Dept. of Children and Families

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

The Department of Children and Family (DCF) Administration line item funds operations and clinical support services within the central, regional and area offices. Most job functions, apart from social workers, are funded through this line item, including senior administration, program and project managers, lawyers, policy evaluation, IT, trainers, budget and finance.

over the previous few years, funding reductions have caused DCF to go through a number of reorganizations laying off administrative and management staff and reducing the numbers of regional offices. These closings coupled with layoffs potentially affect the services clients receive. Layoffs cause an increase in case loads and a decrease in oversight as the 29 area managers have been replaced by 15 area management teams which will oversee multiple offices at one time. Closing offices can increase the distance between offices and the communities they serve. Many children and families will have to travel further for services increasing cost and complexity and threatening the quality and timeliness of DCF's programming. Travel for social workers conducting home visits is also increased potentially reducing the number and length of home visits – social workers have farther to travel and therefore less time available in the home.

Funding was partially restored in the FY 2015 budget, but is still well beneath historic funding levels for administration of the child welfare system in Massachusetts. Because funding for this line item can be transferred to regional administration, services for children and families, family supports, or group care, use caution when comparing these line items from year to year.

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