Letters

Your article “On-the-job training” (Fall 2002) highlighted the CALL initiative of the Jewish Vocational Service of Greater Boston as providing essential post-employment follow-up services that are so critical to the long-term career success of our “at-risk” population.

Job Corps, the nation’s largest residential employment and educational-training program for economically disadvantaged youth, has also recognized and is responding to this need. Job Corps is a federal program administered by the US Department of Labor that specifically serves at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24. The program has been in existence since 1964, and we know from experience that our services must extend beyond job placement toward the long-term employability of our students.

Toward that end, Job Corps provides a combination of personalized career planning, academic and vocational training, social skills training, and practical learning experiences to prepare young people for stable, long-term, high-paying jobs. Our counselors work with graduates for up to a year after job placement to provide them with the support they need to continue working. This support varies according to the needs of the student, but may include assistance with work schedules, budgeting, housing, day care, health care, and transportation.

Beyond the logistics of this support, Job Corps employs a compassionate and dedicated team of instructors, career advisors, and counselors that truly care about improving the futures of our students.

For more information about Job Corps, visit www.nejobcorps.org or call 1-800-97-BEGIN.

Lenore Brill Wadman
Youth Services and Job Corps
US Department of Labor
Boston

STATE IS PLAYING CATCH-UP IN DETECTING CHILD ABUSE

Thanks very much for highlighting the frightening lack of child-abuse expertise among medical professionals in Massachusetts and the failure of the state to pay reasonable rates for child-abuse evaluations (“Misdiagnosis,” Fall 2002).

In addition to my role as director of the child-abuse clinic at New England Medical Center’s Floating Hospital for Children, I am also director of the Institute for Professional Education at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). I point this out because I believe our ultimate success depends upon the combined efforts of our medical institutions and the advocacy community. The mission of the Institute for Professional Education is to improve the understanding and competence of front-line health care and other professionals in the detection, prevention, treatment, and adjudication of child abuse and neglect.

MSPCC has a 124-year history of advocating for programs, policies, and resources that protect and promote the rights and well-being of children. Consistent with its history, MSPCC is throwing down the gauntlet on this issue and we plan to advocate for the following:

  • The official addition of a subspecialty on Child Maltreatment by the American Board of Pediatrics and the implementation of relevant training and fellowship programs;
  • Required training in child abuse and neglect at Massachusetts medical and dental schools for all medical students and specialized training in this field for pediatricians, family physicians, and emergency department physicians;
  • Third-party reimbursement rates for child-abuse evaluations that reflect the specialized nature of the evaluations as well as the time, multidisciplinary personnel, facilities, and equipment needed for this activity; and a
  • Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine requirement for continuing education in child abuse and domestic violence as a condition of licensure to practice.

MSPCC has worked diligently with state Sen. Susan Tucker to develop legislation that would establish regional child sexual abuse evaluation centers to meet the need for comprehensive evaluations of approximately 7,000 Massachusetts children who are alleged to have been the victims of abuse. These would be expanded in future legislation to include all forms of maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse and all forms of neglect) so that Massachusetts could finally take its place among other states that are moving aggressively to properly identify and treat child abuse.

Robert M. Reece, MD
New England Medical Center’s Floating Hospital for Children
Boston

GREYLOCK GLEN PROMISED AS ECONOMIC CATALYST

I must correct some of the misinformation that the obstructionists have placed in the article about the Greylock Glen site (“Last Resort,” Town Meeting Monitor).

Tad Ames, of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council claims that the site is a public reservation. It is not now nor has it ever been a public reservation. For many years the land in question was used as farms. The town of Adams received taxes on that property. The owners of the farms later sold the land to developers who planned various projects. The ponds on the site were built by one of the developers and used with the golf course that was on the site.

The state of Massachusetts took control of the land with the intent of developing the site into an economic catalyst for the town of Adams. Such development is required under the law by which the state took control of the property. Residents of Adams will consider it a violation of the law if the property in question is not developed to give Adams the economic benefit that the state promised.

The obstructionist groups have never proposed any viable alternatives to help Adams nor do they have any stake in what is best for the town of Adams.

David Charon
Adams