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Review Of Massachusetts Child Welfare Agency Ordered

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has ordered an independent review of the state’s child welfare agency amid growing concerns about how child abuse cases are handled

The Patrick administration has asked the Washington D.C. based Child Welfare League to look into the policies and procedures at the Department of Children and Families.  Republican State Senator Don Humason said it has become too difficult for the agency to police itself.

" The commissioner and the department have to be able to convince the public they have the best interest of the children in their care in mind."

A social worker and two supervisors were fired last month after it was discovered the agency had lost track of a five year old boy whom police say is missing and feared dead. A school superintendent complained this week that social workers are slow to respond to suspected child abuse complaints reported by school officials.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.