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Strong Support for Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order to Overhaul Vulnerable Population Systems

Strong Support for Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order to Overhaul Vulnerable Population Systems

first_imgStrong Support for Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order to Overhaul Vulnerable Population Systems August 01, 2019 Human Services,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Advocacy groups and legislators praised Governor Tom Wolf for signing an executive order Wednesday making sweeping changes to Pennsylvania’s systems that provide protections and support to vulnerable people.“The new Council on Reform met immediately after the announcement and is already hard at work identifying the changes our commonwealth’s systems need to undergo to better serve Pennsylvanians,” said Gov. Wolf. “I am eagerly anticipating their report, so we can start making the changes that will end the issues that have permeated our systems for decades.”Sen. Lisa Baker and Sen. Judy Schwank released a joint statement commending Wolf’s actions:“In response to Governor Wolf’s announcement of Executive Order 2019-05 and directives intended to increase protection of vulnerable populations, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20th) and Senator Judy Schwank (D-11) said they were pleased the administration is building on legislative efforts to address deficiencies in Pennsylvania’s child welfare system. For more than a year the Senators have been working to establish the Interbranch Commission on the Child Welfare System (SB 297) to advance remedies.‘Given the unacceptable number of tragedies experienced in recent years, and the documented shortcomings in the child protection system, there is a need for the sort of initiatives the governor is advancing,’ Baker said. ‘We also need the thorough and extensive inquiry that an independent interbranch commission can provide, so that will continue to be a priority.’‘I’m very encouraged by Gov. Wolf’s initiative in addressing the delivery of critical children’s services,’ Schwank said. ‘We need to continue to pursue our efforts in the legislature. The children in our care must be kept safe, and I am hopeful that at the end of this process we are ensuring their better future.’‘We have heard the troubling stories and profound questions from survivors of abuse and from family and friends of those lost to abuse. These come from our districts and many places across Pennsylvania. We owe them answers in the way of effective and lasting reform of state law and practices,’ they said.”Rep. Frank Dermody added on Twitter, “I welcome Gov. Wolf’s important action to defend vulnerable people. The state has a vital role here. I’ll work in the #PaHouse to advance any bills needed to keep the progress going. #Plan4PA.”Rep. Christina Sappey echoed his sentiment. “Pleased to share @GovernorTomWolf announced an executive order providing for protection to vulnerable populations. This order makes PA a trauma-informed state and expands on trauma-informed education initiatives I successfully passed in Harrisburg last month. #traumainformed,” she posted on Twitter.Other groups and individuals that have lauded Gov. Wolf’s executive order include:The AARP“AARP and its 1.8 million Pennsylvania members applaud the Wolf Administration for taking steps to better protect vulnerable older adults from potential physical and financial exploitation, and help seniors remain at home and in the community-where they want to be,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director and Council on Reform Member Bill Johnston-Walsh. “We are optimistic that this work will also lead to a long-overdue update to the state’s Older Adult Protective Services Act, and additional resources to help local aging advocates keep pace with rising reports of elder abuse.”Kari King, President and CEO, PA Partnerships for Children (PPC)“PPC commends Gov. Wolf on this initiative as it creates a prime opportunity to build on work in the child welfare community prioritizing prevention and kinship care, or care that is provided in family-like settings. Research tells us outcomes for children are better when kids are placed in family-like settings rather than in group homes or institutions. Unfortunately, 14 percent of the foster care population were placed in group home settings in 2018. We hope to partner with the administration and other advocates at the table to improve the child welfare system and realize the common goal we all share for at-risk children: that they are placed in loving homes free from abuse and neglect.”Douglas E. Hill, Executive Director, The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania“Counties are major providers of these services. We have long advocated for the resources to permit counties to do our jobs most effectively, and an oversight environment that focuses on outcomes for the clients more than on paper work. Our strong partnership in delivery of protective services to vulnerable populations will benefit from a thorough review and potentially new ways of providing services. We agree system changes are needed to allow us to more efficiently deliver services for which counties have been advocating, and we look forward to working with state officials in advancing the partnership.”Nancy Murray, President of the Arc of Greater Pittsburgh at ACHIEVA“ACHIEVA applauds the Wolf Administration