DHS Workers Speak Out On Agency

Full story: News on 6 Tulsa

Another big complaint is a misperception about what DHS caseworkers can and cannot do.
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Since: Jul 08

Fairport, NY

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#1
Jul 24, 2008
 

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Being a case worker for Child Welfare is a dangerous job to have. I have heard case workers state that the parent(s) have threatened their lives if they are ever seen again. Something, anything, could happen to the case workers at anytime, including when they are not on the clock, being out with their own families and then being recognized by a client. The pay does suck, the hours are long. I have posted before that other factors determine if and when the child (ren) are removed from the home. The case workers do not just leave the office thinking, "I'm going to this client's house and take the kids today.". There is an investigation first.
dont do that

Broken Arrow, OK

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#2
Jul 24, 2008
 
I DONT THINK ALLCASEWORKERS are bad.i think the organisation stinks.
Stephanie

Owasso, OK

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#3
Jul 24, 2008
 

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The family I was born into has been involved with the DHS since I was in 6th grade. The children in my family were so abused that by the time my parents finally got a divorce when I was 30, the only thing I could say was "It was 28 years late."

I have a brother in prison,(wife a drug abuser as well) both of his kids are in state custody. My sister has had all three of her kids in DHS custody at times. Another brother thought he was out of the cycle but then his wife started using drugs and even though he was the one with the job and clean the kids were still put back with the mother.

What I have seen over the years is that the court(Judges, D.A.s), DHS, counseling, Police, Support groups and teaching classes for these parents are all a big scam. Yes DHS workers are over worked and under paid, but who isnt right now in America? Everything is all about jumping thru hoops that were put there long so long ago that no one remembers why and common sense doesnt exsist.

Personally I have taken foster children 50 miles round trip week after week to DHS / Chilren and Family Service Counseling only to have these kids returned after the alotted amount of time. The parents are right back doing the same things, the kids are back to suffering and on a road to ruin.

I have already seen what happens to families that the DHS trys to help... its a lasting generational affect. When I was in the 9th grade I begged the judge to help my family and he gave us right back to our parents. I told the judge that my father was making my siblings break laws and they would end up in jail. He said "young lady your parents are doing everything they can to be good parents, and the DHS is helping you so everything will be just fine so stop worrying."

Now I am 40 and all my neices and nephews are in the hands of drug users or state custody and uneducated and socially challenged at best and my brothers and sister are all living the most dysfunctional lives that they cant seem to get out away from. The system has beat them down since they were 5 years old, telling them they would help and then didnt, telling them they had support when they didnt. I mean seriously did the DHS, judges, police and counselors think the beatings stopped just because my parents put on nice clothes and went to a court room and said yes Sir? What a joke!

Where are the good stories? Ive been in the system long enough and been to enough DHS meetings and DHS buildings and sit in the waiting rooms... where are the good stories!?

Oklahoma DHS higher ups... clear to the OKC level is corrupt. Judges just listen to the DHS so that means the judges are corrupt as well. D.A.s are corrupt. Counselors, Children and Family Services, Parenting class Teachers are all there to collect one heck of an easy pay check! Terry Hood should send an under cover to a DHS Parenting class that is court ordered...its a joke!

Thes DHS workers that are coming forward better talk about how the managers and other officials of the DHS are corrupt if they are really wanting change. This is why DHS workers have such a high turn over rate... the good ones are gone in less than a year most of the time.
concerned mommie

AOL

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#4
Jul 24, 2008
 
As a foster parent I can say from experience that most case workers do care about the kids. Our Child welfare system is very complex. First problem is that there are not near enough workers. Second,the workers that we do have are UNDERPAID!! and over worked!! The reimbursment check we receive for our kids is about 30% short of what it actually required to care for the kids properly. We spend about $500 a month out of our pocket. Things like sports and school activities, are not figured in. Many of these kids have several appointments each week. The gasoline to get them there is not figured in. The wear and tear on your car,furniture, carpet, etc. is not figured in. My husband and I make sure that our foster kids get to have and do the same things as other kids. This costs us a lot.

