Santa Clara County to slash Social Worker positions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Khanh T. Weinberg, Communications Director
(408) 678-3364 | khanh.weinberg@seiu521.org

Monday, January 10, 2011

Children in foster and group homes will get fewer personal visits

SAN JOSE – Children placed in foster care or group homes are there because their family units broke down. Now they face another blow as Santa Clara County Supervisors decide Tuesday whether to eliminate 40 percent of the Social Worker I positions due to budget cuts.

“Our work deals with the safety of children and right not we are fearful of children falling through the cracks,” said Robert Castillo, Social Worker II in the Department of Aging and Adult Services. While Castillo’s job is not on the line, 25 out of about 60 Social Worker I positions would be deleted under a county proposal.

Social workers are often called the “eyes and ears of the court” because their work takes them directly into children’s lives. Social Workers I, such as Wendy Edwards, help transport clients to courts and medical appointments, as well as supervise parental and sibling visits that are critical to family reunification.

“Our job is to help parents reunify their families. Without these services, families will have a harder time getting to the place they need to be to make their families whole again,” said Edwards, a 16-year veteran. “These children that I work with already have too many people in their lives once they’re removed from their homes. Now we’re going to have traumatized children working with different people without any consistency.”

WHAT: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors considers eliminating 25 Social Worker I positions

WHO: Social Workers address Supervisors to protect children’s services

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 11, 9 AM

WHERE: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, 70 West Hedding St.

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, visit www.seiu521.org

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