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Letters: Social workers strike for kids

Re “County strike might escalate,” Dec. 7

I watch the strike by social workers in the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services with great interest and hope. I left the DCFS after nearly 12 years as a social worker and then as a supervisor.

Social workers want children to be safe and to return home once their parents address the risk and abuse issues; if the parents cannot do so, finding a permanent home for the children is the priority. The current working conditions of high caseloads, lack of foster placements and onerous paperwork prevent social workers from doing their job effectively. They prevent the thorough assessments and delivery of the intensive services that families need.

We all say how much we care about children and families, but the striking social workers are proving they care with their feet. A child or family you know might be involved with the DCFS. They deserve better.

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Thao N. Lam

Oakland

The striking workers cry “Child safety now!” There have been numerous tragic cases, including deaths, caused in part by these social workers’ incompetence, and now they try to deflect responsibility by saying they are overworked.

I have an idea: These unhappy employees should quit and open up positions to thousands of recent college graduates, who are unjaded and want to protect children. These young people would value the benefits now enjoyed by the strikers.

Annmarie Marin

Covina

As a licensed clinical social worker, I support those in L.A. County striking for better wages and lower caseloads. However, I strongly object to having children picket with them.

L.A. County social workers show very poor judgment in having children involved in their strike; they should know better. They represent children who are exploited and subjected to torture, starvation, sexual abuse, violence and other forms of cruelty.

Let’s not involve children to make a point on the needs of the social workers.

Mary Richards

Los Angeles

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