Peter MacKinnon, MA

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I am a child protective supervisor with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and I see the work my colleagues and I do as the frontline for children’s safety in our state. I chose to pursue a career in social work because I care deeply about helping families provide safe homes for children. That work routinely puts me in difficult situations, situations that call upon the training and tools I’ve been provided through my union. Being a union member allows me to make the most of my job, which benefits both myself and those who I help.

These are often high stakes situations and we need to be able to provide the very best response. After a series of unfortunate tragedies, our union knew we needed to take action to protect vulnerable children. Our ability to join together has allowed me and my colleagues to reform child protection in Massachusetts. With the support of my union, I led a two-year effort backed by 3,000 front-line social workers to improve the state’s services available for child safety. Our goal was to bring the best practices in child social work to Massachusetts. That meant ensuring social workers in the field had mobile communications and bringing state caseloads in line with national standards, and update child social work to best practices.

Those improvements to child protection would not have been possible without the support of my union. We were able to advocate for children and families with one voice, strengthening our message to reach those who could help us create positive change.

The children of Massachusetts need allies, and we can only be those allies when we have the training and resources to do so. The special interests behind this Supreme Court case are putting those kids in danger. Our unions must be protected so we can protect them.