good books

Hi everyone,
i'm looking for some good "social worky" book recommendations. I would like some child protection related books (obviously!) and i'm also interested in sexually reactive or sexual offending and adolescent bullying (specifically among girls)
i've already read:
Turning Stones
Tender Mercies
Odd Girl Out
Orphans of the Living
Queen Bees and Wannabes

plane takeoff
  • enna99

(no subject)

I posted this to my personal journal but the only response I got was from jennala9...which leads me to believe maybe the folks in this group would have more to say on the subject :) So....

Do you believe that it is the responsibility of the government to provide for the basic needs of people who are unemployed or otherwise unable to earn a living? Why, or why not, and under what circumstances?

Training Review

I just got back from a 2 day High Risk Infants conference in Mississauga Ontario.

A quick review. NOTE: I am NOT bothering to type out all the letters after presenter's names here.

Day 1.
Emotional Trauma and Neglect
Diane Benoit, University of Toronto

I worship this woman. I would give my RIGHT ARM to study with her. Some of the videos used are distressing but very educational. Watching a 10month old baby dissociate is bizarre and disturbing. Watching the choices of toys that traumatized parents will select is disquieting. The knowledge that up to 60% of children exposed to Domestic Violence develop Post Trauma Stress Disorder is frightening. The effects of trauma on a person's ability to parent is devastating. Seriously people, heal thyself and protect your kids. "CORTISOL is BAD for the BRAIN"

Day 1
Breastfeeding and the High Risk Baby
Jack Newman

This man is very...passionate...about breastfeeding. He also came off as judgmental and oppressive. Showing an image of a young mother with tattoos on her hand and stating "this single mother would likely be on YOUR caseloads" was just plain inappropriate. He completely simplified the factors that child protection workers have to take into consideration when a child is apprehended. He is also ANTI_FORMULA...fair enough. However he completely did NOT acknowledge the fact that there are women who NEVER produce enough "hind milk" (the milk that contains fats and proteins) to allow for their babies to grow. Historically those babies WOULD HAVE DIED...or been handed off to the local wet-nurse. I walked out of this session on 3 separate occasions just to keep from leaping over the table to strangle him. I support breastfeeding, MAJORLY and encourage mother's to work at it, cause it does take learning and time to "get it right" in some cases. However, I also respect other peoples choices AND know that sometimes it's just not going to work for everybody.
OH...and he is a proponent of Co-Sleeping... and breastfeeding even if mom is using recreational drugs...

Physical Abuse and Neglect of Infants
Dirk Huyer

This man was entertaining and added clarity and levity to an otherwise disturbing subject. The images shown were graphic and clear. The most marked statement he made was following the demonstration of bruising on a child's hand (identified as a squeeze mark) when he stated that this child "died by asphyxiation by the contents of his father's penis."

BEST line... "If they don't cruise, they don't bruise" and best advice "can they generate enough force to cause that mark."


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Donna Debolt

This was an excellent and educational session for me. Donna brought up some significant information regarding the lack of appropriate questioning that is done about the prenatal exposure of children to alcohol. The complications around dealing with children with FASD are vast and require significant community teamwork, however the infrastructure is not in place to deal with it at this time. 80% of children with FASD are raised by someone other than their biological parent and if a woman has 1 FASD child, she is likely to have UP TO 3 MORE.

Adults with FASD are similarly complex to work with. Her advise to me about one mother on my case load..."Bribe Her."

Emotional Intelligence and Self Care.
I'm not even sure who presented this...The Institute for Health and Human Potential.... It felt basically like one big advertisment.

Failure to Thrive and Malnutrition
Mary Zachos

Excellent content, unfortunately she read her power point slides, which we had received in the conference package. Again, the stress on "breast is best" failed to acknowledge that someone women CAN"T. Strong emphasis on assessing if the issue is organic or non-organic. GOOD information. Boring speaker.

Learning from Infant Deaths in Ontario
Jim Cairns (Ontario's head Coroner)
Karen Bridgman-Acker

Great presentation. COMPLETELY against Co-sleeping. Unsafe sleeping environments assessed to be the cause of 59 infant deaths between March 2006 and June 2007. Solid recommendations to Children's Aid Societies from reviews of infant deaths. NOTE: "Involvement with a CAS is not a factor in the vast majority of child deaths in Ontario, for those children who died while receiving CAS services, most deaths could not have been foreseen or prevented by a CAS." This does not mean we can't learn something though.

Overall a good conference. Educational and I have more avenues of exploration for at least 2 of my current cases. I'm glad I got there, despite the stress and hell it's gonna cause me for the next few weeks.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired

It's Lunchtime

 I should go eat something.  I should bring the food that's in the car and consume it.  I'm not even remotely interested in food.

I took a VERY lazy morning and feel a little recharged.  I understand what happened during my "hell day" at court on Tuesday.  

I have supervision this afternoon and have looked over my cases and feel "slightly" prepared.  I'm still behind on standards on a few files but not as bad as I originally thought.

Turns out from a fast reveiw I am managing 12 Ongoing files of my own, 2 kin files, 4 investigations (3 likely to close, and 1 to go ongoing) AND 2 ongoing files of a colleague.  For a total number of children I'm "responsible for" at 26...NOT including those still slated as (investigation likely to close.)

To make that make sense, I have to see these 26 children at MINIMUM once in every 30 day period.  Clearly some of these families have multiple children.  And CLEARLY some of these families have higher risk ratings than others necessitating a "more often than" once every 30 day home visit.

They are saying under our new system, that 12 ongoing files is "manageable" and "ideal."  However, the documentation to support those files, the needs of those families (can't I just get SOMEONE ELSE to take the bus passes to the home!!!) are varied.  When I'm supposed to be at house X today, but child Y threaten's suicide.... I don't always make it to house X.  Then I have to try to re-shuffle everyone to get back there.

