• Third DCF employee fired following Fitchburg boy's disappearance


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A third employee of the embattled Department of Children and Families has been fired in the wake of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy's disappearance.

    DCF officials announced Monday that they terminated the employment of the area program manager last week. Commissioner Olga Roche said the manager did not ensure that there was a follow up into the "multiple reports" the department received on "abuse and neglect of the children."

    In addition to the termination of the area program manager, the program manager of intakes was suspended for three days without pay. Roche told reporters the manager also missed opportunities to ensure proper follow up was done on the Oliver family's case.

    "It's not enough," Jeremiah's uncle, Sandrino Oliver told FOX 25. "Because my nephew still isn't here."

    After the press conference, the union that represents DCF workers released a statement.

    "As Commissioner Roche stated, the Department of Children & Families has begun to implement new policies and procedures to help prevent future tragedies from occurring - not the least of which is a commitment to addressing the caseload crisis," part of the statement read. "We will continue to work with the Administration to fulfill these commitments and bring caseloads at the Department of Children & Families down to the manageable levels needed to keep at-risk children safe."

    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.

    A social worker and supervisor were fired following the boy's disappearance.

    Officials say the boy's social worker was supposed to be making regular monthly visits, but hadn't seen him since May. She wanted to close out Jeremiah's case in November. The social worker's supervisor was aware of the missed visits, but lied to higher-ups about the frequency of the social worker's visits.

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

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