I want to point out a connection that seems to be getting little attention. Today’s Herald Leader has this article regarding proposed legislation to increase social worker safety. Yesterday, the Herald-Leader had this article about removing language from proposed legislation that would have required judges to give oral and written notice of looming termination of parental rights. The connection is that the Cabinet has needed MORE workers for years to address both the issue of safety for workers and the issue of providing sufficient services to families to avoid having to terminate parental rights.
I did that job for years and frankly, whether a judge gives an oral and written warning about an impending termination proceeding is not going to make a huge difference. It would be a nice thing and it would allow lawmakers to say, “See, we’ve done all we can do – they were warned!” What will really make a difference, though, is to INVEST IN OUR CHILDREN and provide hundreds more social service workers.