Friday, January 23, 2009

Opportunity 5: SBS Training for social service programs

Typically, county government includes a department of social services (DSS) that is responsible for providing foster care and funding child care for TANF recipients who need it to return to work.

Ask the DSS Commissioner to incorporate an hour of training about the vulnerability of young children, SBS, and coping skills. Equally important, ask that the trainers also teach these caregivers how to educate other caregivers.

If the complaint is that it will cost too much, let them know that it will cost a lot more to treat one SBS case. And remind them that there are savings: the county will be saving its share of the costs Medicaid would have paid to treat one child.

Not to mention cost NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the agency that manages NYC's foster care program, $1 million to settle a $500 million lawsuit brought by the Cochran Law Firm on behalf of Antonia Phillips, a child who suffered inflicted injuries while in the ACS foster care program. The case continued until 2007, so New York's taxpayers undoubtedly paid some significant legal expenses as well.

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