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Audit Audit of the Office of the Child Advocate

The audit, which examined and found no deficiencies in certain aspects of OCA’s administration of critical incident reports and complaint line contacts for the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018, notes the need for additional reporting to OCA regarding allegations of abuse, including sexual abuse of a child.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: May 16, 2019

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) for the period July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. In this performance audit, we examined OCA’s processing of critical incident reports that it receives from executive agencies, its processing of institutional reports (i.e., 51A and 51B reports1) of abuse and/or neglect that have been investigated and supported by the state’s Department of Children and Families, and the administration of its complaint process.

Our audit revealed no significant instances of noncompliance by OCA that must be reported under generally accepted government auditing standards. However, we did identify an issue we believe warrants OCA’s attention, which we have disclosed in the “Other Matters” section of this report.

 

The audit of the Office of the Child Advocate is available here.  

 

1.    A report filed with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on behalf of a child that alleges abuse or neglect of a child is called a 51A report. Section 51A of Chapter 119 of the General Laws requires certain people, such as medical personnel or school staff members, to file a report with DCF when they have reasonable cause to believe that a child is a victim of abuse or neglect. The 51B report is the DCF investigation into the 51A allegation of abuse or neglect.

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