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Human Services: Getting Your Money's Worth?

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Date and time
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Join a panel of experts as they discuss the 2003 report *Reforming the Commonwealth's $2 Billion Purchase of Human Services: Meeting the Promise for Clients and Taxpayers*, which finds that while most clients still receive good care, they and their families frequently face long waiting lists, substantial barriers to access, and difficulty navigating the system, and many are not getting services matched to their particular needs. The Commonwealth's vast system for purchasing human services needs major reform, according to a report released on September 23, 2003 by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. This report, prepared by the Massachusetts Taxpayer Association in collaboration with the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, and with major funding from The Boston Foundation, concludes that the burden of the system's flaws falls on the clients, who too often do not receive the quality services they need, and the taxpayers, who are not getting a fair return on the $2 billion spent annually on services purchased from private providers. Since its inception three decades ago, the purchasing system has grown rapidly to become the primary means of delivering human services, ranging from group homes for the developmentally disabled to treatment for juvenile offenders. Over 1,100 provider organizations care for 600,000 Massachusetts residents.

Paul Grogan is the president and chief executive officer of the Boston Foundation. Previously, Paul served as vice president for Government, Community and Public Affairs at Harvard University, where he oversaw all government relations for Harvard, relations with Harvard's host communities of Cambridge and Boston, and the Harvard news office. He was also a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School. While at Harvard, Paul also created a new national organization, CEOs for Cities, comprised of large city mayors, business leaders, university presidents and foundation executives. Paul has also served as President and CEO of the nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation's largest community development intermediary. During his term as president, LISC raised and invested more than $3 billion of private capital in inner-city revitalization efforts across America, channeled through local nonprofit community development corporations. He is a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, founder and a director of the for-profit company, the Community Development Trust, and a director of New Profit, Inc.