Social Workers Protest Caseload Crisis(HOLYOKE, Mass.) (WGGB)–Social Workers in Western Massachusetts took to the streets of Holyoke on Wednesday.
They were protesting what they called a caseload crisis.
Social workers hold a noontime protest in front of the DCF Holyoke area office.
They marched around holding signs, delivering a unified message,”We’re out here to protest against the high caseloads , DCF, social workers are carrying almost double the recommended caseload which is a number of 15,” says Svea Letendre, of SEIU Local 509.
Social workers say some of them have caseloads in which they’re working with a total of over 100 people depending on the size of the family.
The caseload crisis they say is putting children at risk,”Everyone’s on edge so like when is the next tragedy going to happen, no one wants to be the next social worker that has a Jeremiah Oliver or kid that dies on their caseload, we want to do a good job, we want to see our families everyday,” says Social Worker Ethel Everett.
Social workers say the caseload crisis has worsened in recent months as new directives continue to spike workloads to record highs,”When we are just reacting to emergencies we’re not able to do the clinical social work , getting into the homes and meeting with families and really discussing the issues in the homes,” says Social Worker Stefanie Shippee.
This week’s informational picket called on concerned residents to contact their elected officials and urge immediate action to reduce caseloads to put into place reforms needed to keep children safe.