- Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump
Media Contact for Statement of Auditor Suzanne Bump on DCF Case Review
Mike Wessler, Communications Director
Boston — Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today released the following statement on the DCF case review:
"Yesterday’s report from the Department of Children and Families’ investigation into the tragic circumstances that landed a child in a coma while under state supervision is a woeful necessity and long overdue. The systemic issues my office identified in a 2014 audit of DCF’s foster care system are the same ones raised yesterday.
The findings of our audit identified a lack of collaboration between agencies, weak policies and procedures, and unreliable or outdated data. Of the findings in our audit, one of the most troubling was that we had no way of evaluating the agency's background check waiver process for foster parents because DCF did not maintain this information. Without this vital information, children can be placed in unsafe and unhealthy living situations. Our findings also identified a lack of collaboration between DCF and other agencies crucial to maintaining the safety of the children in its care – specifically the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board and MassHealth.
As my office pointed out in 2014, updated processes, statewide collaboration and improved access to data will result in the reform the residents of Massachusetts deserve. We in state government should not wait for a tragedy to spur us to action, but consistently look for ways to bring more effectiveness and accountability to our services and programs. The Office of the State Auditor stands ready to partner with DCF and its sister agencies at EOHHS to make government work better."
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.