Edward Fitzpatrick’s article “Children’s Advocate Says ‘It’s Never Been So Serious'” (Metro, December 16) Sounds the Alarm on Crisis in Crisis in Child Welfare System from Rhode Island. Children’s advocate Jennifer Griffith’s testimony before a Rhode Island Senate committee is both compelling and courageous.
The same conditions regarding the lack of placements and services exist here in Massachusetts in the Department of Children and Families; however, the Commonwealth Children’s Advocate did not come out the same way to speak out about the agency’s wrongdoing. Young adults for which the DCF has not reached tenure are eligible for a prolongation of care, but over 30 percent find themselves homeless and at least 65 percent spend at least some time in our correctional system.
This is the agency for which the legislature, in past reforms, required social workers to have degrees in social work, but new hires are told they are doing case management, not work. social. How was social work done at home in the past 22 months?
No one holds the agency accountable – not the governor, not the Legislative Assembly, or the juvenile court judges who oversee DCF cases. This agency urgently needs monitoring and management.
The author is the co-founder of the Massachusetts Children’s Law Center and has been a juvenile court lawyer for 30 years.