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Massachusetts boy misssing for three months with no reports made

A missing child is a parent's worst nightmare -- or at least it should be. But in the case of a missing 5-year-old boy from Massachusetts, even though the child had allegedly been missing for longer than three months, no one had reported him missing until his sister confided to her teacher that she was being abused by her mother's boyfriend.

What's especially troubling in this case is the fact that the family had been reported multiple times to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for abuse and neglect of the three children in their care. However, the social worker assigned to the case did not conduct monthly check-ins on the family, which would have revealed that the boy was missing. Upon learning that the boy has been missing since September 14, the agency terminated the program manager, supervisor and social worker involved with the family's case.

The boy's father, a Connecticut resident, had no idea his son was missing. He blames the agency for failing to follow up on the abuse reports. The children's mother and her boyfriend remain in police custody and face charges of child abuse, which may be upgraded depending on the whereabouts of the missing child.

In cases of child custody, often the other parent is not kept fully abreast of all events surrounding their children's lives. But something as serious as a missing child should be reported to police and certainly to the absent parent as soon as the child is found to be missing.

If you are a non-custodial parent of a child and feel that your son or daughter may be in jeopardy under the care of the other parent, you should make a report to the agency and insist that it follow up on it. In addition to doing so, consult with an experienced family law attorney regarding the possibility of becoming the custodial parent to protect your child and avoid the possibility of their falling victim to abuse or neglect or being placed into the foster care system.

Source: nbcconnecticut.com, "Dad of Missing Boy Blames Massachusetts DCF" James Ratliff, Dec. 31, 2013

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