Patrick Weighs Outside Review Of Welfare Agency

January 8, 2014 11:12 PM
Patrick Weighs Outside Review Of Welfare Agency
" BOSTON (AP) — A “fresh set of eyes” might be necessary to review the state’s child welfare agency in the wake of the disappearance of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy, Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday.

Patrick said one goal is to make sure that the Department of Children and Families is following best practices when providing services.

“It may be that we need a third party to come and give us a look so we’re thinking that through,” Patrick said. “This is not a job for amateurs.”

Patrick said one way of assessing the agency’s performance is to call on “some group or agency that is knowledgeable, that has some real gravitas and experience in this area that might help us bring a fresh set of eyes.” He didn’t give additional details.

Patrick also continued to defend DCF Commissioner Olga Roche and said the majority of social workers do good work under difficult circumstances.

The agency recently came under fire after the disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver, whose family was under DCF supervision. Jeremiah hasn’t been seen since September and is presumed dead.

Three workers at the agency’s Leominster office were fired, while the boy’s mother and her boyfriend are facing charges "

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