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Investigations

OCA investigations of individual cases regarding children receiving state services.

OCA Report Concerning the Death of Bella Bond

The OCA was asked by Governor Baker to conduct an independent review of the Commonwealth’s involvement with two-year-old Bella Bond and her family during her short life.  The OCA’s review examines the role of DCF when it was involved with the Bond family, and of other public agencies and community service providers from whom the family received professional services or financial support. The goal was to determine if opportunities were missed to raise concerns about the safety and well-being of Bella.

The OCA’s review reinforces that the safety and well being of a child is the shared responsibility of the family, community, and entities responsible for providing assistance to children and families. It is not intended to place blame, but rather to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources.  To that end the OCA presents findings and recommendations for improvement in the Commonwealth’s ability to protect children.  The completed OCA report is available here.

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OCA Report Concerning the Disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver

The Office of the Child Advocate conducted an independent investigation into the disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver and DCF’s work with the Oliver family. The OCA investigation included a review of DCF records and other documents and interviews with agency, union, and law enforcement personnel. The OCA concluded that the high caseloads at DCF’s North Central Area Office provide a context rather than an explanation or excuse for the repeated failures of the DCF employees. The complete OCA report, along with the DCF Investigation Report of December 30, 2013 is available here.

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OCA Releases Statement Concerning the Death of Chase Gideika

The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) received a Critical Incident Report on July 8, 2013, regarding the death of three-month-old Chase Gideika. Secretary John Polanowicz of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) requested that the OCA conduct an independent investigation into DCF's work with Chase Gideika’s family. This investigation included extensive document review and interviews with agency, union, and law enforcement personnel. A statement summarizing the OCA’s observations and recommendations is available below.

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