Orange County supervisors on Wednesday called for an overhaul of the process of contracting with agencies catering to troubled youths seeking adoption after drawing criticism from past and present elected officials on the proposed cancellation of services with one Tustin-based organization.
Orange County officials had recommended sunsetting a contract with Seneca Orange County at the end of March, and awarding mental health outpatient services for youths to several other agencies.
Among the top leaders pushing to maintain the county’s relationship with Seneca were Anaheim City Councilwoman Kris Murray, former Newport Beach Mayor Evelyn Hart and former state Sen. Marian C. Bergeson, the first woman to serve in both the Senate and Assembly. She was also a former county supervisor from the mid-1990s.
“Seneca truly wraps around them and embraces them,” Murray said of the agency’s clients. “The work that they do is exceptional… To continue that in our county is imperative.”
Board Chairman Todd Spitzer said when he learned of the protests about the Seneca contract, “I was greatly disturbed.”
The board agreed to extend its contract with Seneca for six months, instead of three months, and form an ad-hoc committee that will examine the scoring process staff uses to award contracts for outpatient mental health services for the county’s youths.
— City News Service
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