So the leader of the DCF is gone:
Olga I. Roche resigned today as commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families, ending her year-long leadership of the child protection agency, which has recently been rocked by the deaths of three children.
My guess is this is about as much as we’re going to get, in a few months it will all be forgotten. I’ll be surprised if DeLeo even follows through with this:
House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who demanded Monday that Roche step down, warned today that simply putting someone else in charge of DCF is not the long-term solution for the agency and the children it is supposed to protect.
“DCF is an agency in crisis; and we must immediately undertake the difficult, but crucial, task of creating an effective structure of protection and care for our most vulnerable children,’’ DeLeo said in a statement. He noted that the House is looking to boost the DCF budget and supports upgrading the computer system at the agency.
Senate President Therese Murray and Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is also a Democratic candidate for governor, both also called Monday for Roche’s resignation.
Roche’s decision to step down was welcomed by state Senator Bruce Tarr, the Senate Republican leader, who called her resignation “an important and necessary step’’ in reforming DCF.
But he said in a statement that major changes must also be made, including reducing social worker caseloads. He also said that “accountability at every level, a focus on the best interest of the child, and timely actions need to be part of the fabric of this agency.’’
Here’s the problem:
The social workers’ union has been picketing outside DCF offices to denounce what it describes as a worsening caseload crisis at the agency.
The real issue at DCF is its shrinking bottom line. Over the course of Patrick’s two terms in office, state spending on child welfare programs decreased by 12 percent, according to numbers provided by Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
That means that DeLeo, Murray, Tarr, and Patrick are all to blame for the problems at the DCF. I assume that means they’re all going to retire.