- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Several social services advocates are opposing a plan by Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration to merge four offices into one division.

The plan is to consolidate the offices of the state’s mental health advocate, child advocate, commission on the deaf and hard of hearing and commission on disabilities. Critics say a merger threatens to undermine the advocates’ ability to do their jobs by compromising their autonomy.

The Providence Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1Bke7An ) that Susan Jacobsen, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island, said the plan places mental health and child advocates within the same agency that advocates say they may have to sue on behalf of their clients.

Raimondo administration officials said the plan is intended to save money and boost efficiency and would not compromise the advocates’ independence.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, https://www.providencejournal.com


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