State Representatives Ryan Fattman (R-Webster), and Leah Cole (R-Peabody) circulated a letter to their colleagues in the House of Representatives which called for embattled Department of Children and Families Commissioner Olga Roche to resign. Twenty two of their fellow representatives signed on, and the letter was delivered to the Governor yesterday. Eight Democrats joined sixteen Republicans in signing the letter.
On behalf of our constituents, some of whom have been affected by the problems at the Department of Children and Families, we urge you to ask for the resignation of Olga Roche, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families.
The Department has repeatedly failed to protect children under their custody in addition to developing higher standards for foster parents. The Department has failed to conduct home visits 20% of the time with a staff of social workers that is only 66% licensed. In addition to this the Department granted waivers 98% of the time to people with criminal histories.
Lastly, DCF has been found to advocate for visitation of parents who were found to have sexually assaulted their children. The welfare of children under DCF guardianship is seriously at risk with the aforementioned shortcomings of the Department’s leadership.
With recent media reports, and the failure to protect Jeremiah Oliver who has been missing since September, the Department has clearly not worked to correct issues internally and protect those most vulnerable under State custody. This is utterly unacceptable.
Again we ask that you urge the resignation of Commissioner Roche immediately
Fattman and Cole should be commended for their leadership. Fattman in particular has been on this issue since last April, when he inquired of DCF to provide what steps they were taking to protect children, after the Child Advocate’s report showed an increase in the number of deaths of children.
A PDF of the letter can be found after the jump