Burholme talks child welfare

Guests at Decem­ber’s meet­ing of the Burholme Com­munity Town Watch and Civic As­so­ci­ation listened to Christ­mas car­ols per­formed by the Re­deem­er Church Praise Band and a present­a­tion by Cath­ol­ic So­cial Ser­vices about a new ini­ti­at­ive.

In ad­di­tion, there were rep­res­ent­at­ives from the of­fices of state Rep. Brendan Boyle, state Sen. Tina Tartagli­one and City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill.

Last May, the city De­part­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices se­lec­ted Cath­ol­ic So­cial Ser­vices to serve youths who live in the 2nd, 7th and 8th po­lice dis­tricts.

CSS is be­gin­ning its work this month, as case man­agers com­plete eight weeks of train­ing.

At­tend­ing the civic meet­ing were Mary Bell, a CSS com­munity li­ais­on; Frank Mc­Fad­den, dir­ect­or of qual­ity as­sur­ance for CSS; and Yvette Yates Park­er, a so­cial ser­vice pro­gram su­per­visor at DHS.

DHS is trans­ition­ing to a sys­tem in which com­munity-based or­gan­iz­a­tions man­age the cases of the city’s most at-risk youths. The new mod­el is called Im­prov­ing Out­comes for Chil­dren.

While CSS will serve youths in three of the North­east’s four po­lice dis­tricts, Cen­ter City-based Turn­ing Points for Chil­dren will serve those in the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict.

The de­cision to re­vamp Phil­adelphia’s child wel­fare sys­tem fol­lowed tra­gic cases in re­cent years in which there was a lack of co­ordin­a­tion between DHS and agen­cies it had con­trac­ted with to provide ser­vices.

That dual-re­spons­ib­il­ity setup led to a lack of ac­count­ab­il­ity when something went wrong. Now, while DHS will provide over­sight, the sole re­spons­ib­il­ity lies with the com­munity-based or­gan­iz­a­tions.

CSS will mon­it­or a child’s health, school at­tend­ance and liv­ing con­di­tions. It has set up of­fices at New Found­a­tions Inc., a foster-care agency at 7210 Rising Sun Ave.; the Im­macu­late Mary Home, at 2990 Holme Ave.; and Jew­ish Fam­ily and Chil­dren’s Ser­vice of Great­er Phil­adelphia, at 10125 Ver­ree Road.

Burholme Com­munity Town Watch and Civic As­so­ci­ation will meet again on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. at United Meth­od­ist Church of the Re­deem­er, at Cottman and Lawndale av­en­ues. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

comments powered by Disqus