- Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump
Media Contact for Bump: New DCF Intake Policies Long-Overdue
Mike Wessler, Communications Director
Boston — Today’s announcement of changes to the intake policy at the Department of Children and Families makes great strides in addressing the root causes of the entrenched, systemic issues at the department rather than addressing the symptoms alone.
I commend the Baker administration, the union, and the department for making these long-overdue changes to their policies that will help the agency fulfill its crucial mission of keeping the children of the Commonwealth safe.
Previously, as our 2014 audit of DCF pointed out, lack of real-time data, insufficient supervision, and technological shortcomings made DCF ineffective and its services disjointed. For instance, our audit pointed to instances in which DCF policy was not being followed, such as mandatory medical screening for children under state care. Implementing an effective management structure is essential to ensuring that all agency policies and procedures are followed. Our audit also identified that DCF was not performing SORI checks on perspective foster households putting foster children at risk. I am pleased to see that Governor Baker and DCF included this finding in the new intake policies.
In order to realize true change, these new policies of collaboration between DCF and other agencies must occur. I am hopeful that once implemented, these new policies will help break down the siloes that presently divide these services. These changes are an important step toward ensuring that not only DCF will work better, but all of state government.
Background: In March 2014, the Office of the State Auditor released an audit of the Department of Children and Families. The audit looked specifically at the agency’s foster care program.