Why Not Use the Mass Care Strategy Developed for Disasters?

This posting raises a question that the Diva has been wondering about: PERSPECTIVE: DHS & HHS/ORR Sidestepping Use of National Mass Care Strategy in Immigrant Children Crisis, by Heather Blanchard

At this very moment, these children are being managed by government contractors whose expertise in “sheltering” children is focused on the judicial system of juvenile detention while our civilian system’s National Response Framework (ESF-6 Mass Care), the US crisis management doctrine sits on the sidelines.

For years DHS worked to include lessons learned from countless mass care events to compile them into the National Mass Care Strategy. This covers topics such as family reunification, case management. FEMA has experience in working to support children who cross the border without parents or guardians under the NRF non-Stafford events annex. Under ESF-6, NGOs and child care advocates can gain access and provide services to separated children and families.

3 thoughts on “Why Not Use the Mass Care Strategy Developed for Disasters?

  1. I was on the team that attempted to coordinate the “Unaccompanied Children” situation in 2014. The professional emergency management personnel and 99% of the federal agencies were within days of pulling the trigger on creating shelters and wrap around services for the thousands of families and children sleeping on the floors at the border stations. ESF6 was activated and we were working our tails off. Everything was set and ready to go including the necessary Mission Assignments, except for one detail… the by-in of the US Senator where the shelter was to be build. The project was cancelled.
    The incident command system and in particular ESF6 under the leadership of FEMA has demonstrably worked. The only thing missing was and is the political will to accomplish the task.

  2. Recovery Diva, I have a follow up question: What possible benefit is there in going the “procurement” route in solving this immigration crisis?

    It reminds me of when I was in the fire service and responding to a structure fire. Better to ask for help by initiating mutual aid response and going to the next alarm level, than needing the help and asking for it in piecemeal chunks. With the later, you are ALWAYS playing catchup.

    I am with you in thinking that “pulling the next alarm level”, an ESF-6 activation, one could get a better handle on this situation than we are today.

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