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Audit: Many injuries unreported by Massachusetts child welfare agency

  • State Auditor Suzanne Bump delivers the keynote address during the Western Mass Legislative Summit 2016, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at JFK Middle School. Bump released a report on Thursday covering the years 2014 and 2015 that alleges the Department of Children and Families was unaware of 260 serious injuries that occurred to children within its care. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO



Associated Press
Thursday, December 07, 2017

BOSTON — A state audit has found that Massachusetts’ child welfare agency was often unaware of serious injuries to children under its care, and in some cases failed to report potential crimes against children to prosecutors.

The report released on Thursday by state Auditor Suzanne Bump covers the years 2014 and 2015. It alleges the Department of Children and Families was unaware of 260 incidents, including a teenager who suffered brain damage from a gunshot wound and a 1-year-old child who had first- or second-degree burns.

The report says some “critical incidents” involving children the agency was aware of should have been reported to district attorneys for possible prosecution, but were not.

The agency says it has initiated “significant system-wide reforms” and new policies in the two years since the audit period.