The Philadelphia Youth Residential Placement Task Force was formed in June 2018 and composed of leaders from the City, including the Department of Human Services, the Public Defender’s Office, and City Council, among others. Their final report served as a means to urge local officials to reduce the number of youths put in institutions in the first place.
Residential programs that serve Philadelphia children should be required to install video cameras, train and pay staff well, and commit to reducing or eliminating the use of physical restraints. And Philadelphia should appoint a children’s ombudsman to investigate safety issues and commit to building small, local residential programs to keep youths from becoming isolated from the community in far-flung and often dangerous placements.
How does a 46-page report with input from two dozen representatives from city agencies and nonprofits that work with system-involved youth, as well as professionals, students, parents, and caregivers with experience in the system become a cohesive, well-edited, straightforward commentary in a short timeframe? That’s where Sage excels.
We used our skills as writers and editors, and our deep knowledge of the issue to ensure that the report was easily accessible to a wide audience. Writing concisely and clearly takes time, but we managed as a team to keep the report moving through a complex process and multiple suggestions from Task Force members.