Sunday, November 29, 2020

NCCPR in CommonWealth Magazine on Mass. child welfare: Child safety and family preservation are not opposites

 IT’S NOT REALLY that hard to fix a child welfare system: just listen to your gut instinct – and do the opposite.

Gut instinct says: David Almond died a horrible death though he was well known to the Department of Children and Families and other agencies. So the solution must be to take away children more quickly and return them to their homes more slowly – if at all. 

Except, of course, that’s exactly what the state did after the deaths of Bella Bond and Jeremiah Oliver.  The high-profile tragedies set off a foster-care panic, a sharp sudden increase in the number of children torn from their families, in a state which has taken away children at rates well above the national average for decades. ... But Gov. Charlie Baker and his DCF director, Linda Spears, learned nothing from this cycle. ...

Read the full commentary here.