Since: Jul 08

Fairport, NY

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#5
Jul 24, 2008
 

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Stephanie, I am sorry that you had to go through what you did growing up. DHS has gotten stricter in what they do now. I had a cousin who was molested by her father after the death of my aunt, she reported it and nothing was done. Now, they will be on the accused like white on rice, whether it is true or not. I have seen BABIES go back to the parent(s) who did not do what the courts said they were to do, with the case worker and foster parent's saying it would hurt the child in the long run. A friend of mine had a baby since he was 2 days old, addicted to meth, the JUDGE ordered overnight visits, the child kept coming back with severe diaper rashes, bruises. She would take the baby to the doctor for documentation, the worker would file it with the courts, and the JUDGE still replaced the baby back with the parents. It is all about numbers. The more they have in state custody, the worse it looks on the state. Meaning, that Oklahomans cannot take care of their kids. The problem is NATION WIDE. The entire government needs to step in to protect our future, not just the local government.
To concerned mommie

United States

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#6
Jul 24, 2008
 
concerned mommie wrote:
As a foster parent I can say from experience that most case workers do care about the kids. Our Child welfare system is very complex. First problem is that there are not near enough workers. Second,the workers that we do have are UNDERPAID!! and over worked!! The reimbursment check we receive for our kids is about 30% short of what it actually required to care for the kids properly. We spend about $500 a month out of our pocket. Things like sports and school activities, are not figured in. Many of these kids have several appointments each week. The gasoline to get them there is not figured in. The wear and tear on your car,furniture, carpet, etc. is not figured in. My husband and I make sure that our foster kids get to have and do the same things as other kids. This costs us a lot.
It sounds like you are the one that is underpaid.

If the state hired and trained more workers, the cases wouldn't be as large of a load. Then they wouldn't be overworked. The pay would then be in tune with the work performed.

Additionally, there is no excuse why foster parents cannot get paid more to factor in the things you mention. The states will bill the federal gov't. up to $4000.00 per month, per child for foster care reimbursement. You shouldn't have to take ANYTHING out of your pocket. That is ridiculous.
Stephanie

Owasso, OK

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#7
Jul 24, 2008
 

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Concerned mommie... 4K a month for a child... see I told you guys its all corruption and all about money. Someone is making the money and its not the workers or the foster parents.

Just wanted to let you know I have tried to help the system by being a foster parent. I was actually the youngest in the state of Oklahoma in 1988. I have worked with the system off and on for 20 years of my adult life and nothing seems to work, no one seems to listen.

4k a month! Where is all that money going? AUDIT! Its our tax dollars! Corruption is happening when that much money is involved and the people that actually care for the child is only able to make enough money for food and some clothing and the rest of it comes out of the outside income of the foster parent! Been there done that!
fought for 3 yrs

United States

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#8
Jul 24, 2008
 
I have 2 daughters, 13 & 9. When my oldest was 14 months old my ex-husband accused me of neglect. This being after he tried to kill me & I left him. The CASEWORKER came in & checked her out. She left, saying everything was fine. About 30 minutes later she showed back up with the cops & physically took her out of my arms. She told me I was to young to be a mother, so they were going to take her off my hands. They called my grandmother as a "character witness." She asked them if they had taken her into custody, they LIED & told her NO. Everytime I went to court they added more things for me to do. After 2 1/2 yrs I was able to hire a lawyer & get rid of the public defender. The first time she walked into court, she found that someone had already filed adoption papers on MY daughter. To finish up, that court date she got me weekend visitation. 2 months later I went back to court for a review. That was the last one, my daughter went home with me.
So, needless to say, I DON'T BELIEVE THEM!! Yes, I believe they are overworked & under paid. But that is no excuse to treat another humans life a living hell. I was 16 @ the time. Yes, I was young. But I had chose to keep her & raise her. My ex-husband had held a knife to my throat, with the telephone cord wrapped around my neck. As soon as he went to sleep I left. I went to the cops & they said there was not anything they could do because it had been over 4 hrs since the incident. So, I leave to protect her & myself. Instead I lose her & spent 3 yrs trying to bring her home.
Please forgive me, but I have NO faith in our system at all!!!
Deck Chairs on Titanic

