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NEW: Governor Patrick Responds to DCF Report

Monday, January 27, 2014

 

Governor Deval Patrick took the opportunity Monday to speak with members of the press regarding the recently released report into the administration of the state's Department of Children and Families (DCF). The report, which was conducted by the independent Office of the Child Advocate, comes in the wake of the maelstrom of criticism lobbied at the DCF. following the disappearance of a five-year-old Fitchburg boy, Jeremiah Oliver, who was under the Department's care.

The report made it clear that the failures and oversights that lead to what the Governor characterized Monday as an inexcusable failure were not isolated to this particular case. Patrick made clear that the case in question was an indicator that impactful changes were needed, saying that the case "points to other weaknesses in the Department that we're trying to look at."

Patrick spoke both about specific prescriptions for improvement as well as more generally about the important and difficult work done by the Department. While he called for improvements like the use of better communication technology and "real time data" within the D.C.F., he emphasized that "the biggest relief will come from adding staff."

The report by the Office of the Child Advocate had found that overstretched social workers were often unable to make visits or keep up with the number of caseloads. Patrick emphasized the need to "reinvigorate" the Department following the tragedy, pledging to find a "technological fix" and infuse the Department with the human capital necessary to make attend to the health and safety of all the children in its care.  

 

Related Slideshow: The Best and Worst Run States in New England

How well do the New England states stack up against each other in terms of how they're currently run?

According to 24/7 Wall Street, looking at a state's debt per capita, budget deficit, unemployment, median household income, and percentage below the poverty line are all indicators of a state's level operational success - or lack thereof.  

Below are how the New England states were ranked compared to each other, based on data from 2012 -- as well as the "best run" and "worst run" states in the country. 

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#6

Rhode Island

National Rank, #47

> Debt per capita: $8,721 (3rd highest)
> Budget deficit: 6.9% (35th largest)
> Unemployment: 10.4% (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $54,554 (18th highest)
> Percent below poverty line: 13.7% (tied-20th lowest)

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#5

Connecticut

National Rank, #41

> Debt per capita: $8,531 (4th highest)
> Budget deficit: 17.1% (12th largest)
> Unemployment: 8.4% (tied-14th highest)
> Median household income: $67,276 (4th highest)
> Percent below poverty line: 10.7% (4th lowest)
 

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#4

Maine

National Rank, #30

> Debt per capita: $4,447 (12th highest)
> Budget deficit: 16.6% (14th largest)
> Unemployment: 7.3% (tied-22nd highest)
> Median household income: $46,709 (16th lowest)
> Percent below poverty line: 14.7% (tied-24th lowest)

 

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#3

New Hampshire

National Rank, #25

> Debt per capita: $6,414 (8th highest)
> Budget deficit: 20.0% (8th largest)
> Unemployment: 5.5% (8th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,280 (7th highest)
> Percent below poverty line: 10.0% (the lowest)

 

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#2

Massachusetts

National Rank, #18

> Debt per capita: $6,414 (8th highest)
> Budget deficit: 20.0% (8th largest)
> Unemployment: 5.5% (8th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,280 (7th highest)
> Percent below poverty line: 10.0% (the lowest)

 

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#1

Vermont

National Rank, #6

> Debt per capita: $6,414 (8th highest)
> Budget deficit: 20.0% (8th largest)
> Unemployment: 5.5% (8th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,280 (7th highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 10.0% (the lowest)

 

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Worst Run State in US

50. California

> Debt per capita: $3,990 (20th highest)
> Budget deficit: 27.8% (3rd largest)
> Unemployment: 10.5% (2nd highest)
> Median household income: $58,328 (11th highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 17.0% (18th highest)
 

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Best Run State in US

1. North Dakota
> Debt per capita: $3,033 (20th lowest)
> Budget deficit: None
> Unemployment: 3.1% (the lowest)
> Median household income: $53,585 (19th highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 11.2% (6th lowest)

 

 
 

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