Medfield Youth Outreach – future of clinical services questioned
At the Select Board meeting Thursday night, I was surprised when the Board refused to reappoint the Medfield Youth Outreach Advisory Board, created in 2016, with one member suggesting that it did not even need to be a town board, but could instead operate informally.
Additional surprise came when Kristine Trierweiler reported that the Select Board needed to resolve the future existence of the Medfield Youth Outreach clinical services prior to her posting to hire the new Director of the Medfield Youth Outreach, a position that has been vacant since Dawn Alcott left in the spring.
I am informed that there is still unresolved concern over whether the Medfield Youth Outreach should continue to exist in its current form, namely whether Medfield Youth Outreach should provide clinical counseling services, or whether Medfield Youth Outreach should instead just be referring all counseling clients to services provided by third parties. Medfield Youth Outreach has been providing clinical services to Medfield’s youth for the past forty years, and a question has been raised as to whether that should continue.
There are reportedly also concerns about potential liability and HIPAA compliance –
- note 1: any town service can create liability, and therefore the town buys insurance. Also, both Medfield Youth Outreach employees carried their own insurance as well;
- note 2: Medfield Youth Outreach has been doing clinical counseling for the forty years of its existence.
- note 3: any health care worker must comply with HIPAA.
The Select Board had extensive discussions about the Medfield Youth Outreach program at the Board’s June 18 meeting with both the Interim Director of Medfield Youth Outreach and members of the Medfield Youth Outreach Advisory Board. I thought the Select Board had resolved all these MYO issues that night, and that the hiring was proceeding.
All these matters will reportedly be discussed by the Select Board, again, at its meeting on September 17, and hopefully this time a resolution will be reached that allows for the posting and prompt hiring of a new MYO Director.