Saturday, July 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I could never do what they do. Not nearly as well.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I am so behind on paperwork that I will be two months instead of one. I had a little time this weekend, but could not get my butt in the chair. But this morning I figured it out. I had "staffed" (that's the fancy department word for had a little meeting or chat about) these things so much that I don't really feel the need to write it all down.
But as if it's not documented, it didn't happen, sometime this week, I will need to prove the existence of both May and June.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
We have a father with drug history and a history of letting others injure children in his care while he is present.
Living with someone who has a history of letting others injure children in her care, while she is present
AND someone who has been convicted of seriously injuring a child.
So yes, let's give them all unsupervised time with a developmentally disabled two year old.
I just don't get it.
Monday, June 6, 2011
For now, it means that my case load goes from 2 times optimal to almost 3 times optimal. And that isn't good. We go into Firefighter mode. We put out fires. We try to keep current with standards. Bur really, we cannot be proactive, we cannot be available to people like we should, and we really can't do the job. My voice mail is filled by noon most days, and I cannot return most of the calls in a timely manner. I cannot mentally process all the email requests. And then there are "minimum standards" that I am supposed to be keeping up with. Can you say bare minimums?
All I can hope is that no one dies this month.
And since no one wants a job that sets one up to be incompetent, the exodus begins....
the question is, who is next?
(why yes, my resume is "out there.")
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Q So anyone with a CPS call on them can never be a foster parent?
A. No one with history. Believe it or not, there are tons of families without CPS history. It's NOT a right of passage.
Q Just because CPS has removed my children multiple times, it doesn't mean I'm a bad mom.
A. Actually, it does.
Wish I could have been the one to say it out loud.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Drunk mama fighting with drunk gramma at court.
A baby is born, and mamma has to decide whether to do a private adoption or the state will take custody.
And a teenager is thrilled to move back to her home town, for tonight anyway.
But I didn't quit today.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
There are days (weeks, months, seasons) that are so tightly scheduled and so dependent on many people sticking to the plan that all it takes is one person calling in sick or one emergency to affect thing into next month. The Butterfly Effect of social services. One state senator sneezes and two hundred positions are lost. Etc.
I am posting from my personal phone out of utter frustration. I am supposed to be a "mobile" caseworker which means the expectation is that I am working in the field most of the time. And I have equipment that is designed to allow that.
I think no one else got the memo. People expect me to be in the office at their convenience, answer phones and emails immediately, and meet all deadlines. Which is easy to do....from the office. Not so much from the drivers seat of a camry.
I may start a pool...pick the day I give my two weeks notice...
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Three years ago.
We called it the Summer of Hell. Our staff of six was suddenly a staff of 2. My caseload went from a capped caseload of about 19 to 39 in about three weeks. Did I mention that the "optimum" caseload is about 16?
Adding to my misery was the fact that about five of the cases involved children in Emergency Shelters. Emergency Shelters are placements that care for children that we can't find foster homes for. The may have some kind of behavioral issue, or they are a certain age or gender that is hard to place. Emergency Shelters do a job that is difficult at best and impossible most of the time. And they charge the State a whole lot more. But, while our children are in Emergency Shelters, we caseworkers are required to put our eyeballs on the child weekly. Which isn't a problem when they are in town, but most Emergency Shelters are at least two hours from our town. Summer of Hell. I have to rent a car whenever I have to drive over 150 miles. There were 11 rental cars a month that Summer of Hell.
The weekly visits were not convenient. But I talked to someone who had been a fos ter child. She said that she was left in an Emergency Shelter and no caseworker came by to see her for three months. She was left in the shelter for three months with no one to tell her the plan for her life, what was happening with her parents or anything else. She cried when I told her that we saw shelter kids weekly and gave them our cell phone numbers.
I cried when I thought about how I was inconvenienced.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I had to tell a mother in her twenties this week that she will not see her child for about eight weeks. Not finding the happy in that. I am sure this motivational method is the bomb for Microsoft,. I'm sure the other Fortune 500 companies this man has spoken to enjoyed the Musical Power Point Slides. But somehow, in a room filled with people who daily deal with tragedy and who themselves are victims of secondary traumatic stress, Find Your Happy is trite and not exactly helpful.
And I like Polenta. Don't demean it by calling it Mushy Stuff.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
There was the additional problem that there are several callers that traditionally leave messages lasting multiple minutes, using up the time allowed for everyone. Learn to share, folks!
So the State gave us Cell phones and call us Mobile caseworkers so that people can always reach us. The State forgot that we cannot answer those cell phones in court, and we can't chat on cell phones while driving with children in the car, and we can't document those calls even if we did feel comfortable using the phone while driving other people's children. Which I don't.
All this to say, one week of vacation and then when the week you return involves two full days of court and two days of traveling, there are going to be "Voice Mail full" messages on every phone, and "Email Hell" where the inbox can't take anymore. Which might be helpful when the ombudsman complaints start coming.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Should we cut funds for education or child safety?
My comments later...
But first a joke...
A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier and says, "Watch out for that union guy -- he wants a piece of your cookie."