Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSocial Workers
IN THE NEWS

Social Workers

FEATURED ARTICLES
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 1989 | LOIS TIMNICK, Times Staff Writer
Under pressure from all sides, closure of the county's much-praised sexual abuse treatment units has been postponed until at least August and may get a longer reprieve depending on the outcome of county budget hearings now under way. The Central Los Angeles Sex Abuse Unit and the Child Sexual Abuse Program in East Los Angeles employ only 11 children's services workers but provide court-ordered treatment to an average of 800 parents and children each...
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Abby Sewell and Soumya Karlamangla
Los Angeles County officials proposed a budget Monday that would pump money into reforming major problem areas, including the jails and foster care system, while expanding county medical staffs to manage the transition to federal healthcare reform. As part of a $26-billion spending plan that builds on post-recession economic improvements, Chief Executive William T Fujioka called for adding more than 1,300 positions to county government, including nurses, social workers and staff for the newly created Sheriff's Department inspector general.
Advertisement
OPINION
February 21, 2013
Re "'Blind leading blind' at county child services," Feb. 14 Certainly, a child services worker who does not properly investigate abuse cases by asking thorough questions deserves blame. But let's look at another side. As The Times notes, a single social worker can be responsible for up to 160,000 abuse hot-line calls a year. For a standard five-day workweek, that equates to more than 600 calls a day. The sheer number of calls is so overwhelming that it becomes unfair to lambaste the workers for not committing 100% to each case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
A new report from the blue-ribbon commission on Los Angeles County's safety net for abused and neglected children levels stinging criticism at the Board of Supervisors for a sluggish approach to reform, and declares that the system has fallen into a "state of emergency. " "Nothing short of a complete rethinking about how the county ensures safe and supportive care for abused and at-risk children will lead to the seamless and comprehensive child welfare system that the county has needed for decades," the commissioners wrote in a draft report expected to be approved in a vote Thursday afternoon.  The members of the commission said the elected Board of Supervisors has responded too slowly and failed to identify a coordinated mission and clear, measurable goals for the child-protection system.  The commission released its first set of recommendations in December.
OPINION
September 12, 2012
Re "Where was help for Alesia?," Column, Sept. 8 As long as we as a society are comfortable with the decision we made to have law enforcement agencies be our front-line social service workers, we should not be surprised to see officers handle mental or medical emergencies like criminal acts. If you are disturbed by the story that a poor single mother is dead because leaving her children at a police station is considered "endangerment," or that the mentally ill continue to die at the hands of the justice system, perhaps it's time we recognize again that these are not crimes.
OPINION
June 6, 2013
Re "The Gabriel Fernandez case," Editorial, June 4 The Times' editorial on the tragic death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was notable for its sophisticated analysis of many problems in the Los Angeles County child welfare system, but also for a glaring omission. It did not discuss the fact that social workers in the county's Department of Children and Family Services have to juggle too many cases. Los Angeles County Chief Executive William Fujioka and DCFS Director Philip Browning have recognized this for years, acknowledging that the optimum caseload is 12 to 15. Yet social workers often operate with twice that number.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, This post has been updated. See note below.
Two social workers and two supervisors in the county's troubled Department of Children and Family Services have been fired over the death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy after the agency received several complaints of abuse, officials said. Paramedics were summoned to the home of Gabriel Fernandez on the evening of May 22 and found the boy barely breathing with numerous injuries, including a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns. He died in the hospital two days later. His mother and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with murder and torture.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2013 | By Seema Mehta and Abby Sewell
Striking social workers took to the picket lines for a second day Friday, with no progress reported in negotiations with Los Angeles County and a probable escalation of work-site actions next week by the county's largest public-employee union. "We intend to ramp it up," said Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU Local 721, which represents 55,000 county employees - including 3,600 social workers and their supervisors - who have been working without a contract for two months. "This is not going to be an easy fight.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
After days of strikes, Los Angeles County and its social worker employees reached a deal Friday to end the labor action by reducing caseloads, one of the last sticking points to signing a contract with a union that represents 55,000 county workers. “After very difficult negotiations, we reached a tentative agreement,” said county spokesman David Sommers. “This agreement provides for a way forward in providing the best services to the children and families of this county.” “It wasn't easy, but we made history,” said Chychy Ekeochah, a social worker and chair of the bargaining unit for her colleagues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, This post has been corrected. See below for details.
