Matthew Joseph, Letter to the Editor, The Baltimore Sun (August 6, 2009)
Seeking the end of judicial oversight for child welfare in Baltimore City is part of a disturbing pattern by the O'Malley Administration to evade any and all independent scrutiny, from courts, legislature, advocates, press and legally-established monitoring entities. When the lives of children literally hang in the balance, we can not simply provide blank checks. Public agencies that claim to be moving in the right direction should welcome a bright spotlight, to draw praise to accomplishments, gain constructive feedback, expose the need for more resources and create long-lasting support for reforms. Given how poorly these agencies have performed historically, trying to squash external review only raises suspicion that something is being hidden and turns away potential allies.
Matthew Joseph, Baltimore
The writer is executive director of Advocates for Children and Youth.