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Archive for June 2011

Sample Social Worker AD

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Martinez Office Social Worker

Lilliput Children’s Services, Northern California’s Domestic Foster,
Adoption and Kinship Specialists has a full time opening for innovative and
flexible Social Worker with good clinical skills and a commitment to serving
clients. Bi-lingual Spanish/English speaking preferred (differential available
for bi-lingual workers with minimum caseload requirements), Master’s Degree in
Social Work required.

Under direction of a Program Manager, the Social
Worker conducts adoptive home studies for relative and non-relative families,
develops, coordinates, and supervises treatment plans for children in
foster/adopt homes; recruits, evaluates, and certifies foster/adopt homes; and
arranges for training for permanency planning parents.

The ideal
candidate will be able to:
Establish rapport with applicants and to
work with diverse populations including with foster/adoptive families, birth
families, kin caregivers and extended family members.

Control personal biases and maintain personal
and professional boundaries with applicants.
Aapply the principals of general and/or child
psychology and family relationships.
Assess for risk factors to a child’s safety and
well being (i.e. physical and mental health, alcohol and substance use and
abuse, family violence or abuses, and experience caring for children).
Evaluate the psychological, physical, social
and emotional factors present in applicants and the environmental factors in the
applicant’s home.
Effectively apply casework knowledge and
skills.
Qualifications:
Must
possess a Masters Degree from an accredited graduate school of social work.

Knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Access,
Publisher and PowerPoint is preferred.
Required to communicate effectively both
verbally and in writing with supervisors, employees and the public.
Mastery of the English language including the
ability to edit and ensure grammatical correctness of written materials in
English.
Must possess a valid California Drivers License
and state required registration and insurance for any personal vehicle driven
for agency business.
Must have knowledge of background in
individual and group behavior as well as family relationships and developmental
theory.
Must have knowledge of social casework
objectives, principals and methods.
Must have knowledge of socioeconomic and
cultural factors which promote stable family life and understanding of the
factors that affect family security, physical and mental illnesses and their
impact on personality.
Must have knowledge of laws, rules and
regulations governing the operations of public social services agencies, Foster
Family Agency (FFA) homes and adoptions.
Must have knowledge of psychosocial and
psychotherapeutic methods and sources.

Live Scan fingerprint clearances,
TB and medical clearance are mandatory before the first day of work. All
clearances are required to finalize employment.

Compensation: $51,520
(plus bilingual differential, if applicable) per year plus comprehensive
benefits which include: Paid vacation leave, sick leave and holidays and 403b
Retirement Plan. Heath benefits include medical, dental, vision, acupuncture,
chiropractic and life insurance.

For more information about Lilliput
Children’s Services, visit our website http://www.lilliput.org

PLEASE NOTE: You
will be required to upload your resume or enter it manually to apply for this
position.

Written by dawneworswick

June 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My short story by Bobbie Simmons

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Today was one of many days that I knew I should have stayed in bed…

My story is like that of many who have or are going through this nightmare… I am the mother of 3 beautiful girls who are 13, 7 and my baby who just turned 6 today…. Of these 3 gifts from God, I only gave birth to the oldest. I married the love of my life in May of last year and became the mother of the youngest 2 children. I became a nurse in October of 2007 and have completed 2 of 4 years towards my BA in Psychology. I own my home and have worked very hard to have everything in my life. My life hasn’t always been peaches and cream. My brother and I were victims of the system as children. My father’s second wife physically abused us for 8 years before children’s division stepped in and moved us into foster care. The women who abused us had no charges pressed against her, mind you my brother had to have his jaw re-wired, and she didn’t lose her own children. As a matter of fact she worked many years as a CNA and is now a dietary supervisor in a nursing home. Many years later I started down the wrong path .I lost my mother to a lengthy illness when she was 35. I had just turned 17. Due to false accusations by my father’s 3rd wife who hot lined me more than 30 times and convinced my 3 year old at the time that her father was molesting her, I ended up dealing the CD. My battle lasted 3 years. They made me divorce my husband and even scared him so much that he terminated his rights when she was 4 ½ years old. I went through hell, but I never gave up and eventually she returned to me. She has been home with me for 7 years now. Last October started my new trial and tribulations in life….

