Table of Contents
WHEREAS, the Department of Social Services protects young victims of abuse and neglect by providing foster care to 10,500 children who have been removed from their homes by the courts or who have been voluntarily placed into the temporary care of Social Services by their parents in lieu of a court decision; and
WHEREAS, the circumstances surrounding the placement of a child in foster care are usually tragic, and the children involved are some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society; and
WHEREAS, foster children are completely dependent on the Commonwealth to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing foster care environment; and
WHEREAS, there is a critical need for a foster care system that guarantees not only proper placement for the foster child, but also fair treatment of that foster child, the biological family, and the foster family;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Argeo Paul Cellucci, Acting Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby revoke executive order 330 and order that it be superseded as follows:
- A Special Commission on Foster Care in Massachusetts be established to review objectively all foster care policies and practices of the Department of Social services. Said commission shall conduct, but not be limited to, a review of all recommendations made by the House Committee on Foster Care contained in Volume I: Report of the Special Subcommittee on Foster Care and Volume II: The Foster Care System and the Child Abuse Reporting and Investigation System.
- The Commission shall consist of the following twenty-four members who shall serve without compensation: the Secretary of Health and Human Services or his designee; the Commissioner of Social Services or his designee; two members designated by the President of the Senate; two members designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; one member designated by the Senate. Minority Leader; one member designated by the House Minority Leader; and sixteen members appointed by the Governor, including two representatives of the Massachusetts Association for Professional Foster Care, at least one of whom shall be a foster parent; one individual representing Local 509 SEIU; one judge or individual with legal experience in family and probate law; two representatives of the child welfare provider community; one adult who was a foster child under the care of the Department of Social Services; one biological parent of a child or children in the foster care system; one clinical psychologist with expertise in child welfare; one biological grandparent of a foster child; one representative of a child advocacy group; and one independent member, appointed in consultation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, who shall serve as chairperson.
- The Commission shall report to the Governor the results of its review and any recommendations, together with proposed legislation or administrative changes necessary to implement said recommendations. Said report shall be filed with the Governor on or before October 1, 1992, provided however, that said commission shall file an interim report no later than June 1, 1992.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 26th day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety-two.
Argeo Paul Cellucci
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Michael Joseph Connolly
Commonwealth of Massachusetts