Another example of BAD reporting from the Globe
So I wrote a letter to the author and politely ripped her a new one. Which she very much deserved for such lazy and inept reporting.
What the hell am I talking about? Well, to understand you have to go and read this. Go do it now. I'll wait.
dum de dum, dwiddle dee dee, dum dum... oh, you're done! Great.
Didn't seem that offensive, did it? Well it damn well is. Boo hoo hoo for the poor social workers having to work with all those nasty dirty creepy low class poor people. Heavens, how horrible it is. All that scary cutlery in their kitchen and everything! I am crying big fat crocodile tears for them. All those young, right out of college social workers who don't have a fucking clue about what it means to be a parent. Cry me a frigging river.
Now here's the letter I sent the author, obviously edited to keep out some personal information:
While I thought your article about social workers and violence
was interesting, I feel that you left out an intrinsic reason
why clients of DSS and DMH often get so angry at social workers
that represent their agencies against families.
Social workers are almost always young, unmarried women who do
not have any children. They are completely unversed about
parenting and often have the most inane views of parenting,
which can cause serious issues between their agencies and their
For example, I had VOLUNTARILY requested help through DSS for my
son, who was setting fires when he was 11. The initial social
worker assigned to our family was in her early twenties, was not
a parent, and was from a different culture. One day, when we
were sitting in a courthouse waiting forever for our case to be
called, I rubbed my son's back. Please note that my son was, at
that time, just 12.
The social worker misconstrued a parents obvious attempt to
comfort her child and instead reported this 'incident' to DSS as
an example of our relationship being 'emeshed', which is social
worker talk for suspected sexual involvement. Because I rubbed
my son's back.
This is just one example of many that I could give you. Had the
social worker been an older, more experienced worker, especially
one that had already had children of her own, this would not
have happened. But because this particular social worker had no
parenting experience and obviously missed the normality of a
parent comforting a child, she cost my son 13 months in a
residential facility that I could not get him out of, and
required me to be vetted by two psychiatrists to ensure that I
was a good parent. Of course, the parenting exam wasn't ever
even finished because it was so ridiculous, but my son was stuck
for more than a year before I could have him returned to our
home. All this because of an over-zealous and under experienced
I'm not a violent person by nature, but I could have cheerfully
strangled this social worker on many occasions, and I later
found out I was not alone, as she was taken out of client
relations and put into a curriculum planning job.
I don't condone violence against social workers, or indeed
anyone, but I really DO understand the frustration and built up
anger that a parent goes through when dealing with social
workers that honestly do not know what they are doing.
I also didn't like the implication in your article that all
families involved with DSS or DMH live in rat infested, filthy
homes. In fact, that isn't the usual case at all. Take a trip to
Walthan District Court and watch the juvenile court proceedings
represented by the Arlington DSS office. You'll see legions of
well dressed, obviously middle class parents, mostly from
wealthy suburb, involved with DSS. In fact, wealthy suburb keeps them more than
busy in the Arlington office.
People that ask for voluntary help from DSS should not be
treated like suspected criminals, nor should you or any media
outlet assume that we are poor, uneducated, and mistreat our
children. We ask for help from DSS because the court MAKES us in
order to get our children help from hospitals, residential
treatment facilities, and day treatment centers. Insurance WILL
NOT pay for those, so you must ask DSS or qualify for DMH in
order to have your child receive treatment.
Do your homework. Presenting only one side of the story is
There are two sides to every story, obviously, but to imply that these poor social workers work with nothing but violent, crazed parents who are out to stab them at any given moment. In fact, that's just ridiculous. I've worked with so many social workers over the last 4 years, and this is something that I've talked to them about over and over. Every single one of them has stated that there hasn't been any issue of violence against them. And yes, they DO work in the inner city and in some of the less savory cities and towns in Eastern MA.
Every family that gets involved with the courts, either from filing a CHINS (Child in need of services) or because of a hospitalization ends up involved with DSS. It is just the way the system works in MA. It might be different in other states, but here you honestly don't have a choice unless you're planning to pay out of pocket for the hospital and any treatment facility. I've never yet met a parent who is willing to fork over that kind of money, and health insurance DOES NOT cover day treatment or residential treatment unless there are very mitigating circumstances. Your health insurance will even pressure you to ask for a voluntary DSS worker so that DSS will cover the costs.
This means that every single family who has a child with mental health issues ends up involved with either DSS or DMH. And since it is so hard to be accepted into DMH, most families go with DSS. Every kid that gets in trouble, that has a drug problem or a drinking problem, who is doing stupid and dangerous stuff ends up at some point with DSS in their lives. For the most part, DSS is a benign agency with workers that DO want to help. But when you get a really bad social worker
My son was supposed to be at a firesetting program for 3 months. THREE MONTHS. He started at the end of August, and was there for more than a full year. I could not get him out of there. I mean, DSS made me jump over hoops because their social worker, who was such a dud, listened to the social worker at the program, who was a lying lazy bitch that made crap up about every single family she worked with, getting her fired in five months. But because she wrote a report that the lazy DSS social worker accepted without question, my family was broken up and screwed over.
So yes, I'm NOT afraid to be pissed off when an article implies that the clients are totally at fault and the poor innocent social workers are risking their lives every time they leave their comfy offices. It's total and complete crap and someone needs to call them on it. Stumble It! JBlog Me