Supervisor Zack Scrivner spent a day in the field with SEIU Local 521 member Annie Stevens. Annie is a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker in Kern County primarily doing emergency response. Although her normal area is in the Kern River Valley and Ridgecrest, she’s being pulled into Tehachapi and the southern high desert more often because of lack of staff and high caseloads.
On August 9, the pair visited houses in Tehachapi and Boron, both of which are in Supervisor Scrivner’s district. Supervisor Scrivner was clearly interested in our work and asked many thoughtful questions throughout the day. Annie continued to return to the dual issues of high turnover and low staffing that challenge CPS workers. “There are safety concerns and staffing concerns, especially in the outlying areas. We wanted to give him a glimpse of how tough this job can be.”
Scrivner was impressed by the work and by the care and effort put into each case. “This is one of the best ride alongs I’ve been on as far as what I’ve been able to glean from it.”
We will continue to make the case that workloads and turnover are solvable problems and as more elected officials understand our work, they will understand why it’s time to invest in Kern County workers.