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Jeremiah Oliver’s story
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rick Holmes
May 25, 2014 6:10 p.m.



Before anyone voices an opinion about DHS and the death of Jeremiah Oliver, they should be required to read the Globe’s report today. It puts human faces on the story, not just a face on the 5-year-old found packed into a suitcase by the side of I-190, but of the adults responsible for his death.  They aren’t pretty faces.

But what struck me most in the story are two facts:



State social workers are often cast as child snatchers, but only one in five children under state watch are removed from parents deemed to pose too great a risk. That leaves four out of five of those children — some 33,000 youngsters like Jeremiah — living with parents who fall into the broad gray zone when assessing risk. They keep their children by convincing social workers that they are more caring than chaotic, more resilient than reckless, more promising than pathological — and that their children would be more traumatized by going into foster care.


and:



On average over the past decade, about six children each year die under those circumstances, their burials haunting family members and social workers who wonder whether they could have done more.


 

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