Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Child Care Doesn't Make Grade in Mass.

A story from the Associated Press highlights Massachusetts' failing efforts to protect children under state care:

BOSTON (AP) — A federal watchdog group gives Massachusetts a near failing grade for its efforts to protect children from abuse.

Only nine states fared worse than Massachusetts, which got a D-minus in the study by the Children's Advocacy Institute and the watchdog group First Star.

The report said the state has failed to report on near-fatal child abuse and operates under a shroud of secrecy.

It cited several high-profile examples of alleged Department of Social Services failures, including Haleigh Poutre's case.

The girl was beaten into a coma while in foster care after DSS dismissed more than a dozen allegations of abuse.

It also mentioned Rebecca Riley, the 4-year-old whose parents are charged with manslaughter after she died from a prescription drug overdose

Also, check out this Boston Herald story on the DSS (referencing the same report).

An excerpt:
The explosive report, scheduled to be released today, singles out the Department of Social Services as “dysfunctional and in critical need of comprehensive reform” and slams the state with a D- grade.

“It’s extremely disappointing to receive such a mark, but tragically not surprising,” said state Rep. John H. Rogers, the House majority leader and a member of the legislative committee on child abuse and neglect.


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