I had never worked this type of job prior to this agency. I worked as a Substance Abuse Therapist for a drug and Alcohol program and a sort of Guidance Center in New Mexico prior to that. I have never worked for Child Protective Services or in collaboration with them until this last job.
I started working for the agency in April of 2015 and I was terminated on October 3, 2016. I don't want to share the agency as, I am trying to get unemployment. I still have the bills rolling in regardless.
At any rate, I guess you could say I was very, very naive going into all of this. I have never dealt with CPS but it did not take me long. To realize something was very wrong. I am a very big client advocate and my motto is, " if your not talking to me about my client in a way as to which you can help them", then your just gossiping. So shut up and move on because your wasting my time.
I was reprimanded the Tuesday prior and mandated to write an apology letter to the department for posting videos on my private facebook page "News reports out of California and other states about Corrupt CPS workers, departments, etc., nothing out of Alabama". I was told , I violated policy by disparaging our provider sources. I was docked one day of leave without pay, that week on a Thursday as well.
Now mind you, I have had some issues. With several departments due to not agreeing with some issues about due treating clients disrespectfully, calling them names, violating their rights, etc. I had screenshot messages from a DHR worker, emails, that I had given to my supervisor in my defense. The emails and text messages contained messages from workers that belittled my clients and were filled with threats of removal/ and placing in fostercare due to the families continued calls to her about their children coming home. They were currently in a safety plan with ( unfriendly family) .
I was taken off the case after seeing do much abuse by the worker that I was not dterring the family from seeking legal counsel. Shortly after, I was taken off the case, the family recorded the CPS supervisor in an ISP telling the family that I had been taken off the case and other counties would also be taking me off their cases. They also told the family that the Judge would not be giving their child back.
This recording was played to me by the families attorney and the family when I was subpoenaed to court to testify. It was definitely the CPS supervisor. No more than a week later, another worker accused me of encouraging a client to seek legal counsel and I was taken off cases in that county. This county worker was lying but close friends with the worker that I had just gotten me taken off this case.
Prior to all of this mess, I had been providing services for the agency out of our Birmingham office, still serving the same counties here from my home/ office and worked with this same social worker providing services with no "known issues" I had issues they just were not known to anyone. I remember statements being made by my supervisor in Birmingham, like " this doesn't pertain to your program, y'all don't make us any money.
We were at that time a grant type funded program and drew no revenue like the foster care sector. It was made known that we weren't really being heme accountable on our notes and documentation because we didn't bring in revenue. Preservation services brought no revenue and these were the majority of this programs cases. In October of wow the program contract ended and we were waiting for state approval on a RFP (I don't understand exactly) what an RFP is but I do know without it us being granted this RFP for so many cases out of the counties, we would probably would not be employed.
Moving forward, we were granted contracts in the Notheast counties and a satellite office was opened in Decatur, al. I worked as the Clinical Therapist out of this office collaborating with the same workers in the NE region of Alabama. My caseload could not exceed 12 clients and I received a Newly hired treatment director who eventually stopped taking preservation cases because they didn't pay the agency. Which increased the revenue for the agency. She eventually weeded out all preservation cases and upon my termination I didn't have 1 preservation case.
My passion. Is advocating for my families and preserving the family unit. I realize now, that my passion was to my own detrimate, however, I just cannot help it. To make a long story short, one of the clients that was still on my case load upon my termination was involved with the department, her worker stated to my coworker that she had no intention of reuniting our client with her children. This woman has a year clean and sober, never missed a drug screen, paid her child support, was working for five months, graduated from a 9 month Substance abuse outpatient program, was paid down on her legal fees from $1800 dollars to a remain $300.
She had a home, very few social supports but has started college online and in her 3rd quarter. She only gets to see her 4 yr old and 1 year old 1 time a week for 2 hours. It states in her I so after 90 days she would get increased visits but a year into this ISP she has received no explanation why. So, I asked the worker about this after she stated that she was tired of dealing with this client and she says we have to offer the reunification services regardless of whether we plan to reunify or not. I encouraged the client to continue doing wel but I did tell her what was happening. The county called my supervisor and said I was to be taken off the case and would no longer be able to work on that counties cases.
This was on a Friday. I was called to a meeting and terminated the following Tuesday