We have heard from a diverse range of stakeholders - including agency staff, advocates, and families we serve - about the need for a more integrated and coordinated system of services that strengthens families through a respectful approach that is holistic, responsive to each family's unique needs, strengths-based, community-focused, and committed to healthy development.
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. Additionally, stakeholders have asked that services be better integrated and coordinated to assure every opportunity for families to experience improved outcomes.
We are committed to developing an integrated system that offers:
- Ease of access via a single point of entry.
- Optimal responsiveness - Families' needs are not isolated to categorical eligibility; families want services that respond to their evolving needs.
- Continuity of Care through integration and coordination of services and treatment approaches.
- Service optimization through monitoring outcomes in a holistic manner.
- Resource maximization through a single management, accountability and oversight structures and processes
We are in the process of collaborating with advocates, legislators, state government partners, unions, employees, and other stakeholders, we are proposing the creation of a new agency charged with offering integrated and coordinated service delivery and case management. The agency would be comprised of three divisions: 1) Child Wellness, Development and Behavioral Health; 2) Juvenile Justice; and 3) Child Welfare. We also propose establishing "Family Access Centers" throughout the Commonwealth to function as a community-based front door to information and referral for clients. We also envision the creation of an Advisory Commission, consisting of a broad array of stakeholders, to help craft the implementation plan; recommend "best fit" solutions for certain specialty services; and guide the first two years of the implementation. The agency and its three divisions would share administrative services and operational supports.
As currently envisioned, the proposed new agency would offer the following services to children and families:
- All Child Welfare Services
- All Juvenile Justice Services
- Mental Health Services for Children (Inpatient & IRTP will be reviewed by Advisory Commission for inclusion)
- Development Disabilities Services for Children, Including Autism
- Children with Special Health Care Needs:
- Pediatric Palliative Care Program
- Family Ties
- MassCare (Pediatric AIDS/HIV)
- Medical Review Teams
- Care Coordination
- Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund
- Bureau of Substance Abuse Services:
- Youth Treatment Services
- Youth Stabilization Services
- Youth Residential Services
- Recovery High School
- Youth Outpatient Services will be review by Advisory Commission for inclusion
- Early Intervention will be reviewed by Advisory Commission for inclusion.
- Home Visiting Services will be reviewed by Advisory Commission for inclusion
We are committed to working together to streamline and strengthen the services and supports we offer to our consumers, and we look forward to engaging in a thorough and thoughtful series of discussions with stakeholders.
This information is provided by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.