Few New Recommendations In Report On Mass. DCF

A watchdog group hired to review Massachusetts’ troubled child welfare system is calling for better technology and increased staffing levels.

Billed as a major announcement, the preliminary report from the Child Welfare League of America contains few new recommendations. There were no findings on the case of the 5-year-old Fitchburg boy who went missing while he was under DCF supervision.

The report essentially reiterates what the Patrick administration has been calling for since the boy’s disappearance.

“If we had the staffing in place, if we had the technology in place, would we have a better system?” says Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz. “I think that’s absolutely the case.”

Polanowicz says the department has already hired 90 new staff members, and the governor’s budget calls for up to 177 more. He also says the department will hand out 60 new tablet computers next week to on-call social workers so they can file reports from the field.

A final report from the Child Welfare League with more specific recommendations is expected in mid May.