CPS employees have tough, thankless job

Erie County Child Protective Services, under the leadership of Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer, is currently under the community microscope due to recent child deaths. Being involved in the child welfare system for many years, my view is that CPS workers are in a thankless job and one inherent with multiple risks; risks physically, emotionally and uncertainty career-wise.

In my experience, the vast majority are knowledgeable, dedicated and selfless protectors of our community’s most vulnerable children: our eyes and ears behind the closed doors. While they are, in my opinion, first responders, who have to respond to calls of a serious nature, they are not given even close to the societal status of police officers or firefighters, even though they, too, risk violence or serious threats to self. As they are charged with investigating whether children are safe, they have many regulations to abide by, oft times with limited information.

Given all these complexities, I do support Dankert-Maurer’s comprehensive efforts to reform this system to meet the challenges of our changing society. I also salute the brave CPS caseworkers who are in the field doing their best for our community’s children.

Max Donatelli