Budget Cuts

So our state, like so many others is facing a huge budget crisis and we are starting to feel the effects.  Rumors have been flying around the office and today it really came to a head.  There were numerous conversations about what may or may not be happening and then in the afternoon there was a secret, impromptu supervisors meeting that really got things riled up.  Just as everyone was speculating about what the meeting was about, we got an email stating that we would no longer be able to get email on our blackberries.  This is a huge blow to how I do my work.  I (and many others) do tons of work on our blackberries.  It is the one thing that keeps me sane in court as I am wasting the time away as I am waiting for my hearing.  Being able to read and respond to emails while doing something else is something that really keeps the workload kinda manageable.  I am fearful of what is going to happen now.

The other big concern has been the loss of jobs and services.  We know that lots of our services are going to be cut, but I don’t think that until it actually happens it will sink in.  And then there are the jobs.  I *think* that I am safe because I have a permanent position, am carrying cases, my boss likes me, and there are people under me.  But, in reality, I have only been there for 7 months and we just don’t know how deep the cuts will be.  The story of 30-some temporary employees being laid off in another office was circulating and igniting some anxiety.  So being laid off is something that I have to think is a possibility, albeit a small possibility.  It sure is not fun to be hanging in the air.

This cannot be good for our morale or our work with clients.  We are all distracted and very soon our jobs are going to get harder and we are going to have less services to offer families.  It was speculated aloud today about whether we are going to start to feel pressure to place fewer kids – essentially adjusting the level at which kids are deemed “in imminent harm”.  I hope not, but I think things are going to get really interesting quickly.

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4 Responses to Budget Cuts

  1. Nichole says:

    They are budget cuts in my county as well. All of the social workers that are drivers only are being laid off this month.

    It is scary times, but this too will pass.

  2. Torina says:

    The county I trained through in our MSW program openly admitted that they changed their intake classification system with the last set of budget cuts.
    1. so they would have more time to investigate cases and
    2. so they wouldn’t have to investigate so many cases.
    They also cut public attorneys for the parents and now parents have to represent themselves.

    What I find ironic is that when more families are facing an economic crisis (which, let’s face it, contributes to increased family instability) there are less services for them.

    Good luck. Hope you get to keep your job.

  3. Amy says:

    Hi there, I’m an MSW student and just stumbled on the wonderful world of social work blogs…. can’t believe I never thought to look for them before. I’m enjoying reading what you have to say about child welfare, as it’s something I’ve thought I could be interested in but am not too familiar with. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. illusivejoy says:

    I feel you rpain. We are going through the same thing. I am actually waiting to hear this week if my job is at risk. hard times…

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