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Monday Minute with David Fair

January 8, 2024 Category: FeatureQ&A

What must Philadelphia do to ensure that communities can access adequate health and human services?

“Philadelphia’s new mayor needs to prioritize breaking down the silos among the various health and human service bureaucracies and truly integrate our myriad “systems of care” and their funding. Almost all of our intractable crises are multi-faceted, but we have so balkanized the systems we’ve created (at the cost of billions annually) that they spend more time referring to each other than they do blending their resources to create solutions. Bottom line: We need a truly systematized “system of care,” not hundreds of little fiefdoms all doing their own thing.”

 

When it comes to your work at Turning Points how are you reducing the effects of poverty, housing, and food insecurity for children and families?

“Most of our work is with families involved in the child welfare system, which is resourced more to assure safety today than solving longer term the issues that put children and families at risk in the first place. But a child that’s not safe or a family that’s not stable is a child and family that’s not secure. So until we have integrated systems of care aimed at practical solutions, we work to assure that the child is safe and the family is connected to the resources that can help keep them that way.”

 

Final Thoughts

“After a career of almost 50 years in health and social services, I’m tired of the failure of government and the nonprofit sector to truly create multi-systemic solutions. We need to admit it – while thousands receive some relief from our fragmented systems, in the longer run we’re really making little progress in solving problems, whether individual or systemic. We have to stop being tolerant of these failures and have the courage to break down the silos, blend the money, and measure our progress by results, not just effort.”

 

One piece of advise leaders should take into the week

“While success is great, the real power is in showing up and trying.” SHOW UP!

 

David Fair is the Executive Officer at Turning Points for Children.

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