United States

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#9
Jul 24, 2008
 
Stephanie wrote:
Concerned mommie... 4K a month for a child... see I told you guys its all corruption and all about money. Someone is making the money and its not the workers or the foster parents.
Just wanted to let you know I have tried to help the system by being a foster parent. I was actually the youngest in the state of Oklahoma in 1988. I have worked with the system off and on for 20 years of my adult life and nothing seems to work, no one seems to listen.
4k a month! Where is all that money going? AUDIT! Its our tax dollars! Corruption is happening when that much money is involved and the people that actually care for the child is only able to make enough money for food and some clothing and the rest of it comes out of the outside income of the foster parent! Been there done that!
$4k is the maximum that the state can charge, based on a variety of factors. Namely special needs and accomodation reimbursements.

I don't know where all the money goes. That's what people should be asking.

Alot of it goes to catered meetings and seminars for the top brass who are constantly figuring out ways to get more children in adoptive homes, so they can take more from bio homes.

It's a vicious cycle. I don't know if you have ever seen DHS child welfare annual training and symposiums schedules, but it's rather frightening.

The court system and DHS top brass get together to figure out ways to get cases pushed through the courts faster.

Cases are terminated in 12-18 months now. That means 4-5 20 minute court appearances to termination. The new book "How to lose your kids in 1 1/2hours, with DHS help".

Parents can NOT prove there fitness in that little amount of time, even if they are doing everything right. Or worse, never should have been reported and sucked in to begin with.

There are some serious flaws with it.
Deck Chairs on Titanic

United States

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#10
Jul 24, 2008
 

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fought for 3 yrs wrote:
I have 2 daughters, 13 & 9. When my oldest was 14 months old my ex-husband accused me of neglect. This being after he tried to kill me & I left him. The CASEWORKER came in & checked her out. She left, saying everything was fine. About 30 minutes later she showed back up with the cops & physically took her out of my arms. She told me I was to young to be a mother, so they were going to take her off my hands. They called my grandmother as a "character witness." She asked them if they had taken her into custody, they LIED & told her NO. Everytime I went to court they added more things for me to do. After 2 1/2 yrs I was able to hire a lawyer & get rid of the public defender. The first time she walked into court, she found that someone had already filed adoption papers on MY daughter. To finish up, that court date she got me weekend visitation. 2 months later I went back to court for a review. That was the last one, my daughter went home with me.
So, needless to say, I DON'T BELIEVE THEM!! Yes, I believe they are overworked & under paid. But that is no excuse to treat another humans life a living ****. I was 16 @ the time. Yes, I was young. But I had chose to keep her & raise her. My ex-husband had held a knife to my throat, with the telephone cord wrapped around my neck. As soon as he went to sleep I left. I went to the cops & they said there was not anything they could do because it had been over 4 hrs since the incident. So, I leave to protect her & myself. Instead I lose her & spent 3 yrs trying to bring her home.
Please forgive me, but I have NO faith in our system at all!!!
I hear so many cases like this and have personally witnessed it happen to someone I know.

Inspite of the mental damage it does to the parent, think about what it does to the children. Good for you for staying strong and hanging in there. I am glad to hear of someone so young who beat the odds. You are a lucky one dear, so do it right.
Kim Welty from tulsa

Oklahoma City, OK

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#11
Jul 24, 2008
 
DHS says they have no authority to take kids? I SAY DIFFERENTLY!!!!!!!!!! They do take kids. They took my kids a long time ago. For no good reason and then they get your hopes built up and then they tell you later on you will loose your kids based on you had no mom and dad so therefore you dont know how to raise kids. Thats crazy talk. They take kids because they want money for them. They get money for each kid they take. For the DHS workers that destroyed my family, GOD HELP THEM LIVE IN PEACE FOR WHAT THEY DID!!!!!!!!!! They claim they dont take kids, thats funny! They took mine!
Deck Chairs On Titanic

United States

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#12
Jul 24, 2008
 
Hi Kim. Prayers to you, dear.

DHS workers will try and get children whom they feel are more adoptable. There is a bonus money paid to the state for every child who gets adopted. That is over and above any payments for reimbursements or any adoption subsidy that goes to the adopter. It is strictly and incentive payment.

Have you ever seen this video? Kentucky social workers explain it rather well. It's EXTREMELY frightening and most people have no clue as to what is really going on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Maybe that will make them think twice.