My dear brother passed away unexpectedly October 10, 2010. His death was very hard on me…. He and I have been through so much together. I am older by 1 day shy of 14 months. He was 30 and is now with our mother. I am still carrying the burden and responsibilities that came with his death. My family laid all the decisions and financial responsibility on me.

The last week of November 2010, my littlest one had received some bruising on the back of both of her thighs from being knocked down numerous times by the new family dog…. A 9 month old Great Dane…. My mother-in-law didn’t ask what happened….she assumed, just like everyone else has. The day after Thanksgiving she had some swelling to her face, but was not having any difficulty in breathing and was not complaining of any pain….so I did what any parent or nurse would do…..apply ice and monitor….the next day I administered Benadryl just in case it was an allergy…. She was always having sinus problems and her nose was runny and she had a cough anyways…. Little did I know what was about to happen…. The whole entire area of both her eyes and the bridge of her nose turned green, it covered the area of what Robin’s mask in Batman would cover. We panicked…..an appointment was made immediately with her pediatrician, which she has been seeing for 3 years now!

I was called into work the morning of November 30, 2010. My daughter had an appointment at 1:30pm that afternoon. I stressed to my husband the type of blood work and testing I wanted done on her…. He kept in touch via text messaging. Her doctor stated that her face was an allergic reaction….. She referred to it as “ALLERGIC SHINNERS.” Even though I am a nurse…. I had to Google it!

Everything was still ok at this point….oh and we never hid what the appointment was for!!!! When she got to her thighs, she told my husband she was hot lining him for abuse because at that point it was considered excessive. He told her that was fine because he had nothing to hide!!!!

I tried to talk to my husband and tell him not to say a word or try to defend himself….. They made sure he really didn’t talk to me……immediately I was getting a lawyer; I knew what was getting ready to happen. They placed 2 of the 3 children with my in-laws…………. Very bad mistake!!!! I had some prior knowledge of CD, but no idea of what was to occur………..

We hired a lawyer, who screwed us majorly…………. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS research lawyers before hiring one!!!!!!

I had a mental break down and had to be hospitalized for 6 days. In those 6 days they cornered and scared my husband, who was also having a breakdown in the process. They convinced him that if he didn’t move out before I came out of the hospital that he would lose his kids forever….. I came home to an empty home…. I let him go to the first “support team meeting” by himself…. I figured he didn’t want to listen to me…than he can get belittled and thrown to the dogs on his own……… he was only gone for 2 days before he was realizing what was going on…. We had a long talk about what we should do…

We were screwed from day one! Our CW not only has a Masters in Psychology, but carries a Professional Counselor License…..

My husband and I have completed everything on the “Written Service Agreement” that has been asked. We have paid for everything and gone beyond what they have asked…. I have known all along that the CW was against us from the beginning…. She thought she was dealing with a stupid woman….

April fool’s day of this year and 4 months into the case, the foster parents or my in-laws filed for guardianship………. And all the sudden the biological mother is in the picture…. What a surprise….. Not!

I knew then we needed a lawyer who would fight till the death….

I began to research everything and came across the most interesting website www.falseallegation.org . I spoke with a woman named Kim Hart who gave me the best advice ever…..”You have the right to shut the fuck up.” She was awesome! She will locate lawyers who have experience with your type of case and in the state you are dealing with….. I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. My husband and I spoke with our now current lawyer for many hours and asked many questions before we decided to go with her. Also, she didn’t charge us before the agreement was signed. Our lawyer has been a heaven’s sent……….

May 17, 2011 criminal charges were pressed on my husband and I……..

We are both being charged with the exact crime….. Class C Felony for child abuse…..

The bond was set at $25,000 cash or surety for each of us….. Our lawyer spoke with the prosecutor and agreed to reduce the bond to $5,000 apiece.  We voluntarily turned ourselves in and the whole booking procedure took 2 hours and we were out………..

