Letter: A failure to invest in N.H. kids

Published: 1/30/2018 12:01:29 AM
A failure to invest in N.H. kids

Following the Monitor’s expose of the crisis at the N.H. Division for Children, Youth and Families, DCYF’s new director, Joe Ribsam, was interviewed on NHPR’s The Exchange.

With many references and comparisons to the N.J. agency where he previously worked, he barely acknowledged the fundamental problem we face here. In the midst of soaring needs and increasing case loads, he managed to characterize a $30,000 salary for social workers caring for N.H. children as a living wage. A family in N.H. needs more than double that to meet basic needs.

According to Ribsam, good social workers “don’t do this work for the money.” Young professionals who are educated and interested in working in public service cannot afford to work as volunteers. It is insulting to them and to the families they serve to have a state strategy that relies on underpaid, overloaded professionals who cannot care for their own families on poverty wages.

Failure to fund DCYF at the same time that we underfund mental health services, education and opioid treatment programs guarantees tragic outcomes ahead for N.H. children.

Our governor, Chris Sununu, is leading a party marching our state down a familiar misguided path of tax giveaways to the wealthy and the belief that someone else will volunteer to take care of the very people he is supposed to serve.

Based on this flawed leadership, the Monitor should prepare for another series coming soon with shocking headlines describing the preventable neglect, abuse and deaths of children that will be the direct result of these failures.



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