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  • Writer's pictureEva Horner

Table for as Many Who Want to Help!

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Almost three years ago I wrote this as a response to a USA Today article (see link below). And I have to ask if anything has really changed. Yes and maybe? Yes, in that an abusive lead agency was removed from Tampa Bay by the Department of Children and Families. Now these communities have new lead agencies with the opportunity for the community to try this again. My hope is that these organizations understand the gravity of this responsibility and how many people are counting on their success. Yes, in that employees took a stand and participated in the Great Resignation. While front line child welfare professionals and families were left behind by our colleagues who decided they would not be a part of systems and organizations that take more than they give. I believe they started an employment revolution that demands employers pay attention to how they are treating the people they depend on to get work done. And in child welfare, getting work done means keeping kids safe and families together. Yes, in that I finally had the courage to create a case management organization, 4 Sisters Solutions. We call 4Sisters the anti-agency to ensure that ALL decisions are made with an understanding of the impact on employees and parents we serve and on an assumption that while some may take advantage of a generous policy, most will not. We build on most and greatest impact, not some. We do this through relationships, not process. Yes, in that we started to see organizations take steps away from contracts that limited their ability to fully serve children and families but gave them 100% of the risk associated. Hard decisions, but we must start drawing these lines of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. But I'd only say maybe related to how we work together, and this can undermine all of the yeses we were able to make as a state. The Department of Children and Families determined that the role they assumed in the advent of Community-Based Care was too disengaged and now is re-engaging. To this, we should say welcome back and put aside fear-based speculation. As a provider, we welcome partnership and understand what it means to partner. A component of partnership is to listen to the other and so far, we are experiencing the Department engaged in that activity as we have with many lead agencies over the years. I hope we are collectively able to recognize the big table we sit around where everyone should have plenty of room to sit and participate.

Eva Horner


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