Little did we know and were soon to find out….. There was a lot of missing information that the prosecutor didn’t know……. Go figure!

We committed no crime and did not hurt our child. Because I am considered a step-parent, I have no rights to these 2 little girls who call me mommy and their real mother by her name….. These beautiful children are lost and confused and need guidance… they need their parents!!!

We record everything and answer all questions with “I understand what you are saying.” I do not play their game and I will get my children home and terminate the biological mother’s rights, which she doesn’t deserve to have. Our rights have been violated and a record has been kept to deal with and proceed with after all is said and done. I have spent a lot of money and will end up spending more…. My children are worth every penny…. Money can always be replaced, but my children cannot.

Yesterday was my baby girl’s 6th birthday. I found out today that she can jump off the diving board and swim to the ladder all by herself. She is growing up so big and doing so much. She just finished Kindergarten and will be going into the 1st grade with a 2nd grade reading level. My other baby can do the same in the pool and is as smart as a tack. Also, she has lost most of her baby teeth.

Today is the first day of our 7th month of dealing with CD. I have not seen my children for 210 days. I have missed so much and can only watch them grow up in pictures. Because I am considered to have no legal rights to these children and because CD’s “substantiated by preponderance of evidence” they will not allow me to see them, only their father. We have a new CW now, and she has no idea what has been going on………and also, is fresh off the market…..

This is my short story up to now without explicit details of everything….

My life has been turned upside down and inside out while being left out to dry…

I know more about the law than I thought I would ever know….

Mr. Leonard, your sight has helped in many ways….. For this my family thanks you.

As a gift we would like to also share some more sights for you to put on your website to help other families like ours….

The National Children’s Advocacy Center:

  • This is where all models and most training for their “experts” come from.

www.nationalcac.org

Missouri Division of Professional Registration:

  • This is for the state of Missouri, but you can Google for any other state and just need to know last name and partial first name.

http://pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp

 

National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center:

  • This is where I found my lawyers.

www.falseallegation.org

Missouri Department of Social Services:

  • Each state has their own social services and there is a lot of information including manuals, forms, laws, and links to the government websites that has employed them that shows pay scale, benefits,  education needed, and job description.

http://dss.mo.gov

 

My personal advice to everyone and anyone going through this…..

The people that have examined or interviewed your child or children…. Look more into the training required for each field and find out as much as you can……….. Know your rights and your laws.

I found out the “Medical Provider” approved to examine my daughter works in the same office as her doctor and is not the approved provider for the Advocacy Center and to top it off….. The “Forensic Interviewer” is a licensed Pharmacy Technician. The requirements for that will run you $150.00 and is a 3 day course………… and that makes you an expert!

Written by dawneworswick

June 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Florida CPS Top Official Child Porn International, Zimmerman Press Secretary

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Written by dawneworswick

June 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Child welfare workers second-guess stressful jobs

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By COLLEEN LONG Associated Press

Posted: 04/03/2011 06:59:59 AM PDT

Updated: 04/03/2011 12:25:31 PM
PDT
Kelly Mares, a child
protective specialist, poses for a photograph… ((AP Photo/Tina
Fineberg))

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NEW YORK—When child welfare worker
Kelly Mares investigates an abuse case, she doesn’t know what’s going to greet
her on the other side of the door. A ferocious dog. Or a gun. Or a meth lab, or
angry parents who lash out violently.She takes those risks willingly, she says, because she believes in protecting
the city’s most vulnerable. But she’s not willing to risk going to jail. After
two of her co-workers were charged with criminally negligent homicide in the
death of a 4-year-old Brooklyn girl under their care, she’s rethinking her
career.

“I do not want to go to work every day afraid that I’m going to be arrested
for doing my job, and right now that’s how everybody feels and it’s really
scary,” she said, her voice cracking.

