Audit hits state DCF, finds ‘management deficiencies’

Massachusetts State House boston
Massachusetts State House
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

The state Department of Children and Families was criticized again by yet another report highlighting “significant management deficiencies” at the child welfare agency.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office released its review of the agency on Wednesday. DCF has come under scrutiny in recent months since it was revealed that Jeremiah Oliver, a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy in its care, went missing.

Among the findings in the report are that DCF is not providing children with required medical screenings and examinations and the agency does not have adequate documentation that it has conducted required background checks on individuals living in its foster homes.

What’s more, a review of addresses of DCF family and relative caregivers, foster homes, adoptive homes and other residences found that 25 of them matched the reported home addresses of Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. The report said that DCF told auditors that none of the 25 registered individuals were actually living in the same home as the child.

However, auditors said they believe “that some of the situations we identified during our matching process represent a significant risk to a child, and therefore, DCF should consider using this [Sex Offender Registry Board] information, which is readily available, as another means to ensure the safety of children placed in its custody.”

In a press release, Bump’s office said there were “significant management deficiencies” at DCF.

“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,” Bump said in a statement. “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.”

The report included recommendations and said some of those are already being implemented by DCF.

After the report was released, DCF announced in a news release steps, like data-sharing reporting and hiring more social workers, to increase child medical visits and enhance background checks.

“We are working day-in and day-out to enhance our ability to protect children and strengthen families,” DCF Commissioner Olga Roche said in a statement. “Working with our partners to improve services and providing field staff with the resources they need is central to achieving our agency’s mission.”

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

National

Detained Americans in North Korea seek U.S. help

Three US citizens detained in North Korea appealed to the U.S government for help returning home, speaking in rare interviews.

National

New Apple iPhone to have 'mobile wallet' function:…

(Reuters) - Apple Inc plans to enable its next iPhone to become a mobile wallet by allowing owners to securely make mobile payments in a…

Entertainment

Where to place the blame in a nude…

When a celebrity's private photos are leaked online, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that they only have themselves to blame, since they took…

Gossip

Security expert weighs in on 'The Fappening' and…

We speak to Rik Ferguson, vice president of security firm Security Research at Trend Micro, about the hundreds of hacked celebrity photos that leaked.

Gossip

Who is Ashlee Simpson’s new husband anyway?

Find out five things about Ashlee Simpson's new husband, Evan Ross.

Entertainment

Jennifer Lawrence and more: The big names on…

The names of more than 100 famous actresses, musicians and athletes were included in a list of purported hacking victims, nude photos of whom were…

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…

Career

The number of telecommuters is expected to nearly…

Until a few years ago, telecommuting was not considered a realistic option at most companies. But with technological advances like high-speed Internet and smartphones, more…

Wellbeing

Your new food ally to ward off type…

For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide, according to a small nutrition trial from…