for the Executive Order creating the Council on Reform. PA needs to do more to ensure the safety of children, people with disabilities, seniors, victims of domestic abuse and other vulnerable groups. The Council is charged with submitting a report to the Governor with recommendations for changes by November 1, 2019.”The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence“The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) commends Governor Tom Wolf for signing his ‘Protection of Vulnerable Populations’ Executive Order today. The Order establishes an Office of Advocacy and Reform within the governor’s office to help ensure the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians. Additionally, a Council on Reform will be created to support efforts to protect vulnerable populations throughout Pennsylvania. PCADV Chief Executive Officer Susan Higginbotham has been appointed to the Council on Reform, which will focus efforts on protecting vulnerable populations from three perspectives: Prevention and Diversion, Protection and Intervention, and Justice and Support.”Richard S. Edley, President and CEO, RCPA“RCPA congratulates the Governor on taking these important steps toward keeping the citizens of our Commonwealth safe and protected, by increasing oversight and accountability of its institutions, as well as improving responsiveness to incident management. It is clear that Governor Wolf’s administration is committed to improving the system’s ability to address, and help prevent, the mistreatment of Pennsylvanians in vulnerable situations.”Adam Marles, President and CEO, Leading Age“LeadingAge PA, the voice of non-profit senior care in Pennsylvania, today commended Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order to form a new Office of Advocacy and Reform to protect vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including our oldest and most frail population.“LeadingAge PA will always support efforts to improve the care and quality of life of Pennsylvania’s seniors and looks forward to working with the administration together on this. For some of our frail elderly, nursing facilities remain the best and most compassionate choice for care. For others, we believe it’s important to help them receive care in the least restrictive settings, including their homes.“Our members take great pride in supporting the many dedicated professionals on their team who care deeply for their patients. It’s our hope the new Office of Advocacy and Reform will work with us to identify resources to help us keep our team members – and compete for new ones.”The Center for Children’s Justice (C4CJ)“The Center for Children’s Justice (C4CJ) celebrates Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to prioritize protecting Pennsylvania’s children and to create a Child Advocate within a newly created Office of Advocacy and Reform.“This is incredible and long overdue news for Pennsylvania children who have experienced sexual and physical violence.“C4CJ, along with other advocates for victimized children, have spent decades urging Pennsylvania policymakers to create an independent Child Advocate as part of a broader commitment to ensuring that Pennsylvania’s child protection laws and practices emphasize evidence, recognize and reduce trauma, promote independent oversight and value transparency.“Even as C4CJ celebrates this news and the words spoken today, it is critical that we acknowledge that fundamental questions still need answers. Among them: Will the Advocate operate with independence and be provided with funding to accomplish the consequential work on behalf of vulnerable children?“The scope of duties outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order (EO) are intentional and represent those fully supported by C4CJ, including triaging complaints about government services for children and families involved in the child protection system and recommending system-wide improvements. The promising scope of duties outlined are a powerful signal that Pennsylvania is done letting institutional practices and loyalties, along with the quirks of state government, be of greater priority than protecting children. Still, translating today’s well-received words into actual protections for children will require intentional actions, independent oversight and a sustained financial investment.“Separately, the Governor’s EO creates a Council of Reform. The scope of the Council’s work and the vulnerable populations to be represented at the table is broad and diverse. That invites some caution in that even with the best of intentions, children, particularly abused and neglected children, may slip off-the-radar. Every effort must be made to ensure that the Council is intentionally child-centered and guards against victimized children being diminished or disregarded.“Finally, none of the promising steps taken today should deter the Pennsylvania General Assembly from acting to ensure Pennsylvania’s child protection statutes sufficiently invest in evidence-based and upfront prevention strategies to keep children safe at home as well as promote child-centered and trauma-informed interventions when abuse has occurred. Ultimately there can be no relenting, on all fronts, to ensure that every Pennsylvania child can live and grow free from sexual and physical violence connected to nurturing and supported families.”To see all of Gov. Wolf’s reforms, view the full Executive Order.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