Workers at child welfare agencies around the country tell similar stories of
taxing, emotional and frustrating jobs that are low in pay and high in stress
because of hostile families, tight budgets and overburdened court systems.
Workers juggle several cases, make as little as $28,000 a year and usually burn
out after a couple of years.

In Brooklyn, an investigator and supervisor for the New York City
Administration for Children’s Services are arguing they were too busy to record
their work in the case of Marchella Pierce, who died after being beaten, drugged
and starved to 18 pounds, about half of what a child her age should weigh. If
and when they go to trial, a central issue will be whether city workers who fall

down on the job should be held criminally responsible—and the outcome
could set a precedent for how failures are handled in the future.

Critics liken the practice to arresting a police officer for not getting to
the scene of a crime fast enough.

“It’s impossible to see into the future about these cases,” child welfare
expert Andrew White said, referring to Marchella’s death.

“It’s a lot to take the responsibility for something you’re only seeing in
hindsight . when you’re talking about homicide charges,” said White of The New
School for Management and Urban Policy which publishes the journal Child Welfare
Watch.

Prosecutors insist, though, that child welfare workers who are dangerously
negligent in their jobs should be held criminally responsible.

Case workers in Philadelphia who skipped home visits to a 14-year-old
disabled girl and contractors who invented phony paperwork after she starved to
death in 2006 are serving long prison terms for defrauding the city; her mother
is serving 20 to 40 years for third-degree murder.

Florida’s system recently came under fire after a child protective
investigator failed to call law enforcement during a four-day search for
10-year-old fraternal twins allegedly locked in a bathroom for days. Instead,
officials say, she filled out a safety questionnaire indicating the children
were not in danger. The girl’s body was later found in her father’s pickup
truck.

In Brooklyn, Marchella Pierce’s mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, has been
charged with murder in her September death; her grandmother has been charged
with manslaughter. They have pleaded not guilty.

At the crux of the charges against investigator Damon Adams and his
supervisor, Chereece Bell, are whether visits were made to the troubled home.
Records and conversations between Bell and Adams were not entered into the
computer system until after she died, and prosecutors charge that they were
falsified.

The Administration for Children’s Services said in an internal report that it
appeared no one visited the home in the months before the girl died.

Bell and Adams say some visits took place but weren’t recorded because they
were so busy. They resigned in October.

“I was so conditioned. … Every day it was something else coming up that
prevented you from doing another. It was so regular to me that it was impossible
to get it all done,” Bell said.

She said she was undertrained and never got the staff she needed to manage a
Brooklyn-based unit that had a high rate of abuse and neglect cases. Adams’
attorney said he had dozens of court cases, in addition to open child welfare
investigations that took up hours of his day.

But White said that regardless of the hours, good workers get much of their
work done, and if they really made the visits, there should be some kind of
paperwork to back it up.

New York’s child welfare commissioner, John Mattingly, recently announced
system changes after Marchella’s death and said in a statement that the arrests
were troubling and could discourage excellent job applicants.

Child welfare experts say Mattingly’s fear is a real possibility, given how
difficult the jobs are.

“We’re asking people to go into very difficult neighborhoods, work with
families that may not have them there, and do it with poise and calm, in highly
charged environments in order to protect children,” said Mary McCarthy, a child
welfare expert at the State University of New York in Albany. “And then make
decisions about the future welfare of that child.”

In the past decade, the New York City agency’s budget has gone from about
$2.1 billion in fiscal year 2000 to about $2.7 billion now. Cases have steadily
increased since the death of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown—who was bound to a chair,
starved, forced to use a litter box and then beaten to death—shook the city and
led to changes in the child welfare system.

The Child Welfare League of America recommends no more than 12 active
investigations per worker a month at one time, and no more than 14 combined
investigations and court cases at one time.

Child welfare workers in New York on average juggle nine investigations at
any given time, plus dozens of other open cases. In Illinois, it’s 12. In South
Florida, under scrutiny after the case involving the twins, it is nearly 18.

Workers make $28,000 and up. In New York, investigators are paid between
$42,000 and $72,000. In Miami, it’s $34,000.

