• DCF under fire: When will anyone else face discipline in missing child's case?


    (MyFoxBoston.com) -- One week after a social worker and supervisor were fired and another supervisor was reassigned, we're still waiting to find out if anyone else will be disciplined at the at the embattled Department of Children and Families.

    In the wake of the scandal involving a missing 5-year-old Fitchburg boy, Gov. Deval Patrick said it is possible more could be punished. However, he refused to say who or when Monday.

    "Are you any closer to figuring out if more people will in fact be disciplined?" FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti asked.

    "Yes," the governor replied.

    "Can you elaborate on that?" Sacchetti responded.

    "Nope, nope," said Gov. Patrick.

    Jeremiah Oliver hasn't been seen by relatives since September. Authorities fear he may be dead. Right now, the child's mother and her boyfriend are charged in the case.

    Officials say the boy's social worker was supposed to be making regular monthly visits, but hadn't seen him since May. What's worse, she wanted to close out Jeremiah's case in November.

    The union representing the fired social worker complains of an unfairly heavy caseload and a lack of funding at the agency. FOX 25 found out the DCF got $20 million more this past year for a total budget of $780 million.

    DCF Commissioner Olga Roche has been serving in her current role since April and was officially appointed in October. When asked if she plans to resign, Roche said she is "committed to the job."

    Gov. Patrick has said he stands by Roche and so does Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz.

    "She has done a really effective job handling these issues since she's taken over as commissioner in October," said Polanowicz. "It's been obviously a series of tragic incidents, but she has been incredibly responsive."

    We do know the House Speaker has asked two state committees to look into the case, the DCF is doing its own internal review, and the state's office of the Child Advocate is also doing an investigation.

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