WHEN CLOUDS FORM
In 2013 this blog reported on the meltdown in service at the Veteran’s Administration (VA). Similar signs of meltdown are beginning to gather in Child Protective Services. IN general – our team has been communicating what our clients have been telling us for years and why they moved to FAMCare. We’ve talked about problems in child welfare and CPS in the states of Florida, Georgia, California and Texas. Case Worker colleagues report crushing workloads, fear-based management, impossible expectations, and stress levels that are sending case workers out on medical leave at an alarming rate.
One state reported that 68% of their case workers took some stress related medical leave in the past year. The annual turnover rate at CPS in another state exceeded 24.5%. Statistics like these are, of course, unsustainable. The Child Protective Services workforce is gradually disappearing.
At the VA we discovered that management was not the only contributing factor to that tragic meltdown in service. Research revealed that the country had so many wounded vets that an inadequate health care system was doomed to disappoint them. Sheer numbers simply overwhelmed the care givers.
A STORM ERUPTS
Now, the same conditions seem to prevail at Child Protective Services.
- In 2014 (the last year for which national statistics have been compiled) 3.2 million reports of child abuse flowed into our state run agencies nationwide. 2 MILLION! (Child Maltreatment 2014, a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)
- 702,000 of these abuse reports were confirmed by state agencies.
- 75% of this abuse was due to neglect. 17% was physical abuse.
- In 2014, 50 states reported 1546 deaths of abused children! California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, and Texas all reported more than 100 deaths.
- 71% of these children were under the age of 3.
- At the end of 2014 more than 400,000 American children were in care in group or foster homes.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
Child Protective Services case workers are low paid but highly dedicated social work professionals. However, if we continue to set them to an impossible task, they will implode. Their love of the children and their passionate desire to keep the children safe from abuse are causing them to overwork and suffer a debilitating sense of inadequacy and failure when too much is thrown at them.
LET’S STEP UP THIS TIME
We must not only protect our children, we must also protect our caseworkers. Now is the time for us to face the fact that we have a serious social dysfunction that we cannot pass off to a relative handful of social workers so we can look the other way. We must take responsibility as a people for the innocents in our midst and throw every asset it takes at this corruption of civilized society. The abuse of innocent children is not unfortunate. It is evil! We must stop it! It starts with taking responsibility. However – there must be accountability, as well.
That’s where FAMCare has helped so many.