State auditor finds problems in DCF foster care program - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

State auditor finds problems in DCF foster care program

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BOSTON (WHDH) - The state auditor released a scathing report of the Department of Children and Families' foster care program on Wednesday.

The audit is covering a period between 2010 and 2012 and found discrepancies that could hinder the DCF's duties.

It revealed that the DCF had not updated its department-wide risk assessment since 2008.

The DCF was not checking to see if registered sex offenders were living near where children were placed in foster care. In response, the organization said it was working to obtain access to the sex offender registry.

In addition, it found that background checks on people living in foster homes were incomplete and the DCF was not safeguarding the personal information of children in its care.

The DCF did not ensure that children received the required medical screenings and medical examinations. The medical screenings are critical to ensure that children are not continuing to suffer from undetected health issues from abuse and neglect.

"DCF front-line workers and managers need better guidance and better tools in order to effectively protect the children entrusted to their care," said Auditor Suzanne Bump.

In a statement, DCF said it is taking steps to ensure all foster children undergo medical checks and improve documentation of background checks.

Recent controversies surrounding the organization have come to light after 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver from Fitchburg went missing back in September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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