Sadistic and criminal aren’t words usually associated with social workers. But they come to mind while reading the results of a yearlong investigation into a Kentucky child-protection bureaucracy that was allowed to go rogue.
Social workers gave each other nicknames like “The Queen of Removal” and “Terminator” and laughed as they stripped children from their parents. More
Kentucky’s shortage of child-protection workers usually comes to light when children die. The killing of a social worker brought the problem into focus for Gov. Ernie Fletcher. As he seeks another term, Fletcher is pushing the legislature to put $18 million into hiring more than 300 additional social workers and aides. The problem is that little thought and no real planing have gone into Fletcher’s proposal to expand the ranks of social workers and aides in the Department of Community Based Services.
In fact, our Republican governor is doing something for which conservatives like to criticize liberals: throwing money at a broken system. The crisis in child protective services goes much deeper than a shortage of trained social workers, as an inspector general’s investigation in the Elizabethtown region made shockingly clear. State social workers who reported abuses and unethical practices by their colleagues were punished while those who permitted them advanced. more
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