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State does not do good job protecting kids, group says
Gov Patrick weighs outside review of child welfare agency

BOSTON — Child welfare watchdog groups say Massachusetts does not do a good job protecting children in foster care when compared to other states.

Massachusetts ranked 38 out of 50 in the percent of foster children visited each month by caseworkers, according to 2012 data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the most recent data available.

In the category of children not mistreated again within six months, the state ranked 45th.

Massachusetts was one of five states that failed to report response times to abuse allegations to the federal government.

State officials tell The Boston Globe the statistics are not a perfect measure of how the state does protecting children.

The state Department of Children and Families has come under fire for the disappearance of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy.