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News stories tagged with "social-services"

Amish at odds with county DSS

A case now in St. Lawrence County Family Court sets the county Social Services Department against religious beliefs of the old order Amish in the North Country. Family Court Judge Barbara Potter ruled this week that an Amish couple neglected their year-and-a-half year old son by refusing medical treatment for his life-threatening heart condition. Gideon and Barbara Hershberger of Winthrop say surgery needed to repair the defect violates their religious beliefs. Judge Potter will decide next Tuesday whether to allow the social services department to remove Eli Hershberger removed from his parents' custody for the surgery. Public defender William Galvin represented the family. He declined to comment on the case.

Anthropologist Karen Johnson-Weiner has been studying Amish language and customs for 25 years. She's also become with many North Country Amish families during that time. She doesn't know the Hershbergers, or their son, but she testified at trial this fall on their behalf, particularly about the Amish sect they are part of: the ultra-conservative Swarzentruber Amish. Not all Amish live by the same rules; each church community sets its own. All Amish accept modern medical care, Johnson-Weiner says, but only to a certain point, and that point differs from community to community. Johnson-Weiner told Martha Foley Swartzentruber Amish draw the line at open heart surgery, and pacemakers. And that puts the Hershbergers at odds with the surgery doctors say Eli needs.  Go to full article

Doctor shortage in North Country complicated by Albany budget crisis

New York's Health Commissioner toured the North Country this week, talking about the doctor shortage that continues to plague the region's hospitals and clinics. A new program is being launched next summer, designed to train new doctors to work in rural areas. But as Brian Mann reports, healthcare experts say that won't be enough.  Go to full article

A County's Response to Homelessness

Martha Foley talks with Sue Rabideau, Director of Financial Services for the Franklin County Social Services Department. She's the primary person working on behalf of the homeless in the county.  Go to full article

Welfare Reform on Meier's Agenda

Senator Ray Meier was reappointed as chairman of the Senate Social Services Committee. In a recent interview, Meier said his main focus has been on the welfare to work program and the complex system of public support that's replacing the old model of cash assistance. Jody Tosti reports.  Go to full article

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