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A Message from Commissioner Dorantes

Village ducksOur July edition of "Spotlight on What's Right" newsletter highlights the collaborative efforts between the Department of Children and Families and our community partners which have resulted in positive outcomes for families.
We do nothing in isolation…
Each month, we intend to share successes experienced as we work together. These 'stories' come from you and our provider network as we continue to celebrate families who are strengthened and healing while children remain safely at home or are returned to a family setting.
As I considered this message, a few thoughts came to my mind….
First, I can never say enough about how much I appreciate our DCF workforce. You strive each day to find creative ways to enhance the lives of the children and families we serve - THANK YOU!!!
Our community partners also work diligently to adapt to the ever-changing environment around us--- They meet families where they are and create a bridge of support over the rough waters.  At the same time, our providers offer ongoing input & suggestions on our service delivery system across the state and into Department operations - THANK YOU!!!
The African proverb used to inspire the quote in this rubber-ducky pic, is often uttered as affirmation to reflect not only our professional work but also our personal interactions. I challenge us to espouse the meaning of true village people. Communities need more support and less surveillance and are craving for us to SEE them as true partners.  Ironically, in each of the stories you will read in this edition, the individual interviewed mentions that it took "a village" to assist these children and their families to reach success. This theme permeates the stories and illustrates what can be accomplished when we work together authentically.
You will read about an adolescent being adopted, a removal that is prevented, and a father and son reunified -- breaking the intergenerational cycle of neglect. Ask ourselves… with a different type of partnership, earlier in their lives, would there have even been a cycle to break?
For the three families highlighted, we also see the results of providing equitable supports. Do we strive to ensure equity towards each family and child we serve? Of course, as service delivery models should be implemented in the same manner to ensure their fidelity. Yet, what if a family needs more than what is being traditionally provided? Or if those working with the family seek to understand the complex individual histories through an empathetic lens? These stories show us what happens when interventions are approached that way.
Equitable treatment is not the same as equal treatment. With an equity lens, we provide what is needed for a specific family to reach a goal … even if that means one child or family receives more than another. An equitable system results in positive outcomes for everyone. See if you can spot the results of an equity approach in the stories we share this month. The details are nestled in our every-day interactions with families yet they require us to tune-in to that need on purpose.
What were the outcomes for each of these families? The path home for these children was different. The supports needed were equitable and everyone appears to be better off as a result.
Thank you once again for your collective efforts - Children and families are in a better place bec
ause of our work TOGETHER.