On June 1, 2007, the Boston Globe published Atty. Rich's Letter to the Editor (with another) under the title above.
Here's the letter:
RE GEORGE Bachrach's May 25 op-ed, "Against odds, Spence transformed lives":
I take issue with Bachrach's implication that caseload problems at the Department of Social Services are entirely a function of underbudgeting.
In my 25 years as a lawyer representing children and parents involved with DSS, I have seen that a large part of the agency's caseload problem comes from ineffective triage, failure to use existing family and community supports, and creation of distrust in the families that come to its attention.
DSS tells parents, "We are here to help," but the only "help" it offers are multiple meetings with its workers, one-size-fits-all service plans that refer parents to therapy, and a threat of removing the children to foster care if there is insufficient cooperation or "progress."
DSS exacerbates the problem by insisting that outside professionals report the slightest suspicion of abuse or neglect.
If DSS wants to cut its caseload, it should screen these reports more effectively instead of pressuring professionals who may legitimately think that DSS involvement is the last thing that a slightly troubled family needs.
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.
It's in the Globe online at http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2007/06/01/assessing_impact_at_the_dss/