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DCF keeps secret list of people suspected of child abuse, Herald says


BOSTON, Mass. ( --The state's Department of Children and Families has a list of more than 40,000 people suspected of child abuse or neglect that is almost completely unavailable to police and schools, according to an article in the Boston Herald.

In order to obtain access to the list, both school administrators and law enforcement officials must first receive a court order, or written approval from DCF Commissioner Olga Roche, the article said.

The registry, which has more than 40,000 names on it, contains information like the person's birth date, address, Social Security number and a list of allegations with dates the alleged abuse took place. 

DCF rules state the list is used in child abuse allegations, and to screen potential employees of the department, as well as prospective parents for adoptions and foster care placements.

The department came under fire again last week after a social worker and supervisor were fired over the handling of the case of missing 5-year-old Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver. The boy was last seen by a relative on Sept. 14, though he wasn't reported missing until early December.

Jeremiah's mother, Elsa Oliver of Fitchburg has been charged with reckless endangerment of a child, and her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a child.

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