Workers do their best on difficult CPS jobs
As a former 30-year veteran of Child Protective Services, I am happy that the public and our political appointees are outraged by the death of a child, allegedly at the hands of a caregiver. It is impossible to imagine the sadness and the loss this family is experiencing.
Why is it that the media seem only to care during such a tragedy and are so quick to fault a worker or the system? After each tragedy that has taken place over the last 35 years, the department has conducted close reviews of each step taken in a case. The state thoroughly examines each step the workers and supervisors took.
CPS workers have parameters within which they conduct their investigations. These regulations are state mandates. Cases both basic and complicated are always reviewed by supervisors and often clinical specialists. Random audits are conducted by experts from the state and within the department as a matter of course.
During my career I met many dedicated, hard-working and most importantly caring CPS workers and supportive service workers such as foster care workers.
I am sure there is no one fix to the problems of society, nor do I think this very complex job can be understood by everyone. There are always varying opinions concerning CPS. For example, paradoxically, CPS is too intrusive, CPS doesn’t dig deep enough; CPS places too many children, CPS doesn’t place enough children; CPS hides behind confidentiality (state law), CPS reveals too much.
I applaud the very difficult task these workers perform each day. One thing I know for sure is that adequate staffing is necessary, along with the need to keep and have experienced, caring workers in the field, supervision and administration.