McIlroy hangs on to win Open

McIlroy hangs on to win Open

first_img McIlroy’s closing 71 gave him a 17-under-par total of 271, two ahead of a gallant Garcia whose closing 66 left him joint second with Rickie Fowler. Fowler birdied three of the last four holes to card a 67 and has now finished fifth, second and second in the year’s majors. The Northern Irishman becomes just the third man in the modern era after Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to win three majors by the age of 25, while the first prize of £975,000 was not the only windfall for the McIlroy family – his father Gerry and three friends each won £50,000 after putting £100 on the 15-year-old at 500-1 a decade ago to lift the Claret Jug before his 26th birthday. Back up to second in the world rankings, McIlroy has completed three legs of the career Grand Slam and needs to win the Masters to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only men to have won all four majors. He led by four shots going into the final round at Augusta in 2011 only to collapse to a closing 80. McIlroy is the second wire-to-wire winner of a major in succession after Martin Kaymer won the US Open at Pinehurst last month by eight shots, the same margin by which McIlroy won the 2011 US Open and 2012 US PGA Championship. A similar procession was expected in some quarters on Sunday, not least when McIlroy got off to a flying start by smashing a drive down the middle of the first fairway and holing from 20 feet for birdie to extend his lead to seven shots. However, the benign conditions were allowing the chasing pack to make a charge and it was Garcia who took most advantage, birdies on the first, third and fifth taking him to the turn in 32. McIlroy had carded consecutive bogeys for the first time all week on the fifth and sixth and had to save par from a greenside bunker on the seventh, but also birdied the ninth to restore a four-shot cushion. That lasted a matter of minutes though, Garcia holing from 12 feet for an eagle on the 10th to reduce the gap to just two shots, only for McIlroy to respond with a two-putt birdie on the same hole 10 minutes later. It was Garcia’s turn to feel the pressure as he carved his approach to the 12th into the grandstand, but he was smiling seconds later as the ball rebounded out and on to the edge of the green. From there he saved par, kissed the ball and deposited it straight back into the same grandstand – albeit at a considerably slower speed than the first time. McIlroy agonisingly left a birdie putt inches short on the same hole before hitting a dreadful tee shot on the 13th which came up well short of the green, the resulting bogey cutting his lead to two shots again. Then came the defining moment. With McIlroy watching back on the tee, Garcia failed to get out of a greenside bunker on the 15th at the first attempt and although he birdied the 16th, so did McIlroy and when Garcia left a birdie attempt on the 17th tamely short, it was effectively all over. “It feels incredible,” McIlroy told the BBC. “Today wasn’t easy. There were a lot of guys making runs at me and I just needed to stay focused, keep in the present and concentrate on what I was doing out there. “To be three legs towards the career grand slam at the age of 25 is a pretty good achievement. It’s not going to sink in for a while.” Asked if he always felt in control, McIlroy added: “The lead never got less than two. I always felt I had that little bit of a cushion. “I knew I had some holes where I could make birdie and 16 was the real hole for me which I think settled the championship.” Speaking about the bet struck by his father and three friends, he added: “I don’t think it matters so much to my dad anymore but the team-mates he did it with, I think they’re a little happier. Hopefully the bet still stands. I’m not quite sure but if it does then that’d be great.” There was some good-natured booing at the presentation ceremony when McIlroy thanked the fans for their support, even though he is a Manchester United fan. The former world number one also praised the efforts of Fowler and Garcia, adding: “Well done for putting up such a fight, Rickie, no doubt with the way your major record is this year your time will come, and Sergio too….two of the best players in the world.” McIlroy also thanked his friends and family, adding: “This is the first major my mum (Rosie) has been to that I’ve won, so mum, this one’s for you. “I just can’t wait to get back and defend this thing at St Andrews next year.” McIlroy took a six-shot lead over Rickie Fowler into the last round and was seven clear of Garcia, but saw that advantage cut to just two strokes as Garcia played the first 10 holes in five under par. However, the 34-year-old Spaniard – fifth here in 2006 and now with 19 top-10s in 64 majors – crucially bogeyed the 15th to release some of the pressure and McIlroy would not be denied becoming the first European player to win three different majors since the Masters was founded in 1934. Even greats such as Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros won just two of the four. Rory McIlroy held off a spirited challenge from Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia to claim his third major title on a thrilling final day of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on Sunday. Press Associationlast_img read more