Saturday, October 21, 2006

The World in Which We Live

This story of the 67-year-old social worker who was killed while taking a child for a visit with his mother hits close to home for me since I did in-home work with families whose children were involved in Children and Youth Services before I took my current position with the company. Fortunately I never had families who I felt were dangerous. Some were assholes or nasty pieces of trash, but never dangerous (and on the flip side, some were wonderful). We had to go to some pretty bad neighborhoods though. My time in that position was relatively drama-free, but I was, quite randomly I might add, accused by a client's husband of plotting with her to kill him. This family's picture is in the dictionary under dysfunctional--I could write a book. It's actually a funny story, but I'll get back on topic. This quote in particular resonated with me:

"Family services spokeswoman Vikki Franklin acknowledged that it is common practice for social aides to travel alone. "But if a worker should be concerned about safety, he or she can request an escort by a police officer or another social worker."

But another social worker said such escorts are rarely requested because workers are typically so pressed that they don't have the time to arrange for an escort."

The notion of having someone to accompany you to a dangerous pace is bullshit. I was going to be given a family who lived on one of the most drug-infested streets of the city (Rusty--Chestnut St.) and when I said I wasn't really comfortable taking that case I was told I didn't really have a choice because I needed to make my hours. Thank Jebus that I left before I got that family. While most of the supervisors and other employees were at their cozy homes with their families at night, we peons were most often walking around in the ghetto at night. I learned right quick that social work was not the job for me and I have the utmost respect for anyone who can do that. It's a low-paying, thankless job. I say fry 'em.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

*shudders* Chestnut Street. *shudders again*

I'm glad you don't do that job anymore. I wish no one had to, but of course, they do! That's terrible about the woman who was killed. Social workers get placed in some very dangerous positions, working with families who are dysfunctional already, and some have no desire to change or accept the social workers' help. It really is a thankless job.

10/22/2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger J. said...

I have heard some scary stories from my wife back when she did home nursing visitation for community health--she'd go into some creepy apartment building to give some addict a new dressing on a wound and there would be a bunch of druggies tripped out all around on the floor. I'm glad she doesn't do that any more.

10/22/2006 2:42 PM  
Blogger Funky Smith said...

York has ghettoes? Egads! Actually I do think I've seen them from afar.

10/22/2006 10:56 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Rusty: Most definitely. People don't realize how bad some of the conditions are.

J: Wow. Props to her for doing that job.

Funky: They look like the country club compared to B-more's ghettos, but they're there.

10/23/2006 10:42 AM  

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