Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Who Is Responsible?
Last week I attended a meeting with DCF Commissioner Olga Roche and a group of child welfare stakeholders who were briefed on the imminent release of the Child Welfare League of America’s (CWLA) Progress Update to Governor Patrick and Secretary Polanowicz. This is the interim report of the ongoing independent investigation of the Department of Children and Families, the culminating report to be released in May.
Click HERE for the Report
CWLA is one of several groups investigating the recent disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver, a 5-year old boy, along with the longer standing issues impacting the delivery of services to children and families involved with DCF across the state. In turn, the Office of the Child Advocate did an inquiry and the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight is in the midst of its investigation. The Department has also performed its own study.
Everybody wants someone, or someone else to DO SOMETHING about DCF. It is true that some of us (i.e. child welfare agencies, SEIU, NASW, etc.) are some of the key groups that have visible and even legal accountabilities. Responsibility for the current state of child welfare in the Commonwealth is not restricted to these easily identified groups. It is ALL of our responsibility. Our neighbors, family members, school personnel, the mailman who comes to the door daily, along with those individuals in the medical profession. The task of looking after members of our communities who may be compromised by a complex combination of mental and physical health issues, poverty, generational domestic violence, homelessness, joblessness and addictions, belongs to all of us.