A Message from Commissioner Dorantes...September brings us many important themes to celebrate starting with National Kinship Care Month!
Could a teacher you met in a high school Math lab become a permanent kinship placement? Yes, if your name is Lily. Read her story and how the right family created the foundation for her success.
In this month's "Spotlight on What's Right" newsletter, Bureau Chief Tina Jefferson and Foster Care Director Natalia Liriano discuss their vision to lead the Department towards achieving the aspirational target of 70% of children residing with kin. We also have a unique perspective on kinship care from Rodney Moore, Social Work Supervisor in New Haven.
"Esperanza: Si Se Puede" or "Hope: Yes We Can!" is the theme of this year's Central Office Hispanic/Latin (O,A,X) Heritage Month celebration. Hispanic /Latin (O,A,X) Heritage Month is celebrated from 9/15/21 thru 10/15/21. The National theme - Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope, celebrates resilience and recognizes we are stronger together.
Connecticut is becoming more diverse! New U.S. Census data shows the number of Hispanic residents has grown by 30% over the past decade - an increase of 144,206 people!
September is also Suicide Awareness Month. Connecticut experiences 8 suicides annually of youth under the age of 18 years. For adolescents and young adults in Connecticut ages 15-34 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death. One death is too many.
Please listen to my comments during a Suicide Awareness Month Event and the importance of de-stigmatizing asking for help. Here is a shareable link to resources provided by the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board: CT Suicide Advisory Board.
Lastly, I remind you of our responsibility as public servants in response the Gov's mandate for state employees regarding the COVID vaccine. The expectation is that you provide a vaccine card or negative weekly test results. Staff and contractors of our healthcare facility do not have the test-out option due to additional vulnerabilities of those served in those facilities. I remain so very proud of each and every one of you for the efforts you put forth daily! We are truly in this TOGETHER!