It is time for a new Commissioner of Social Services. Eileen McNamara of the Globe has it exactly right when she says:
That kind of resignation might be understandable from a weary commissioner now serving under his third governor, but vulnerable children in Massachusetts deserve better. When Acting Governor Jane Swift appointed Spence in 2001, he was hailed as a public sector turnaround artist. He ran the Cambridge and Somerville housing authorities. He led the Chelsea public schools and the Boston Housing Authority out of receivership. He served as a deputy chancellor of New York City public school system.
It followed, then, that he was the man to fix the state’s beleaguered child protection agency. It has not worked out that way.
For the entire column, go to: http://www.boston.co…
It follows, that as the former head of the Home for Little Wanderers, Joan Wallace Benjamin, Governor Deval Patrick’s new chief of staff, MUST know professionals with training and experience in the field of social work, and family preservation. I hope she is interviewing Spence’s replacement NOW.
Spence has no training in social work, no training in psychology, no training in child development, and apprarently no interest in family preservation.
What is true is that Spence instituted “lead agencies” who are nothing more than a new layer of bureaucracy – and DSS now spends more than 13 million on these “lead agencies” – none of that money goes to services for children or parents.
In contrast, a total of 11 million [separate from that 13 million pot of gold for those anonymous lead agencies] goes for the salaries of DSS’s social workers. These lead agency folk read confidential files, over rule social workers – and I am hearing a lot of anger from these same DSS social workers about lead agency folk as arrogant, not over seen by anyone, etc….
Something is very wrong; one wonders who is taking those “lead agency” contracts to the bank.
I am looking forward to saying “Goodbye Harry” and I hope, soon.