Monday, July 14, 2014

"How many children are you responsible for?"

Have you ever asked your caseworker or social worker this question? I've always wondered how many children the average social worker has on his or her case load. I have yet to ask.

This past weekend I finally watched the Episode of Our America that focused on foster care. I don't know how many children the average foster care social worker is responsible for, this show focused on LA county, one of the social workers they spoke with had 43 children to visit with and file paper work on! Can you imagine. There are on average 22-23 weekdays in the average month, I can see why making all of your home visits may be challenging. I know some of those children may be siblings in the same home, but still this seems like too many children for one social worker to manage care for.

I'm going to ask my social workers, our agency worker and our DH$ social worker, how many children they have next time they are out.

Have you asked your social worker this question? I would love to hear the answers.

10 comments:

  1. Funny you mention this. I just asked my caseworker this last week. She has 10 right now, plus she handles training. :)! Happy to find a current foster care blog out there. We're pretty new to the process and have a girl/boy sibling set. They've been with us about 7 weeks and boy has it been CRAZY!

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    1. Thanks Val! Good luck with your foster care journey. I hope the CRAZY calms down a bit, but there is always some CRAZY in foster care.

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  2. Hi Mitzy! I just graduated with a degree in social work (am yet to take the licensing exam, so I still can't call myself a social worker!) and did my field placement at an emergency shelter for foster kids. Naturally, we worked pretty closely with CPS and it always amazed me, not only how many cases they had, but how quickly the cases bounced from caseworker to caseworker. It's definitely a huge, huge gap in our system. Thankfully, because my parents were foster parents, and I grew up with foster siblings, I SAW the crazy. Hoping that the things I experienced will help me be a better social worker if I stay in child advocacy…but you're right, if case loads are too heavy, there's just no way a social worker can do a decent job. :(

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    1. Congratulations on your graduation Kylee! I can't help but feel that your experience on the "other" side of foster care will help you immensely in your social work career.

      I have experienced Primo's case bouncing from caseworker to caseworker, he is now on caseworker #5, he's never had the same agency worker for more than 6 months.

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  3. My caseworker has between 5 and 10 at any time. It's a private agency, though. They employ only 2 to 3 workers at a time for foster care. But I think this may be why I have always been so happy with them!

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    1. That sounds like a really small agency, how nice.

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  4. I asked our CW when our daughter was still in foster care and she had 21:(

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    1. Thanks for sharing, I think 21 is too many too.

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  5. We are in a small rural county with only 4 caseworkers that pretty much handle everything. Our CW said she is usually around 10-15 with a large sibling group always being in the mix.

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  6. My brand new graduated/ hired CW has 9, in a private agency. I think her co workers have 15 or so. Includes sibling groups.

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