DA says Oklahoma case workers overworked, underpaid

Sep 30, 2010 Full story: Tulsa World 344

OKLAHOMA CITY a ' Prosecutors say child welfare workers are overworked and underpaid and often don't work well with local law enforcement on child abuse and neglect investigations.

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SickOf Excuses

United States

#1 Oct 11, 2010
So sick of hearing the EXCUSE of "overworked and underpaid". Not a competent reasoning to those who loved & lost the lives of their children/grandchildren etc.

Doesn't work well with LE is true. How about doesn't work well within their own entity? That was obvious by the letter from the CASA worker in the Briggs case.

The problems within our system are waaay deeper and more serious than them being overworked and underpaid. And innocent children are suffering and dying because of it.

DVO

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#2 Oct 11, 2010
No kidding! It seems like they care more about money than they do about the kids! I think it's like that no matter where you live!
Kelsey Supporter

Orangeburg, NY

#3 Oct 11, 2010
DVO wrote:
No kidding! It seems like they care more about money than they do about the kids! I think it's like that no matter where you live!
I agree, totally.
WHAT

Powhatan, VA

#4 Oct 12, 2010
Haha care more about the money?? Where I live, entry level(4 year bachelor's degree,BSW) case workers get paid $15 an hour.
Try being a case worker for one day. Social work is a field with the highest rate of burnout. It is very simple to look in from the outside and make judgments. I know many social workers who take their work home with them and are still swamped. Granted, there are bad social workers, but don't generalize all of them.
I am just tired of people ragging on social workers. We are never appreciated for what we do. We work hard and never get a thanks, but as soon as a bad case surfaces, it's send all social workers to the guillotine. You have children constantly cursing and screaming at you when you are simply trying to do you job. Maybe if people would stop abusing their children there wouldn't be a need for case workers.

DVO

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#5 Oct 12, 2010
When I wrote all they care about money, I meant lack of money.

I can't feel that much sympathy for you since I also work with children (I am a teacher). True, there are good caseworkers, but there are a lot more bad. That's why so many kids that are going into the system are dying, because their caseworkers don't care.
WHAT

Powhatan, VA

#6 Oct 12, 2010
DVO wrote:
When I wrote all they care about money, I meant lack of money.
I can't feel that much sympathy for you since I also work with children (I am a teacher). True, there are good caseworkers, but there are a lot more bad. That's why so many kids that are going into the system are dying, because their caseworkers don't care.
Its funny you should say that because I have worked in education also. Social work and education are like apples and oranges. Please don't try and compare the two. Working on cases where fathers are raping their two year old child is not the same as teaching children, I'm sorry. I know this from personal experience. I truly appreciate what teachers do, but don't think you know what social workers go through because you work with children. In fact, I am amazed of the attitude you have towards a profession that often coincides with education. Do you not notice the social workers that work at your school? Or are they all bad too?
I just don't understand the negative attitude from people towards social work. "The majority of them are bad". Really? Have you met every single social worker?? Are there any articles or stories about the work that positive social workers have done??? Why is there only negative press and negative stories? Why don't we ever see the stories of the people we help??
The attitude that people have towards social work is some of the reasons why people don't care. In no way am I condoning this behavior, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.Constantly having to deal with inept managers, budget cuts, low pay, high amounts of cases and paperwork, traumatic cases, unappreciative people, and the whole attitude of "most case workers are bad", why would you care??
The amount of positive things that come from social work definitely outweighs the bad. For every Baby P, there are 6 more babies that will live because of what a social worker does.What happens if social workers get fed up and go on strike?? You people will be begging for them back because the amount of baby P's will increase tenfold. So thank a social worker for the invisible work we do everyday. You never know a good thing until it's gone.
Kelsey Supporter

Orangeburg, NY

#7 Oct 12, 2010
Since we all agree that DHS workers are overworked and underpaid; not just in Oklahoma; but all over the world, why don't we do something about it? How many children have to die before we get our collected asses in gear; and change this?
WHAT

Powhatan, VA

#8 Oct 12, 2010
Kelsey Supporter wrote:
Since we all agree that DHS workers are overworked and underpaid; not just in Oklahoma; but all over the world, why don't we do something about it? How many children have to die before we get our collected asses in gear; and change this?
The thing is what can we do? Do all case workers have to go on strike to prove a point? Social workers in LA went on strike complaining about case loads and low pay. The managers said fine and tried to handle the cases they had been giving their case workers and they gave in, in two days!!! They upped the pay(they mysteriously found the money!) and balanced the cases. The problem is that some social workers are not unionized(only about 24% are) and they have no one to speak up for them. These agencies are trying to cost costs which translates into lower pay and higher case loads b/c of hiring freezes.
Kelsey Supporter

Orangeburg, NY

#9 Oct 12, 2010
WHAT wrote:
<quoted text>
The thing is what can we do? Do all case workers have to go on strike to prove a point? Social workers in LA went on strike complaining about case loads and low pay. The managers said fine and tried to handle the cases they had been giving their case workers and they gave in, in two days!!! They upped the pay(they mysteriously found the money!) and balanced the cases. The problem is that some social workers are not unionized(only about 24% are) and they have no one to speak up for them. These agencies are trying to cost costs which translates into lower pay and higher case loads b/c of hiring freezes.
If we can get the social workers unionized; the next step would be to have a board that sets up standards of performance. One of the greatest problems we have with the DHS is accountability. Look at the cases of Kelsey Briggs and Aja Johnson. Yolanda Hunter should have been fired at the very least; and received some sort of jail time at the very worst. She admitted on the witness stand that she had violated the court order to keep Kelsey from being in the same domicile as Porter, and that she would continue to do so. Nothing happened to her after Kelsey's murder. She supervised Aja's case, and when the then four year old reported she was being sexually abused by her stepfather; she sent her to the psychiatric ward. Aja was murdered by her stepfather in January of this year. Yolanda Hunter retired with her full benefits. Accountability is key.
WHAT

