Don’t Blame the Worker
Blaming workers and supervisors for the current “house of horrors” story is understandable.
But this catastrophe occurred amidst extremely high turnover in Hennepin County child protection, which forced inexperienced staff to manage large caseloads.
Recently Hennepin has added caseworkers, strengthened training, and expanded its management team, and is improving a difficult organizational climate.
This raises hopes that situations like this won’t recur.
However Hennepin and other counties still need to revamp practices that give parents opportunities to coach and intimidate children before workers can talk to them, such as scheduling visits in advance, and interviewing children in the presence of their alleged abusers.
These practices make it harder to get the facts needed to keep children safe, and if continued could lead to more horror stories, despite the added resources.
What do you think?
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