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Report: caseload numbers high in Leominster office

LEOMINSTER — Worker caseloads are stunningly high at a Massachusetts Department of Children and Families office criticized for how it handled a case involving a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy who has been missing since September, according to child welfare advocates.

The Boston Herald reports that one worker at the Leominster office oversaw 57 children, nearly half of whom were in foster care. Six other workers were overseeing 40 or more children apiece. Sixty workers have filed grievances saying their caseloads exceeded the state-mandated limit of 18, according to labor union officials.

“That seems inconceivable to me,” said Maria Mossaides, executive director of Cambridge Family and Children’s Service and chair of the Children’s League of Massachusetts.

The Leominster office is the one that served the family of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver of Fitchburg, who has been missing since September and is feared dead.

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