Former DFCS manager says agency pushing workers too hard | News
ATLANTA -- On Wednesday, 11Alive News talked to a former DFCS manager who left his job very recently after a solid career.
He'd simply seen enough.
A tapestry of violence against children that scares the life out of you; images that bruise the soul and make you cry at night.
That's what DFCS workers take home with them. Even while the agency keeps demanding more.
PETITION | Demand that DFCS keep children safe
Here's what he told us in his own words.
"Nobody goes to work for Family and Children Services because they don't want to protect kids. So, there's a lot of frustration, a lot of 'not enough hours in the day.' Not enough time to get the answers that they need to get."
"What kind of time frame are we talking about? The case is supposed to be completed in 30 days. And if it's not completed in 45, you've got some serious explaining to do."
"Who's putting pressure on the field-level worker to get these cases cleared? It comes from the state office. They have meetings where they go through numbers and say you've got these many cases, and they'll put them up on slides and send emails. They track every case to know how long they've been going."
"You've got to keep moving. You've got to go keep going, because there's so much coming in, and there are so few workers to do the investigations."
"There needs to be support for the worker. Not just when we get cussed out on a daily basis, but for when we have a disaster like (the death of Emani Moss) that happens. They do it for police officers; they do it in schools; they don't do it for the DFACS workers. No counseling. Just blame."
"When you have seen these fatalities up close, what goes through you mind in terms of yet another failure of the system? That's a tough one. It's not just a failure of the system. For me a lot of times it was personal because I wondered what I missed."
"As it is now, you're going to do what you've got to do. You've got to move on to the next one. It's not that it's what you want to do. It's what you've got to do."
"Have you ever come to terms with it? I'm working on it. I really am working on it. Sometimes you still think about it because it's babies and kids."
"In a case like [the death of Moss], some worker is going to be haunted by this? You know they will. If they're a DFACS worker yeah they're going to carry it."
"In the end, it's the usual suspects who get disciplined or fired . But the system remains the same? Pretty much. So it's going to happen again? Look at Terrell Peterson. (The five year-old whose death from abuse led to changes in DFACS.) I mean it's (more deaths) happened. Terrell Peterson is what brought all this change about. But it's still happening."