Monday, September 28, 2015

House Minority Leader Brad Jones’ Statement on DCF Reforms Announced by Governor Baker

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement today regarding proposed reforms at the state’s Department of Children and Families released by Governor Baker this morning:

“I commend Governor Baker for developing a timely and comprehensive reform package to address the very serious systemic problems that exist at the Department of Children and Families.  Implementing clear and concise intake policies, reducing caseloads, utilizing CORI checks and requiring a full review of a family’s prior history with DCF and the frequency and nature of 911 calls to a household are all crucial to ensuring that the children entrusted to the state’s care are not placed in harm’s way.  The Fiscal Year 2016 budget includes more than $8 million in additional funding for foster care and clinical support services for DCF clients compared to Fiscal Year 2015, and the House is scheduled to appropriate an additional $5 million in a supplemental spending bill this week to address immediate staffing and training needs at DCF, all of which will help further the administration’s objectives.  I also want to commend the Service Employees International Union Local 509 for its willingness to work with the administration to implement these reforms and ensure their long-term success.  There is much work that still lies ahead, but the proposal released today will move DCF in the right direction.”