a major backlog in the agency’s Fair Hearing system.
These issues range from the termination of services to confirmed cases of neglect.
State lawmakers called for a review of the agency’s “Fair Hearing” process this time last year.
The consulting firm, The Ripple Group, found that hearing officers were well-trained and qualified for the job. The problem is, the agency is receiving more hearing requests than their workers can handle.
State Sen. Jim Welch, (D) Hampden District, told 22News, “We in the legislature, in the administration, along with Governor Baker, we have to do what we can to make sure that we’re providing adequate resources to those people, especially those case workers.”
The report suggests the agency should provide families with documents that are easy to understand.
After the report’s release, leaders in the State Senate are calling for swift action by the department.