09 Mar Rochester’s Missed Opportunity
“Monroe County officials don’t often turn down grants, especially big ones.
So when the county rejected a $2.6 million state grant for the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office to expand its representation of parents facing child neglect or abuse allegations, some members of the local legal and social-services communities were understandably confused.
And they see the county’s decision as a missed opportunity.
“What they’re giving up is the opportunity to solve small problems before they become big problems in the lives of very vulnerable children,” says Bryan Hetherington, chief counsel for Empire Justice Center, a Rochester- and Albany-based legal aid organization. “And they’re giving up the opportunity to save a lot of money.”‘