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DCF chief tries to right agency amid scrutiny

In October, Olga Roche became the permanent chief of DCF.
In October, Olga Roche became the permanent chief of DCF.

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She has what one children’s advocate called “the worst job in state government.” She runs an agency that in recent months completely lost track of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy, allegedly ignored multiple reports of sexual abuse of another child, and was chastised by a federal judge for failing thousands of children whose futures in Massachusetts he called “murkier than in most places in America.”

“Do you care?” the judge wrote, expressing outrage.

Olga I. Roche, the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, says the answer is an emphatic yes.

But child welfare advocates say the problems plaguing DCF may be too monumental and longstanding for any one commissioner, no matter how confident, to fix.

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