Right now, Mares has 22 cases to monitor, including 10 open investigations.
She starts early, ends late. She spends as much as five hours at a home and
spends days in court on other cases. She needs to obtain medical and school
records; examine children physically; and interview parents, teachers, neighbors
and friends about potential abuse.

She has to prioritize, and that often means leaving paperwork until the end.

“Look, if this precedent is going to be set, then you might as well arrest me
right now, because my notes are late,” Mares said. “Does it mean I didn’t make
those visits? No. Does it mean I don’t take good, clear notes? No. Does it mean
I didn’t do those things I said I did? No.”

The stress causes most investigators to burn out quickly, child welfare
experts say. In Florida, state agency Secretary David Wilkins said, nearly 56
percent of investigators have been on the job less than two years.

“I have seen, in over eight years with the Department, several massive
exoduses of workers who feel they have come to the end of their line,” Florida
child welfare worker Leaford McCleary wrote in an internal email to other
workers obtained by The Associated Press.

“It is common knowledge that we often neglect our obligations to ourselves
and our families in order to meet the demands of this job,” she wrote. “And our
secret prayer at the end of each day is that nothing goes wrong with a child on
our caseload.”

The investigator who failed to call law enforcement during the search for the
twins is no longer with the agency. Another employee was fired and two others
were reprimanded. No criminal charges have been filed.

For New York’s Mares, who left a successful career in theater to do the job,
she’s not sure what her next move will be. She has been working two years—the
mile post for most to get out.

“I wanted to help children, and I wanted to make a difference and I like
getting to the heart of things; that’s why I chose this position,” she said. “I
didn’t sign up for the two-year turnaround. I signed up to make this my career,
and to be honest, all of this is in question now.”

———

Associated Press writer Kelli Kennedy in Miami contributed to this report.

Written by dawneworswick

June 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Mass. foster care endangers children, lawsuit alleges

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By David Abel  Globe Staff   April 16, 2010

national advocacy group filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court in Springfield, arguing that the state’s foster care system is in dire need of reform because it violates children’s rights by “routinely placing them in dangerous and unstable situations.’’

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COMMENTS (23)

New York City-based Children’s Rights, which has filed similar lawsuits in more than a dozen states, argues that Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of abuse of children in foster care and that its system is rife with other problems.

The lawsuit, which names six children allegedly harmed by inadequate supervision by the state Department of Children and Families, says children in the foster care system suffer abuse  at nearly four times the national standard.

It argues the agency “further traumatizes children’’ by moving them frequently,  alleging that one-third of children in state foster care are sent to five or more homes during their time in custody. The suit also says the state has failed to prepare parents for reunions with their children.

“There is absolutely no justification for what Massachusetts is doing to its most vulnerable children,’’ Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive director of Children’s Rights, said in a statement. “It is robbing them of their right to be protected from abuse and neglect and to grow up in safe and stable homes with loving, permanent families.’’

State officials, while acknowledging the agency’s challenges, disputed the allegations and argued that the DCF has made significant progress in recent years by increasing the number of children cared for safely in their own homes, exceeding national standards for adoption and reunifying families, and improving programs for children  who leave foster care as they get older.

They noted the Patrick administration has made changes in the agency, which employees 2,400 caseworkers for about 8,000 children in foster care, though its budget has decreased as state revenues have plummeted.

The governor has sought $760 million for the agency next fiscal year, nearly 10 percent less than two years ago.

“We strongly share this group’s goal that all children are raised in safe and nurturing environments,’’ said Alison R. Goodwin, a DCF spokeswoman.  “We regret that their lawsuit will force us to expend already limited resources during this fiscal crisis to defend this suit, instead of investing those resources in efforts to serve children and families.’’

Goodwin said it was unfair for Children’s Rights to compare abuse rates between Massachusetts and other states, because Massachusetts has a lower threshold for reviewing allegations of abuse and neglect.

