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If Not Now, When?

A call to action for systemic child welfare reform in Massachusetts

On June 26, at an event at the Massachusetts State House, MLRI released a new report: If Not Now, When? A Call to Action for Systemic Child Welfare Reform in Massachusetts.

MLRI's report lays out a blueprint and a set of recommendations that outline how Massachusetts can regain its position as an innovator in promoting child welfare, and how it can reconfigure its programs and services to best serve fragile families and children.

The recommendations in this report were developed with input from an advisory committee of state and national child welfare experts--scholars, practitioners, former Massachusetts child welfare leaders, and innovative policymakers from around the nation--and draws on successful efforts and innovative practices from around the country.

The tragic disappearance and death of Jeremiah Oliver, a child whose family was involved with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the state's child welfare system in DCF custody, has led the Commonwealth to take a hard look at how our child welfare system is, and is not, working to protect children. While this scrutiny arose from tragedy, it also provides the opportunity to make much needed improvements in the way we serve our most vulnerable families and children, and regain our leadership in child welfare.

pdf icon Download MLRI's Systemic Child Welfare Reform Report