Wednesday, December 18, 2013

House Minority Leader Brad Jones: Questioning Department of Children and Families Top-Brass Not Sufficient

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement today in response to the recent media reports surrounding the shortcomings of the Department of Children and Families:

“Before we focus on how best to approach and permanently correct the continued shortcomings of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), our state resources need to be focused on locating young Jeremiah.

With that being said, it is hard to ignore the recent inadequacies of DCF. The cases brought to light through numerous media accounts are not only cause for extreme concern, but seem to highlight systemic issues within an agency charged with the protection of some of the Commonwealth’s youngest and most vulnerable individuals and families.

While asking the agency’s top brass to perform a top-down review of practices and policies is a necessary first step, the only way to correct DCF’s shortfalls are to ask questions of, and elicit answers from the employees working in the field. A large majority of these employees are dedicated public servants and our efforts will benefit from their accounts from the front lines.

Upon the return of Jeremiah to his loved ones, I will request that DCF management and select caseworkers appear before a House panel and put forth the agency’s current procedures and operating model. Furthermore, it is my intention to ask that Governor Patrick and DCF produce an immediate plan of action to both rectify the current problem within the agency, as well as solutions to work to avoid future detrimental situations.”