“It looks like we have a high rate of maltreatment, but it’s how we categorize our reports,’’ she said. She noted Massachusetts is one of eight states that investigates allegations based on a “reasonable cause’’ standard, rather than the higher standards of “credible evidence’’ or “beyond a reasonable doubt’’ used in other states. “We have a low tolerance for risk.’’

At a news conference yesterday at a Boston law firm, Lowry argued the state’s foster care system trails others because DCF caseloads are higher than in other states. She said the average caseworker oversees 28 families, while the national standard is 13 to 18 children per caseworker.

Lowry also argued the state has failed to pay foster parents sufficiently and has repeatedly lost the opportunity to be reimbursed by the federal government because it has not filed applications in a timely way.

“It’s not a well-managed system,’’ Lowry said. “There’s a failure of management.’’

Goodwin said the department has cut the number of children in foster care by about 2,000 over the past two years and the average caseload has dropped below 18 children for every caseworker.

The suit, which names  Governor Deval Patrick, Secretary JudyAnn Bigby of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and DCF Commissioner Angelo McClain, was filed on behalf of six children from 9 to 15 years old.

The lawsuit said one child was sexually abused after being sent to seven foster homes over three years, another endured physical and psychological abuse while going through eight foster homes, and another was returned to an abusive mother after 11 placements.

Zevorah Ortega-Bagni, president of the union that represents DCF caseworkers, said she hopes the lawsuit will lead to changes.

“I am very disappointed that matters have come to this stage,’’ she said. “The system has some serious, serious problems. . . . I hope the Department of Children and Families will rectify all the problems that may have contributed to all the harm that children have received while in the foster care system.’’

The suit, for which class-action status is sought, asks the court to bar the state from further violating children’s rights “and order relief via widespread reforms.’’

David Abel can be reached at dabel@globe.com.

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

Written by dawneworswick

June 29, 2011 at 1:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Audit: Family court mediators may not be trained

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January 20, 2011 | 4:49 PM | By Rina Palta

The state today released the results of a lengthy audit and focuses on family court personnel used in child custody disputes. Family courts are the sticky places where marriages are dissolved and questions about the guardianship of children are decided. For that reason, they’re often the subject of controversy, and have come under particular scrutiny for allegedly deferring to mediators and investigators. These mediators (unlike parents) are assumed to have the best interests of the child in mind at all times, and to represent that child’s interests in the battle over custody. Groups like the California Protective Parents Association and the Center for Judicial Excellencesay that these mediators are ill-equipped to perform the complicated task of distinguishing between well-meaning, caring parents and abusive ones.

With those criticisms in mind, State Senator Mark Leno requested an audit of Sacramento and Marin County’s family courts back in 2009. And the results, prepared by State Auditor Elaine M. Howle, indicate some of those fears are justified:

 

  • Auditors found that four of seven mediators used in Marin courts to help settle disputes between separating and divorcing parents did not have documentation showing that they had completed basic training.
  • All seven of the mediators couldn’t demonstrate that they had “fulfilled the minimum qualifications, initial training, and continuing education requirements to perform mediations.”
  • And when families and individuals filed complaints against mediators, there was little or no documentation proving what actions were taken to respond to and investigate the complaints.

In responding to the audit, which included similar concerns about Sacramento courts, the presiding judge of Sacramento wrote that the court “is largely in agreement with the bureau’s recommendations. In fact we have already begun the process of implementing the great majority of recommendations contained within the bureau’s report.” The presiding judge of Marin, however, wrote that the bold language in the audit “creates an undeserved poor impression of the Marin family court. Likewise, the titles of the two chapters in the report give a similar impression that you found the court to be engaged in widespread disregard for laws, rules, policies and procedures, which, of course, is not true.” Full report below.

Sacramento and Marin Audit Report

 

http://informant.kalwnews.org/2011/01/audit-family-court-mediators-may-not-be-trained/

 

Written by dawneworswick

June 29, 2011 at 1:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

I won’t back down! August 12th Nationwide protest Gov abuse is child abuse

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Written by dawneworswick

June 29, 2011 at 12:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized