Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reforming CHINS is not easy

I guess it is harder to reform CHINS than it looked. Secretary Bigby sent this out today.

Letter from Secretary Bigby

Sent:Wednesday, February 23, 2011 7:50 PM

Subject: A Message from Secretary Bigby

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to keep you informed and engaged in an exciting effort to strengthen the many services and supports we provide to children, youth and families. Since I became Secretary, I have heard from a diverse range of stakeholders - including families we serve, agency staff and advocates - about the need for a more integrated and coordinated system of services. I have also heard the need for services that strengthen families through a respectful approach that is holistic, responsive to each family's unique needs, and community-focused. In numerous forums, including the Human Service forums hosted by Governor Patrick in 2009 and 2010 and the recent Children's League Advocacy Day at the State House, advocates and stakeholders encouraged the Patrick- Murray Administration to address the "current maze of agencies" to make the service delivery system more closely coordinated and with a single access point for families seeking services.

Governor Patrick has heard the repeated requests from numerous sectors of the child-serving community to strengthen service access and coordination and has asked EOHHS to engage with a broad range of stakeholders to define how to reform the Commonwealth's services for children and families. We began discussions with agencies and with some stakeholders. In the coming weeks we will continue our discussion about how we can together streamline and strengthen the services and supports we offer to children, youth and families. We look forward to engaging in a thorough and thoughtful series of discussions about our ideas for improving service delivery. State employees, so many of whom are on the "front lines" of service delivery, will play an integral role as we refine our plans and we plan to engage Union leadership throughout this process. I welcome your input and feedback and will be in touch with you again soon with more information about this process.

In the meantime, thank you for the work you do each and every day on behalf of all of our consumers and for your commitment to working with us to strengthen the services and supports we offer.

JudyAnn Bigby, M.D.


JudyAnn Bigby, M.D.

Secretary, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

One Ashburton Place, Suite 1109

Boston, MA 02108

617 573-1800

Assistant: Mary Skahen (

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