Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What is Happening Out there: Trolling the News Briefs

As we all meet, and ponder, and discuss the future of the children's mental health system, change is happening out there.  I linked in some articles about the restructuring of the service delivery system at MSPCC the other day:  look what I found today:
  1. The CSA contract is leading one Cambridge-Somerville agency to expand services. "Nonprofit organizations are often the first casualties during difficult economic times, floundering or closing their doors due to the lack of federal and private funds. Not The Guidance Center, however. The 50 year-old nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive developmental, mental health and family services to residents of both Somerville and Cambridge, is thriving. "  The article goes on to say that the agency will be hiring 25-30 new staff to meet the needs of the CSA contract.
  2. Another agency in Pittsfield seems to be picking up the slack in Western Massachusetts, where services are being cut by MSPCC.  "We're working very closely together. There's a lot of details to work out, but I'm fairly confident that we'll do well by all the clients," said Mucia [of the Brian Center. "We're extremely willing to take on the full 450." The center met with representatives from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children on Thursday to begin negotiations, which will carry over to Monday with a site visit of the MSPCC's office at 53 Eagle St. That site, as well as locations in Greenfield and Brockton, are slated for closure.  
  3. Wareham and New Bedford Schools were recently honored for establishing better linkages with DCF and mental health providers.  "Wareham has provided professional development for all middle and alternative school staff, group and individual counseling and crisis management for trauma-affected students, and adventure-based counseling. The district has also increased communication with collaterals such as the Department of Children and Families, area mental health providers, the juvenile justice system and community-based agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club. Services to parents have also increased and include parent conferences, mental health referrals, and consultations for the family system. The creation of a school and community-based Trauma Advisory Council assists the district in assessing needs and creating strategies to work with trauma-affected students across the district."
So, while there is plenty over which to be distressed in the current environment, there does still seem to be a statewide commitment to making this happen.  Change is happening, and today's news makes some it sound good.

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