Powhatan, VA

#10 Oct 12, 2010
Kelsey Supporter wrote:
<quoted text>If we can get the social workers unionized; the next step would be to have a board that sets up standards of performance. One of the greatest problems we have with the DHS is accountability. Look at the cases of Kelsey Briggs and Aja Johnson. Yolanda Hunter should have been fired at the very least; and received some sort of jail time at the very worst. She admitted on the witness stand that she had violated the court order to keep Kelsey from being in the same domicile as Porter, and that she would continue to do so. Nothing happened to her after Kelsey's murder. She supervised Aja's case, and when the then four year old reported she was being sexually abused by her stepfather; she sent her to the psychiatric ward. Aja was murdered by her stepfather in January of this year. Yolanda Hunter retired with her full benefits. Accountability is key.
I agree. Something needs to be done because we are losing children that should be seeing the light of day. I truly believe that more qualified people should be chosen to work these jobs especially in management. Making the correct decisions are key in a lot of cases and some supervisors are requesting cases to be closed too quick, that truly need more time. And sometimes the caseload prevents a very thorough investigation. But more qualified people=more $$$ and its a shame, but it does not seem like any one is standing up for this issue.
A social worker is trained to think outside the box and research evidence based practices if the current practice is not working. We are also trained to make ethical choices. It is very evident that something is terribly wrong here. It would be a slow process, but what you stated is a very logical answer to this problem. If we don't stand up for ourselves, no one else will.The cycle will keep repeating itself and cases like that will continue to happen.

DVO

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#11 Oct 12, 2010
I am not trying to be disrespectful. I am sure that there are some pretty wonderful social workers out there. I am just saying that something needs to be done about the system. For example, here in CA, the foster care system is terrible. Children are frequently being shuffled, and social workers are turning over like leaves. It's pretty scary.

DVO

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#12 Oct 12, 2010
Board certification sounds good. Come to think of it, it sounds good for teachers too. Too many children are falling through the cracks these days, and it's frightening. Something needs to be done, and quick.
Kelsey Supporter

Orangeburg, NY

#13 Oct 12, 2010
WHAT wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. Something needs to be done because we are losing children that should be seeing the light of day. I truly believe that more qualified people should be chosen to work these jobs especially in management. Making the correct decisions are key in a lot of cases and some supervisors are requesting cases to be closed too quick, that truly need more time. And sometimes the caseload prevents a very thorough investigation. But more qualified people=more $$$ and its a shame, but it does not seem like any one is standing up for this issue.
A social worker is trained to think outside the box and research evidence based practices if the current practice is not working. We are also trained to make ethical choices. It is very evident that something is terribly wrong here. It would be a slow process, but what you stated is a very logical answer to this problem. If we don't stand up for ourselves, no one else will.The cycle will keep repeating itself and cases like that will continue to happen.
It's terrifying to think about, isn't it? Every time we lose a child, we are losing our hope for a good future in this world.
Kelsey Supporter

Orangeburg, NY

#14 Oct 12, 2010
DVO wrote:
Board certification sounds good. Come to think of it, it sounds good for teachers too. Too many children are falling through the cracks these days, and it's frightening. Something needs to be done, and quick.
Without a doubt.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#15 Oct 12, 2010
Aren't we all overworked and underpaid to some degree???? That does not excuse us for a doing a poor job!!!!!!!!!! There are some good people that work for DHS, but as in every other profession the loud mouth control freaks make it impossible for the ones trying to make a difference to be heard!!!!!
Kelsey Supporter

Orangeburg, NY

#16 Oct 12, 2010
you_nasty RT wrote:
Aren't we all overworked and underpaid to some degree???? That does not excuse us for a doing a poor job!!!!!!!!!! There are some good people that work for DHS, but as in every other profession the loud mouth control freaks make it impossible for the ones trying to make a difference to be heard!!!!!
How would you fix it?
WHAT

Powhatan, VA

#17 Oct 12, 2010
you_nasty RT wrote:
Aren't we all overworked and underpaid to some degree???? That does not excuse us for a doing a poor job!!!!!!!!!! There are some good people that work for DHS, but as in every other profession the loud mouth control freaks make it impossible for the ones trying to make a difference to be heard!!!!!
Not it doesn't excuse it at all, but we are dealing with children here. This has been going on a while and needs to stop.
WHAT

Powhatan, VA

#18 Oct 12, 2010
DVO wrote:
Board certification sounds good. Come to think of it, it sounds good for teachers too. Too many children are falling through the cracks these days, and it's frightening. Something needs to be done, and quick.
I agree. What is the NASW doing about this???
Kelsey Supporter

Orangeburg, NY

#19 Oct 13, 2010
WHAT wrote:
<quoted text>
Not it doesn't excuse it at all, but we are dealing with children here. This has been going on a while and needs to stop.
Absolutely.
real kesley supporter

AOL

#20 Oct 13, 2010
All you dogooders that know this and that, if you would pay taxes instead of having a hand out and applying for money from the states, maybe they could afford to hire more workers and give them a raise and FIRE the ones setting on their dead A$$e$, that goes for you MARY-MITCH-and the other two dead beats.

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