I represent the Eleventh Middlesex District; which consists of approximately half of the City of Newton, including Wards 2, 3, 4 and some precincts in Wards 1 and 7. As House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, we review legislation concerning child welfare, juvenile justice, public welfare, and children and adults with physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities. It is the Committee’s responsibility to oversee the Departments of Children and Families, Developmental Services, Transitional Assistance and Youth Services; the Massachusetts Commissions for the Blind, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.
Over the years, we have made considerable progress in the services that are available to these vulnerable populations. However, the challenges moving forward remains that each person may achieve their full potential with the support of our services. I have a unique perspective not only as Chair of this committee, but by profession as a psychiatric nurse clinical specialist, I understand the special role that families share when caring for their loved ones with disabilities or the emotional effects on a child being removed from his or her parents or family setting. Our ability to appreciate the supportive and caring roles that families accept and the challenges they face allows us a better perspective as how best to meet the needs of the whole family.
The Commonwealth has so many wonderful programs for those in need and I am continually impressed by the love and concern that our caregivers demonstrate. As a legislator, I am proud to share in this responsibility to offer help to those most in need.