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Control Social Workers
January 29, 2013 permalink
Washington state senator Pam Roach wants stringent controls on who can practice social work in her state. Before taking a case by themselves, workers would need a graduate level degree and 3,200 professional hours on the job (nearly two years by our arithmetic). They would need to pass a licensing exam and pay an annual fee and they would become legally liable for damages.
Pam Roach is a real critic of child protectors, and has appeared in these columns several times before as advocate for broken families.
State lawmaker wants CPS workers to be licensed, bonded
OLYMPIA — A state lawmaker says she has heard far too many horror stories of botched child abuse investigations and she wants to up the standards for caseworkers by requiring that they be licensed and bonded.
The Department of Social and Health Services currently requires Child Protective Services workers to only have a bachelor’s degree in social or human services.
State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, said her legislation would require caseworkers to have a graduate-level degree, complete 3,200 professional hours on the job before taking on an abuse case by themselves, and pay an annual fee to maintain their license after passing an exam. They could also be held personally liable in court.
“We have teachers who have licenses, hairdressers, even Christmas tree farmers. Shouldn’t we try to find the highest level of employee when we’re dealing with children?” asked Roach.
A social worker attending a committee hearing on the bill Tuesday in Olympia said the legislation would place an unfair burden on employees like him.
“This legislation would require those who have spent thousands of dollars on their education to spend more time and money to prove they are capable of doing work they have already earned degrees in,” said Joe Pettit.
DSHS said the measure, Senate Bill 5163, would make it difficult to hire and maintain their workforce. Others feel it’s necessary to protect our state’s most vulnerable.
“We have to be looking for people who have a higher standard, and the ‘licensure’ will take us in the right direction. There are horror stories, one after the other, and I hope you will see this as a way to save and protect children,” said Roach.