* As a professor of social work, I found "O.C. Agency Has Helped Underage Mothers Wed" (Sept. 1) really appalling. Anyone in a social agency who supports teenagers' marriages to men who have raped and abused them has no right to call him- or herself a social worker, and the director of the agency should certainly consider a career move.
With only 7% of all reported child abuse cases investigated, with tragic mistakes made which end in death, with a response time to crisis which is often agonizingly slow, all too many child welfare agencies in California do a public disservice. They are often administratively top-heavy, underutilize professionally trained social workers with the MSW degree, and spend far too much time on unnecessary, self-protecting paperwork, which ends up helping no one.
Helping pregnant 13-year-olds to marry the men who have physically and sexually abused them will result not only in continued abuse of the adolescent, but there is strong evidence that it will soon result in abuse to the child. And when the marriage ends with additional children and more abuse, will Orange County Social Services create a dating service for abusive men to cycle them into new relationships with troubled adolescents? My god, this is California and you live with too much craziness, but this is really too much.