Local 509 Statement Regarding State Auditor’s Report About the Department of Children & Families

In response to the report released today by State Auditor Suzanne Bump, Peter MacKinnon, social worker and President of SEIU Local 509, released the following statement:

“Frontline workers at the Department of Children and Families come to work every day to protect the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children. In recent years, these workers, through their union, have pushed for — and secured — many necessary reforms to ensure that the agency does everything in its power to fulfill its sacred mission.

“We agree with Auditor Bump that DCF must be constantly and rigorously evaluated to ensure the safety of the children in its care, and the safety of the workers that provide that care. However, it is concerning that this report did not take into account the experience and viewpoint of child protective workers, including those involved in cases or examples discussed in the report.

“As the union for DCF social workers, we will continue to work with the agency to implement necessary reforms and extend the important progress that has been made to improve DCF, including in the years after the timeframe of this report. Frontline social workers have the first-hand knowledge critical to capturing a complete picture of the agency, and we remain willing, as always, to participate in future reports or audits.”

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