Olga Roche’s replacement — Erin Deveney, the new interim chief of the state’s embattled Department of Children and Families — is a relative unknown to longtime advocates, with little to no experience in child welfare services, a red flag for some as Gov. Deval Patrick scrambles to find a permanent commissioner.

Deveney, an attorney and former chief of staff at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, was tapped for her management experience, and was praised by her former bosses yesterday as a straight-forward and methodical problem solver who can carry those skills to a new field.

But veteran child advocates said they’ve rarely dealt with her, aside from the past month she’s spent as deputy commissioner under Roche, whose resignation was announced yesterday under waves of intense pressure following three high-profile deaths of children under DCF’s watch.

Roche will stay on as an adviser, administration officials said, but they couldn’t say for how long or if it will be on her $137,700 salary.

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