BOSTON (WWLP)-A recent state audit found that the Department of Children and families failed to report more than a dozen cases of abuse to district attorneys, including multiple cases in western Massachusetts.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump said children are at risk under the care of the Department of Children and Families after a recent audit found the department was unaware of 260 serious injuries to children in their care.
It also found DCF failed to report 19 cases involving of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect. Two of the cases occurred in Hampden County and one case in the Northwestern District, including Hampshire and Franklin counties.
“If these cases aren’t prosecuted, it is a failing on the part of DCF,” Bump said. “They are failing not just the children, but they are failing the public by keeping dangerous people at large.”
According to an agency spokesperson, DCF made several reforms during the audit. The investigation took place between January 2014 and December 2015, four months after the Baker-Polito administration launched policy overhauls, made new hires and increased funding.
In a statement to 22News, DCF Spokesperson Andrea Grossman said the agency relies on mandated reporters, such as health care providers, physicians and teachers, to report suspected abuse and neglect so they can respond.
DCF is considering suggestions from the state auditor’s office, including using MassHealth data to identify child abuse and neglect.