Massachusetts of Department of Transitional Assistance

A Publication of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance

Vol. XIX No. 7 | July 2004
From the Forms File    |    From the Hotline    |    Quality Corner    |    FYIs    |    Keypoints    |    New Initiatives

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."


Eleanor Roosevelt


Commissioner, John WagnerDear Fellow Employees,

Check out the "New Initiatives" option in Policy Online and you'll notice that our list continues to grow. "New Initiatives" memos provide previews of DTA's future. The initiatives are first introduced in selected local offices and then gradually phased in across the state. By starting small, we're able to identify potential glitches and opportunities for improvement before statewide implementation. Since these new initiatives will eventually arrive in your local office, it makes sense to begin learning about them when they are first introduced.
This month, I'd like to take a closer look at the Card Issuance System (CIS) and the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) initiative.

The CIS initiative was created in response to feedback I received from many of you during local office visits. I heard a number of you suggest that the former photo identification system was burdened with complications. First introduced in the Taunton and Brockton local offices in late May, the Bay State Access Card is replacing the facial image identification card process in stages. The new-card creation process is integrated into BEACON and as a result produces a smoother workflow and client delivery process: for the client, there are no fees to replace the card if it is lost or stolen, and for our agency staff, there are no photos to take or fees to collect when issuing a replacement. As the implementation plan has broadened to include all local offices, the feedback I am receiving is generally positive.

The MBHP initiative also began in May. As of this writing, it is being conducted in the Lawrence, Lowell, North Shore and Revere local offices. The initiative aims to work more closely with some of our homeless families in hotels and motels. Certain homeless families facing mental health challenges may now volunteer for a referral, mental health assessment and follow-up services. Recommendations from the family's assessment and referral will help our clients complete their self-sufficiency activities and transition to stable, permanent housing. This initiative attempts to leverage our resources by forging partnerships with three agencies that will assist with referrals and follow-up services. These agencies are the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Family Continuity Program and the Children's Friends and Family Services.

Each of you may be involved with these and other initiatives in the coming months. Your efforts toward making new initiatives successful underscore your outstanding commitment to our clients. With your help, I will continue my commitment to finding better, more efficient ways to deliver benefits.

In closing, I want to recognize that, for many of us, our attention is also focused overseas with the troops in our nation's armed forces. Your attention may at times be diverted by friends or family members who have been called to active duty. I want to take this moment to acknowledge their courage and offer a prayer for peace as well as hopes for their safe return.


John Wagner, Commissioner

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