Mix in the unpredictability of the emergencies that cross our desks, and the tightening noose of the unrealistic standards...Well, this is NOT a job to have if you ever want to leave your day feeling like you're caught up.

There is always going to be something that you forgot, didn't get to, or that simply slide through the cracks.  While some days I'm calm like this and can remember that, on other days...The chaos overwhelms me and I feel like I'll NEVER get it.

Then someone tells me to "call a friend, read something for YOU."  And I remember that I've not done a good job lately with my self care.... and I settle into my glider and consume Books of Magic Book 1.  And start my day slowly...remembering that the calm I bring to my job is infective...

I'm good at what I do.  Even when I drop one of the balls that I try to keep in the air... It's ok.  I'm doing the best that I can.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm


A child I brought into care early in 2007, is leaving for Alberta this week. To live with her grandmother.

She told her dad today "if this is how you want me to remember you, ignoring me, I will. And I'll hate you for it."

She's got a great opportunity ahead of her. I know she's going to be ok. But it's sad that her mother and father, will never understand.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
  • aoanne

Hey there (quick rant)

I'm not sure if I've posted here before or not, but I've been in the community for awhile.
I am a Senior Case Manager for Devereux (aka DCF: Privitization) in Florida.
I'm having a problem with the culture that has developed recently within our office/clients...

I have noticed that our organization has begun to enable our clients. I get several phone calls a day, "pay my rent" or "drive me to this appointment" or "pay for my classes, and oh yeah, I want them in home." I have been on vacation and had several clients complain to my supervisor that I didn't call them back, and acknowledged the fact that I was on vacation but were still really upset that I didn't call them back.

It goes beyond the petty annoyances, it's that we pay for all their classes, sometimes drive them to all their classes, pay their outstanding bills, etc... and we expect them to be self-suffient when we exit their lives. We are enabling some parents to put off their problems onto us. "I couldn't go to class because my caseworker didn't drive me." instead of "I was late to class because I had to catch the bus." I think we're creating a dependancy upon the CPS system by doing it all for parents, and by this we're creating boomerang kids that constantly return to the system.

Are any of ya'll seeing this, or am I just burning out? :)
  • Current Mood
    confused confused

A TYPICAL day...

OMFG I am so cranky. I'm tired and bitchy and hormonal from H_E_double L...

This is not the day for my client to get caught in a bald-faced lie. Look lady, you're kids are still in your house, despite the hungover male I found there on Tuesday at 2pm, with the 2 kids running around in wet urine soaked clothing and eating straight sugar. Ya know, that guy that wouldn't TELL ME HIS NAME... So today, he's all pleasant and co-operative and I get back to the office and find he's quite well known throughout the agency... And then when I can't reach you to let you know that he is NOT to be drinking alcohol in your children's presence due to his little PERC addiction...AND I have to go buy your kid diapers at 5pm tonight because you didn't realize you were out and his was shitty and I had to TELL you to change it...and You turn around and LIE to me.

Sweetie, consider this your notice. Shape up. I'll be having colleagues pop in over the weekend, and if he is there consuming alcohol, be prepared for the kidlets to go to "camp grandma" for a bit until you get your SHITE together.... oh and one more thing...you'd better be sick today, cause if you are coming down from a cocaine high, the random samples I'm about to start having you complete will let me know.

Oh...then there's the kid from "messy house" that I've wanted to bring into care for MONTHS but no one will let me. Now I've got the local police agency on my back that there's a child residing in that cesspool...

THEN there's my alcohol mom, who's mysteriously SICK again...and blames it all on her inabiltity to sleep at night. I don't care what time you got to sleep you damn well get your a#$# out of bed in the morning and supervise that child!!

THEN there's the crazy lady that doesn't get that telling people she's NEVER met with the worker (from last year) and demands a meeting with me and my supervisor cause she doesn't like the outcome of my investigation...WHEN she met with the previous worker and supervisor (WHO's the same guy !!) last year when the outcome was the same!! Crazy lady, this is one way to MAKE DAMN SURE I open your file for mental health issues...

Then there's the Dr. who STILL hasn't referred my high needs boy to a developmental pediatrician for assessment...

Then...oh wait...that's probably enough for now. I'm down to 18 files on my database. Of which there are 3 active investigations, 1 investigation on an open file, 2 files to close and the rest are all ONGOING/OPEN files....

When I'm hormonal there isn't enough chocolate or thud in the world to make me feel better.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed


So i just made a post but here is my introduction, a bit late. :)

Name Alyssa
State you work in Vermont
position title Investigative Social Worker
average caseload number well, as an investigator my caseload has a high turnover (average investigation is open 60 days), but usually i have 25 active investigations at a time.
a little bit about your job Well, I am the "front line" person. Once a report of CA/N is accepted, I go out and interview everyone involved and assess safety. Then I either a) make recommendations for services or b) request custody through the court if the situation is agregious. sometimes I can make alternative arrangments for kids with relatives or friends that avoids custody. I also occasionally get the total bullshit report that there isnt a lot of services needed for the family so then i just get to eet then and move along.
anything else interesting I graduated with my BSW in 2005 from the University of Vermont. I live with my two awesome pugs and do dog agility to unwind. i work in a fairly small office in comparision to most i think and work with really, really amazing and dedicated people. :)
  • Current Mood
steph popstarcam


Does anyone here work in child protection/child welfare in Ontario, specifically the GTA???
I'm considering a job with the Children's Aid/Family and Child Services, and would love to talk to someone from ON... and see if I could do some potential job shadowing??????

Maybe it's a long shot but I thought I'd try, lol.