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Gov. Baker says he’ll seek new protocols to protect children

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Charlie Baker_151704

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker gestures as he unveils his 2016 budget proposal during a news conference at the Statehouse in Boston, Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker says the state must update the way it handles investigations of child abuse or neglect if it hopes to avoid more cases like the death of 2-year-old Bella Bond.

Baker said Tuesday one of his top priorities is revamping the intake policy for the Department of Children and Families. He said it hasn’t been updated in a decade.

The policy covers the process between the reporting an allegation of abuse or neglect and the decision to formally open a case.

Baker said that policy failure is at the root of several recent deaths, including Bella’s.  The DCF had investigated reports she was neglected. Her body was found on a Boston-area beach in June and wasn’t identified until last week.

Baker said a new protocol won’t be developed overnight.

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