Submitted by: Doug Dickson, Encore Boston Network
As older adults leave the workforce in Massachusetts, we face two challenges: a) how to keep individuals active, healthy and engaged, and b) how to retain the benefit of their skills and experience. At the same time, following the high profile deaths of children involved with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), the DCF, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Governor’s office sought ways to strengthen department operations. One step was to identify duties being handled by social workers that could be handled by clerical staff instead in order to free up social workers to spend more time with children and families in need of protective services.
Encore Boston Network will develop, test and then expand effective strategies for engaging older adults as volunteers for DCF, and create a model that can be replicated by other government agencies. Adding capacity at DCF will benefit vulnerable children and youth. Volunteers will gain measurable improvements in health, life satisfaction, and longevity.
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