December 3, 2015
Just a few short weeks after Department for Children and Families (DCF) Family Services Division Social Worker Trissie Casanova was at the State House to present lawmakers with frontline workers’ three key recommendations to improve worker safety, Casanova and VSEA are applauding today’s announcement by Governor Shumlin that he is already acting to address one of the workers’ recommendations, which is to fund the hiring of new social workers to help reduce caseloads.
“Governor Shumlin’s desire to add 28 new social workers, one supervisor and six administrative staff to DCF is definitely a welcome and good move, and it is appreciated,” says Casanova. “The additional staff is estimated to help reduce our caseloads from 17.5 to 16, and that is terrific news, but frontline social workers’ goal remains to get our caseloads down to the national best-practice standard, which is 12—and that is 12 individuals, not 12 individuals and their entire family counting as one case. Today’s announcement by our Governor is an amazing first step towards getting to our goal. We hope lawmakers will waste no time ensuring this important request is granted, and possibly consider adding even more social workers. We also hope they will budget the money necessary to put a trained, armed law enforcement or security personnel at every office housing DCF Family Services Division staff, and ensure the State Police is adequately staffed, as well.”
VSEA frontline social workers also want the State and lawmakers to lower the number of cases assigned to DCF Investigators to 100 annually and have each DCF supervisor manage only six social workers.
A small delegation of VSEA DCF social workers will have an opportunity to thank the Governor in person on December 14, when they will meet face to face with him to discuss worker safety in a meeting facilitated by VSEA.
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