Btw: This video usually brings out the social workers or DHS defenders so be prepared. Some of them get down right nasty when trying to defend the evil side of the empire.
Deck Chairs On Titanic

United States

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#13
Jul 24, 2008
 
From the article
""We have a certain, um, just a limited amount of time to complete the work that we have regardless of whether there's, continues to be issues in the home or not. Um, the main focus is getting the work completed," said one DHS worker.

According to the workers, DHS managers at the county and state levels are too concerned with arbitrary deadlines.

Each task, no matter how small or large, is assigned a specific time limit, making it impossible for the employees to tailor their work to fit each individual family, even a family in crisis."
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This works both ways. Case workers also have to work within time limits to assist in getting children home from foster care or proceed to termination.
They simply do not have the time to investigate properly to see if the charges are true or if relatives are suitable placements as an alternative to stranger placements. Nor do they have time to know if a person has rectified the situation that led to the removal, providing the removal was justified in the first place.

I liked what was stated. If there isn't enough evidence for arrest than there isn't enough evidence for removal. That SHOULD be the standard.
Child abuse is a CRiME. If there's no CRIME, than it isn't abuse. It's most likely carelessness or poverty neglect and can easily be remedied without splitting the family apart.

I don't know about Oklahoma, but it's the case worker along with the DA who files a petition to terminate parental rights. The caseworkers signatures are on it too. So to say that DHS don't take children might be true for Ok, but not in my state.
From up the block

United States

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#14
Jul 24, 2008
 
My experience is that the case worker's that don't do anything make it bad for the ones that do care and do want to make this world a better place for families and children.

DHS is one of the biggest bureaucracies there is. If you don't know how to fill out the paperwork then you will not get the $$. That's why generational welfare is rampant. Grandmother's teach their daughters who teach their daughters and so on and so on. How is it you can work with someone that is making the same wages as you are and they are getting welfare and you can't. It's because they know the system. They know how to answer the questions and fill out the paperwork. AND they do not mind telling you so. They drive brand new cars,have their hair and nails done every other week,they are all wearing Baby Phat. And we,who are working and trying to make it are buying our clothes at Walmart and driving clunkers and we are making it possible WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS for them to live better than we do.
Previous Foster Parent

Tulsa, OK

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#15
Jul 25, 2008
 

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DHS does what they want to do. They lie when it is convenient. It is not about the children. I always wonders why do you hear so many people saying "they used to be foster parents" - Why do so many families quit being foster parents? The system stinks and does not appreciate good loving foster parents. Something is going on - there are too many people saying how DHS messed up their lives and families, some maybe mistaken but not all. DHS should be held accountable for the mess they have created - DHS is not God.

“When u get the chance, dance”

Since: May 08

Stillwater

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#16
Jul 25, 2008
 
What bothers me is for some kids to be in foster homes for their entire youth years until 18. How can that be healthy for a child? I just don't know how the children turn out from being handed over and over to different families.
Jack Brewer

Jay, OK

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#17
Jul 25, 2008
 
I've read all of these stories. I agree there is a huge problem with DHS. Now lets hear solutions about how we can really fix the problem. My solution is to do away with the Child Welfare part of DHS and turn it over to the Dept. of Mental Health. Oh, wait. Gov Keating screwed that department all up. Nevermind.I guess I have no solution.
ann

Tulsa, OK

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#18
Jul 25, 2008
 
Start at the top...replace Howard Hendricks and his top staff. The man is a terrible administrator and is not capable of running a garage sale much less this organization.
Agni

United States

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#19
Jul 25, 2008
 
I see a lot of comments about DHS workers being underpaid.
As we've learned from our teachers, regional pay is how you measure it.
How much do our DHS workers make compared to the region?
momof5

United States

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#20
Jul 25, 2008
 
How about DHS get former foster kids together and work for a solution. We have been through he11 first hand and do know what is going on. Some of us could probably give training better than any text book or instructor. I know that not all kids that come from the system turn out successful but they could! I spent 10 years in the system, joined the military and retired! My case worker said I would never even finish school, which I did in fact on my own, working and going to school, both full time. Ok, please someone kick the soap box, I could go on for days!!!

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