Seven people were arrested for sitting in the middle of a downtown street in an act of civil disobedience Tuesday during a protest by striking Los Angeles County social workers. County child-welfare workers, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 721, have been on strike since Thursday in a dispute over caseloads. On Tuesday, 1,710 social workers and supervisors in the Department of Children and Family Services took part in the strike -- 57% of those scheduled to work -- county spokesman David Sommers said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
A new report from the blue ribbon commission on Los Angeles County's safety net for abused and neglected children levels stinging criticism at the Board of Supervisors for what it calls a sluggish approach to reform, and declares that the system has fallen into a "state of emergency. " "Nothing short of a complete rethinking about how the county ensures safe and supportive care for abused and at-risk children will lead to the seamless and comprehensive child welfare system that the county has needed for decades," the 10-member commission wrote in a report it voted to approve Thursday afternoon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors approved a deal with the county's largest public employee union Tuesday, putting the cap on an unusually contentious period in county labor relations. The new contracts between the county and Service Employees International Union Local 721 include a 6% raise over three years and an additional $200,000 to be contributed by the county to a ride-share subsidy program. The county will also increase its contribution to employee healthcare plans by 7.2% to cover rising premiums, and will contribute an extra $500 to each worker's flexible benefits plan over the next year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
After months of contentious negotiations that culminated in a strike by county social workers in December, Los Angeles County employees represented by Service Employees International Union Local 721 voted to approve a new labor agreement. The union's members have been voting on the proposed deal over the past three weeks, and polling ended Wednesday evening. SEIU is the county's largest public employee union, representing about 55,000 county workers including nurses, social workers and public works staff.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | Sandy Banks
The mother had lost her children to foster care after injuring them in a drunk driving crash. Now her kids were back at home and a social worker was sitting at her kitchen table, trying to figure out if they would be safe with her. Mom was disheveled, dodging questions and stumbling when she walked. Her overbearing boyfriend showed up unexpectedly and hijacked the conversation, butting in whenever the social worker tried to talk. The social worker finally threw up her hands and walked off. Another took her place, then another and another....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
The grandparents of a fatally injured 8-year-old Palmdale boy, whose history of alleged physical abuse has prompted a sweeping review of Los Angeles' child welfare system, have sued, accusing officials of missing repeated opportunities to save the child. The complaint naming the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services asserts that more than 60 reports of abuse involving Gabriel Fernandez were lodged with the agency. But only five to eight investigations were initiated, the suit says, and none of those met the department's own requirements for thoroughness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Abby Sewell
Last month's strike by Los Angeles County public employees, their first in more than a decade, was short-lived. But the effects are still being felt by some families entangled in the foster care system. Anthony Rogers flew to Los Angeles from North Carolina for a Dec. 13 custody hearing involving his 15-month-old grandson, who had been placed in protective care after his son had an altercation with the child's mother. Rogers and his wife had been in regular communication with social workers about caring for the child.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2013 | By Abby Sewell
Striking social workers rallied outside the district offices of the five Los Angeles County supervisors Monday, while workers with the county Department of Public Social Services picketed in front of their department's headquarters in the city of Industry. The Department of Children and Family Services social workers, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 721, have been on strike since Thursday over what they say are excessive caseloads. About 1,300 children's social workers and supervisors -- 60% of those scheduled to work -- took part in the strike Monday, along with about 200 clerical staff members.
NATIONAL
December 19, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - Karyn Anastasio would have preferred staying in bed, ignoring the early onset of cold and darkness as she huddled in her apartment and watched TV. Instead, Anastasio and her friend, Christina Kaelberer, who also dreads winter, were walking through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and listening to a tiny woman rave about the surroundings and emphasize how lovely they would be when ice covered the ponds, when white coated the ground, when the...
OPINION
December 18, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
For almost two years, the proceedings of the Los Angeles County Dependency Court - where thousands of cases involving foster children are heard annually - have been generally open to the press. That's a new arrangement in a system that has historically been much more restricted. It is the result of an order by Michael Nash, the presiding judge of Juvenile Court, who in early 2012 interpreted a statute that allows "interested parties" to attend these proceedings to include reporters. But now, an appellate court has tentatively concluded that Nash overstepped his authority.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|