EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

May 1, 2014

Editorial: In the end, there's no one else to blame

(Continued)

In Patrick’s view, it is not the wretched performance of this public agency that is the problem. It is the “environment” in which the agency operates.

Roche has been described as a competent social worker, but clearly she did not have the ability to steer DCF out of its crisis. By taking on the leadership of the agency, Roche accepted the rewards and risks that went with it. She should have recognized, as evidence mounted during the examination of the Oliver case, that she did not have the public’s confidence. She should have left long ago.

Whether it’s a question of leadership, staffing, training, or culture — or likely all of those elements — this is an agency that can’t continue in its old ways. Someone at the top should have acted on this long ago. Ultimately, the responsibility falls to Gov. Patrick, who would rather lament the unfairness of the hostile forces arrayed against those tasked with public service, than do anything meaningful about their too often poor performance.

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