written by bendygirl at Thursday, July 10, 2008
From the WashingtonPost:
Fenty fired six workers in that case. A hearing officer recommended three for reinstatement.
It was the kind of swift action Fenty has become known for, although he is sometimes reversed. Fenty said he has instituted the approach of quickly terminating those he finds accountable, because that is what constituents demand. In the past, employees got "a slap on the wrist," he said. "People are tired of that."
I don't know. I think I'm more tired of promises that aren't followed through with, like funding that is never provided or staffing that is never increased, or potholes never filled...
The brisk style, coupled with the increase in reported cases, has created an atmosphere of fear and has lowered morale at CFSA, Courtney said. "With our new mayor, it's a fix-it. Get it done or lose your job," she said. Although the drive is there, union leaders said, the resources are not, and more social workers are needed.
The death of a child is a tragedy, but having worked in child support enforcement, Iremember working with social workers and seeing how stressed and overworked they all were. It's one of those jobs where you have to love what you're doing, even when what you're doing is taking children from the only homes they've ever known and placing them in overcrowded foster homes (there are good ones out there, but there are a number of not so good ones, too).
You have to advocate, advocate and advocate and kiss your weekends, evenings and personal life goodbye.
The national standard for a social worker's caseload is 12, but after the Jacks case, District social workers were dealing with 20 on average, and some had more than 30.
Sam Smith on his blog DC City Desk (Free DC) really broke it down well:
Said Fenty, "If someone is saying the District of Columbia human services agency is somewhat overburdened . . . I'm the first to say that," he said. However, Fenty added, "There can be no excuses."
But, if that is true, shouldn't the guy who suddenly increased the social worker's job load be fired as well? It wasn't the social worker's fault that the agency was "somewhat overburdened." At the very least, Fenty should stop treating these incidents as political campaign events.
Fenty has proved a grand disappointment to me and an awful lot of working men and women of this city. I'm sure Cropp would have been worse, but this isn't the guy I thought I was getting. It really sucks to fire an employee for not doing their job, despite not giving the worker the tools to do their job or even a workload that is actually doable. Wonder how many other children are at risk right now because of the choices you've made Mr. Mayor. What other police officer or social worker are you going to hold accountable for your lack of resources?
If there really are no excuses Mr. Mayor, perhaps a little more house cleaning closer to your office is in line, perhaps, even in your office. I suppose this is just another attempt by you to make sure that accountability is about how the buck stops with all front line workers. I think this is just an example of what I'll be calling an Adrianism.