State ranks near bottom in child welfare

Massachusetts State House boston
The Department of Children and Families has been under scrutiny following the case of Jeremiah Oliver.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Amid the investigation into the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, additional data shows the state ranks near the bottom in certain child welfare measurements.

Massachusetts ranked 38th in the U.S. in the percent of foster children visited by caseworkers each month, according to the Globe. The 2012 data comes from the federal Department of Health and Human Services and is the most recent available.

It’s more bad news for the embattled DCF, which has been the subject of criticism and scrutiny in recent months after 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver was reported missing in December. The Fitchburg child was under the oversight of DCF.

Additionally, Massachusetts ranked 45th in the category of children not mistreated again within six months.

State officials told the Globe that different states sometimes use different standards to compile the data and that every state has its own regulations and rules. They also said that Massachusetts requires less proof than most other states to substantiate a report of abuse or neglect, leading to the mistreated children ranking.

Last month, a report by the state’s Office of the Child Advocate said that excessive caseloads at DCF were no excuse for losing track of Oliver, and that DCF workers missed nearly 20 percent of home visits. After the report came out, Gov. Deval Patrick said the Oliver case was a tragedy, but also a chance to “rethink and reinvigorate” DCF.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…


Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.


Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.


PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.


Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.


'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version


Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.


Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.


MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind


Oh baby: Scientists find protein that lets egg…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - You can forget about the birds and the bees. If you really want to learn how babies are made, you…


5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.


Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.


How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.