Cases! Court! Yikes!

June 25, 2008

So because our unit keeps on getting new cases transferring to us and because my colleagues in my unit are getting closer to their respective breaking points, my supervisor decided that it would be a good idea to give me and the other new person in our unit some cases. She got one with 3 kids and I got 2 cases with one kid each.

Both of my cases are with single moms who are about 20 years old and both have extensive maltreatment experiences themselves. For both, this is their first kid and for both they went through a variety of other routes before getting to me – voluntary services, etc. One is a physical abuse case (first boyfriend beat the 2 year old, and then a month or 2 later, mom did too). The other is a neglect case – kid was found watching tv while mom slept and the tub running with water flooded the apartment and caused significant damage to the downstairs apartment.

Getting cases is a good thing. Mostly. I was kinda enjoying not having a ton of responsibility, kinda, and I think very quickly I am going to miss not having multiple major things to be responsible for. And I don’t know if I am ready to go to court tomorrow. It is one thing to go and observe and figure out what is going on; it is an entirely different thing to have to sit at the table and possibly have to answer questions (which I probably don’t know that answer to!). Fortunately, court should be pretty uneventful tomorrow – sign here, meet the mom (spoke to her on the phone, but haven’t met her yet), and check in with the AG (attorney general – essentially my lawyer, representing the Dept).

So I am a caseworker. I am the go-to. Oh, and I forgot. So I was assigned these cases on Tuesday, mid-day, and in the later afternoon I am informed that there was a new referral for child abuse on one of the cases. So I went out with the investigator the next day to check on the kid (she had already gone out Tuesday while I was doing a home visit) and neither of us were concerned about the marks on the child. I was more concerned about the friend/day care provider who made the report. I wonder what is going on with her because it seems like there might have been other motivation for the report. Or not. I guess that is something I am going to have to look into a little more in the future.