H. Fernando Bossa, Clinical Caseworker
As a Clinical Caseworker stationed at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department House of Correction (HOC), Fernando Bossa is fulfilling one of his greatest passions: helping others to become better people.
Coming to the Department in May of 2005, Bossa has worked with inmates on a large variety of issues, including life skills awareness and treatment, domestic violence and, most notably, drug addiction counseling.
«I introduce myself as their caseworker and let them know that I’m going to work with them to try and get the services they need so that they can change some of the behavior that brought them in here,» said Bossa, describing his first approach to new inmates in his care.
«I let them know that I am going to respect them, as I expect them to respect me, and that there is going to be some hard work and tough-love along the way to their recovery,» continued Bossa. «Communication is essential, and I tell them that everyone is expected to share and speak up in class for full participation.»
Enhancing that level of communication further, Bossa has recently – with the blessing of Director of Social Services Ann Nee and Supervisor of Men’s Treatment Programs John Dolan – spearheaded the Department’s first-ever Latino Recovery program for men in the 3-3 unit. The program, which follows the same principles of traditional recovery, provides the critical feature of administering services in Spanish in an effort to more effectively serve members in their primary language.
As a member of the Department, Bossa’s work began with the Friendly Father Initiative, a program that focuses on helping young men become more responsible fathers, and he has also continued his efforts in various communities on several crime prevention initiatives. Additionally, in 2006 and 2007, Bossa was recognized by Spanish language newspaper El Planeta as one of the 100 most influential people in Massachusetts and for his positive influence in the Latino community.
While all of the accolades and recognition are appreciated, Bossa acknowledges, it is the work that he does and the results achieved by it that he values most.
«People do change,» said Bossa. «If I can help people realize the changes that they need to make to improve themselves and make it on the outside, then I’ve done my job. But, my job is not to change you. It’s to give you the education and tools with which to do it. It’s up to you take what you’ve learned and make the changes in your life.»
«The entire staff here is very professional and I’ve had the pleasure and great opportunity to work with good people,» Bossa went on. «I am passionate about the work I do and I hope to continue doing it for many years to come.»