Baker pushing for more funding, reforms at DCF

Says changes that will be made should have been done years ago

Governor Charlie Baker speaking at the Student Prince restaurant in downtown Springfield, where he was interviewed on WHYN-AM's Adam Wright Show Thursday morning.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for changes to the Department of Children and Families.

Just this week, Baker announced his push for significant systematic changes to DCF, and today 22News heard from both the governor and those working for the agency. Baker told 22News that his top priority will be to revamp policies that he argues have not been updated in more than a decade.

Baker also told 22News that the changes will require more funding for the department, but he also emphasized that he sees a major need for policy changes to how investigations are handled at DCF.

“There’s a lot that needs to happen there, and the shame of it all, in my view, is that most of what we are going to be doing should have been done a long time ago,” Baker said.

22News took Governor Baker’s comments to the DCF offices in Springfield, where social worker Ethel Everettes says they welcome help.

“Caseloads just continue to be high, and with high caseloads, we can’t do the work that’s needed to keep kids safe.  We need to have the time to give the kids and the families the attention that they need,” Everettes said.

Gov. Baker told 22News Thursday that lawmakers are talking with both the DCF leaders and their social workers to get some changes in place soon.

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