written by bendygirl at Tuesday, July 15, 2008
From the Washington Post:
A second baby who was the subject of a neglect case by the District's Child and Family Services Agency died yesterday -- the same day that the long-troubled agency tried to explain a 2,000-case backlog at a D.C. Council hearing called to address the recent death of a 6-month-old boy.
2000 case backlog. In the last installment of the Adrianism of the “buck stops at front line workers” we learned that the Mayor is not shy about firing people who he forces into having workloads that aren’t even manageable. Today we learn that not only are those case loads not manageable and that social workers can’t get to the investigational parts of their jobs, but that there are 2000 cases sitting.
Now, when I say “case” I mean children at risk. These are people, human beings and it just doesn’t seem as if the Mayor takes these people seriously. If he did, there’d be more social workers, more investigation, more case workers and there wouldn’t be a backlog of 2000 people. If he really took it seriously, we wouldn’t have to read about 15 year old mothers rolling on top of their babies, smothering:
Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), chairman of the Committee on Human Services, said it was his understanding that the child's 15-year-old mother "rolled over and slept on him." No official cause of death had been released.
Wells also said that the 4-month-old's case was part of the "backlog," the catchall term for cases in which investigations have not been completed within 30 days.
But 2000 cases? That’s beyond belief and as the mayor continues to fire social workers, he isn’t replacing them quick enough to staunch the tied of cases being reported.
The unnamed social worker in Isiah's case went from carrying four cases in January to juggling 50 and hadn't seen children in 17 of those cases at the time of Isiah's death.
So, she’s fired, her supervisor suspended and two children dead. There is no such thing as a back log, these are people and they need help, and I’m not talking about the children in crisis, I’m talking about the front line workers who want to be effective in their jobs. I can’t imagine any of them want to think about the lives they weren’t able to save because of resources they didn’t have in the office. So, Mr. Mayor, how many more children need to die before resources are allocated to social workers? How many more kids will die before they get the staff and case loads that can save lives? How much are these kids lives worth to you Mr. Mayor?