Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, there is hereby established a commission to study the child welfare system in the commonwealth. The commission shall study and investigate, but not be limited to, (1) defining the best interest of the child; (2) collaboration and communication between various agencies, departments, and the judicial system relating to child welfare; (3) oversight and accountability in the child welfare system; (4) funding; (5) family support programs; (6) foster care system; (7) DCF policies and staff training; (8) and technology.
The commission shall consist of the following members: five persons to be appointed by the governor, one who shall serve as the chair, one who shall serve as co-chair, one of whom shall be a current foster parent, one of whom shall be an adoptive foster parent, and a former foster children; one member of the senate to be appointed by the senate president; one member of the senate to be appointed by the senate minority leader; one member of the house to be appointed by the speaker; one member of the house to be appointed by the minority leader; the commissioner of DCF, or appointed representative; the Office of the Child Advocate; a representative of SEIU Local 509; the Court Administrator, or appointed representative; the Commissioner of Probation, or appointed representative; a representative of the Children’s Welfare League of Massachusetts; a representative of Friends of Children; Massachusetts Elementary School Principals Association; a representative of CASA; and a representative of the Children’s Trust Fund.
The commission shall convene no later than four weeks after the passage of this act. The commission shall file a report of its findings and recommendations with the clerks of the house and senate by April 1, 2018.
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