State Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn) continues to express concern over the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). After reports surfaced about problems with DCF including losing track of children who were supposed to be under their oversight and protection, Frost signed onto a bipartisan letter with other members of House calling for the Governor to remove the Commissioner of DCF, Olga Roche, from her position back on February 13, 2014. Commissioner Roche apparently offered her resignation to Governor Patrick sometime afterwards, but he refused to accept it and is keeping her in the position after these series of short comings by the department she is in charge of.
Frost said, “I’m disappointed the Governor chose not to accept DCF Commissioner Roche’s resignation or take it upon himself as the head of his own administration to replace the DCF Commissioner. These are serious problems that go beyond just providing more resources to address, as it also calls for stronger oversight and far better management of cases and case workers.”
Frost continued, “Though I do support providing DCF with more funding to handle their caseloads, I do not feel that alone will solve the problems facing DCF. Not only does the agency need more resources, but DCF needs stronger oversight and better management. Also, more reviews and investigations need to happen to see who else may need to be removed from their positions for these failures.”
The serious problems with DCF came to surface when Jeremiah Oliver was reported missing December 2, 2013. Last seen by relatives on September 14, 2013, Jeremiah has been missing for six months. The social worker assigned to the case failed to make the required monthly visits to ensure Jeremiah’s safety.
On January 23, 2014 Commissioner Roche testified before the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, stating that all children in DCF custody were accounted for. As it turns out, there was a missing 15 year-old boy at the time Roche made this statement. The report was filed 10 days before Roche’s testimony.