Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Senator Tarr's Statement on Governor Patrick's DCF Comments

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) released the following statement today, following news reports that Governor Deval Patrick is considering a third party investigation of the Department of Children and Families in light of the disappearance of 5-year-old Fitchburg resident Jeremiah Oliver:

“The situation involving the Department of Children and Families and a missing child continues to demand an independent investigation as to not only what has occurred in the Oliver case, but also the systemic deficiencies which led to this young child’s disappearance and which may be contributing to other problems if left undetected.

The Senate Republican Caucus has been consistent and unmistakably clear in its call for an independent investigation into this matter by the Auditor, the Inspector General, or a combination of both.  Governor Patrick’s remarks, as reported today, reflect his beginning to acknowledge the necessity of that type of investigation.  We certainly welcome his support for what we have requested and for shining a bright light on the workings of this agency that is so critical to the welfare of some of our state’s most vulnerable children.

First and foremost, we must understand the problems that may be ingrained in the system and need to be rectified immediately.  Adding a new department within the agency may only increase bureaucracy at the expense of ensuring that every child is adequately and effectively served by those who handle cases on the front lines of this agency.

Every child involved with this agency is potentially at risk.  That is why we need to make sure the system works for everybody, rather than creating a new specialized bureaucracy for some.”