The size and difficulty of the fights I have had in trying to get residential care for children who were psychotic, who really really needed that level of care have dramatically increased each year [except for some hopeful signs of change towards the end of 2007 with the change of DSS Commissioners]. In part, the Rosie D. v. Romney suit may be to thank as well. http://fcsn.org/conference/wor…
If you look at it, the number of residential addiction treatment beds was over 1000 in 2002 – and barely 500 in 2004.
The only beds increasing in number are the prison beds, where the “care” is more like 1850 then what was available in 1995 in state facilities. Further, that decrease in state jobs decreased the overall number the number of stable state jobs, which formed one of the entires into the middle class for minorities and struggling families. Our tax and job cuts actually cost this state jobs and income that has NOT been recreated. http://www.cbpp.org/1-12-05sfp…
In the rush to privatization and smaller government that characterized the last decade, Massachusetts cut more state jobs [so I am told – I can look for a good cite] then nearly any other state.
We are one of the three wealthiest states – but rushing back into the dark ages where if someone is ill, not a member of the elite, and limited in any fashion we give them Darwinian treatment and apparently hope they will not propagate. If possible, too, we remove their children, terminate their parental rights, and then celebrate our acts in so doing in National Adoption Day.
I continue to believe that I will be judged one day not on what I own, or have achieved, but on how I treat “the least of these” and what level of kindness, compassion, and self-discipline I have exhibited.
“Cost” as a mantra excludes kindness, compassion, and the understanding that some folk just plain need residential care and more help to have lives that are safe, let alone dignified.
As a matter of disclosure, I do accept some appointments to do guardian ad litem work at the “state rate” which does not include payment for travel time – and which is paid for by the Scroogian “Commonwealth of Massachusetts” even worse, and more slowly, then for court-assigned representation of the indigent.
The absence of care and concern in governance and in the hearts, souls, of those who would further this process by even eliminating the income tax appalls me. The impact would be devastating on those with the least hope and sustenance already. http://www.massbudget.org/arti…
Merry Christmas Massachusetts.