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Should child welfare workers who are not doing their job correctly be jailed?

I just read an article on Yahoo news about this, about two NYC case workers who are being charged with criminally negligent homicide because a 4 year old died while under their care. In another case in Philadelphia case workers who skipped home visits and filed fake paperwork are serving long term sentences since a 14 year old disabled girl died at the hands of her mother who is serving 20-40 years for her crime.

Some case workers are claiming that the job is just too rough, too hectic, and they are being overworked and that's when these fatal mistakes happen. I know this job is not for the faint of heart, but this is a job that not getting something done correctly proves deadly, why shouldn't case workers who don't do their job be jailed? Especially the ones who fake paperwork, those should get the book thrown at them. What do you think? We have all heard of these cases in our cities, what should be done?

I don't want to judge case workers too harshly because I don't know how hard their job is but they agreed to do this, to care for these children.


Asked by GomezMami2908 at 12:22 AM on Apr. 4, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 27 (30,173 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • I feel that they should be jailed. The entire system is broken, from judges on down to caseworkers. No one forces a person to become a caseworker. If the job is too hard, if they aren't capable, or can't deal with the emotional issues that come with it they need to switch careers. If they continue and children die or continue to suffer abuse because of their inadequacy jail time is the least of what they deserve. Children deserve so much more than what they get from society today ... from lousy broken homes all the way up to judges. Anyone who seeks a job with the power to fix a small part of this mess and who won't/can't DO that job should pay when they fail.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 10:26 AM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • After doing massive amounts of research about CPS, yes they should be jailed for failing to do their job correctly. Not only does it cause poor work performance on their end but it can easily ruin a family and childrens lives.

    Most CPS workers aren't properly trained or really all that qualified to do the job. You don't need much of an education background to get hired, and most CPS workers are severely over-worked. I am talking about 40-60 cases at a time.

    I was raised in foster care for a good portion of my life. 2/3rds of the homes I was in were either mentally abusive, physically abusive, or both. The next to the last foster home I was ever in, I ended up running away from. They beat the shit out of me and wouldn't let me leave a room. They held on to my arms so tight their grasps left bruise prints all around my arms. If the CPS worker would have listened to me, it would have never happened. Instead they didn't care

    Answer by Razelda at 12:32 AM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • CPS workers also lie. Do you realize the state gets 25,000 per year in my home state PROFIT for EACH child they keep away from their parents? And you know where this money goes? It doesn't go back into CPS to help strengthen the system, it doesn't go to educational needs. It goes to various frivolous other areas.

    CPS workers are vicious. Once they decide they don't like you, you're ruined. They made up so many stories about me that I remember to this day that were just so fake. When I went to try and get adopted, these people knew about my record. They knew about all of the kids record. And for 6 years I sat waiting to be adopted, and it never happened. I aged out of the system ultimately.

    Thanks CPS. I have NOTHING good to say about them, but I have a whole lot more other shitty things to say.

    Answer by Razelda at 12:36 AM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • and chose to try and make the placement work so it'd look better in court. They also placed me about two hours away from where I grew up, making it impossible to retain relationships with anyone I knew before I got into CPS care and my friends.

    Answer by Razelda at 12:33 AM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • I agree. If you can't do the job, quit.

    Answer by Audrice1985 at 12:29 AM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • I agree that they should be jailed along with anyone else in the system who fails our children! Including judges!
    I have a good friend that has unfortunately witnesses first hand a breakdown of our system. here is her story....

    Answer by harris4 at 12:34 AM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • I guess the thing is that you have to understand... judges don't want kids to be in shelters. They're not homeless shelters but private shelters for children in CPS care. They generally only want children to be in there a max of 30 days. My longest time in a shelter was 8 1/2 months, and as far as I know I still "hold the record" for the child being in this specific shelter the longest.

    If you're in a home and if your worker isn't listening to you, or impossible to contact, or any other possibility and the ONLY thing you can do is to run away, and you actually DO run away... you're labeled as a problem child. Permanently. Your case worker will switch every 2-4 months, and so even if one believes you, the next 6 workers will not believe you. It ultimately gets impossible to place kids that are labeled as problem children. So yes, I am sorry but I 100% have to agree that they should be jailed for not doing their job correctly

    Answer by Razelda at 12:42 AM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • SW's who fraudulently forge paperwork should be punished for just that. Fraud. Otherwise, until more folks are willing to get at least a four year degree, and take 20-30,000 in salary for 60+ hours of work, then I guess the poor kiddos will continue to suffer. BTW, have you ever been in a situation where you've had to enter an apartment crawling with roaches, encounter an angry, drugged out mother, and a crackhead boyfriend, and tell her that you're there to assess her home? Have you ever had to worry about aggressive drunk parents coming at you with a knife or a gun b/c you were there to investigate a claim? Unless you are an armed police officer, I assume the answer is no. Is that worth a college degree and 20-30,000?

    Answer by kenzie07 at 8:52 PM on Apr. 4, 2011

  • Social workers and case workers are way overworked and too much is put on them. Yes, it is wrong to falsify documents but I think a lot less of them would do it if they weren't so overloaded. I think the government is to blame just as much as the case worker for expecting way to much than is humanly possible for most people. Spend a day in their shoes and I bet you will have a real eye opener as to the extreme stress and overload these people have.

    Answer by chocaholic888 at 12:19 AM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • I think what you said is right: it's not a job for the faint-hearted, and there aren't too many people putting their hands up for the work. So yes they are seriously overworked, and that's probably the biggest problem right there. It doesn't only cause them to do things like skip visits and fake paperwork, but it also causes carelessness in judgements that often put them off side in the general public. They may often over-react and remove kids unnecessarily, causing real grief to parents and kids who don't deserve it, and thus tarnishing their reputation with the public. Must be an awful job, I reckon. As for "should they be jailed?" I don't know. It's not my call and I'm glad it isn't, because I just don't know. Probably not. They should recieve more support before these incidents occur.

    Answer by judimary at 12:28 AM on Apr. 4, 2011