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Riverside County orders review of social services department: UnionLocal 721, who complained Child Protective Services was "broken" and thatnearly half of child welfare workers in Riverside had less than a year ofseniority.
Riverside County orders review of social services department
10:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 9, 2007
By KIMBERLY TRONE
Riverside County supervisors have ordered a top-to-bottom review of the
Department of Public Social Services in response to complaints about the
high turnover of social workers and managers.
The review comes following an April 10 letter from social workers and
union representatives that said managers who ignored suggested
improvements in Child Protective Services made the 2005 torture-killing
of 3-year-old Michael Vallejo-Seiber "virtually inevitable."
Supervisor John Tavaglione, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said
the review was not in response to a particular incident
The supervisors enlisted Dennis Boyle to perform the review. Boyle is
the former county director of social services and a former head of the
state's welfare agency.
He is expected to report back to the board within 90 days. Boyle said he
has been asked to focus on how the social services department is
operating and how the agency's director is performing.
Cynthia Hinckley, executive director of county social services, met with
county supervisors behind closed doors last week. Details of their
meeting were not released.
Social services Deputy Director Sayori Baldwin said Hinckley was on
vacation Wednesday but was expected to return by the end of the week.
Hinckley was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in July 2005 to
Tavaglione said the latest review is not unprecedented.
In the late 1990s, the supervisors asked the Child Welfare League of
America to study the county's child welfare system after a boy was
killed in a foster home.
That study brought about changes within the department, including a
reduction in social workers' caseloads.
"It's a large agency that deals with very, very complex and
controversial issues -- serious issues dealing with kids, adults and
seniors and their protection," Tavaglione said.
"There appears to be some disgruntled employees who don't like being
held accountable, but we are smart enough to know there are two sides to
every story," Tavaglione said of some of the complaints that prompted
Supervisor Bob Buster said Hinckley has done a good job and has faced
the same issues as other directors in an agency that deals with some of
the county's most vulnerable residents.
Turnover 20 Percent
While county leaders have heard complaints about Hinckley, others have
come forward to praise her leadership, Supervisor Roy Wilson said.
Turnover in the department is at about 20 percent, but "some say the
turnover is positive because of management corrections and improvement,"
Two years ago, attrition was at 24 percent, according to deputy director
Baldwin. The social services department employs about 2,800 workers.
One of the significant issues is the loss of high-level employees and
the loss of continuity and historical perspective, Supervisor Jeff Stone
"We have one of the largest DPSS agencies in the state and we want to
have the best. Right now, we fall short of that goal," Stone said.
Bruise on Boy
Citing the potential for litigation, Stone declined to comment on
whether the 2005 killing of 3-year-old Vallejo-Seiber was related to the
A bruise on the little boy's head had been reported by his pediatrician
as suspected abuse. Family members had previously contacted the county
agency about their suspicions that the boy was being neglected.
A Child Protective Services investigator interviewed the boy's mother
and recommended the case be closed as unfounded. Days later the child
was dead after being stomped, kicked, thrown, sodomized, burned and
forced to eat his own excrement.
His mother's boyfriend, Alex Kermith Mendoza, has been charged with
torture and murder and could get the death penalty if convicted.
The management of Vallejo-Seiber's case was investigated and reported in
March by The Press-Enterprise, which found child protection
investigators failed to follow basic state protocols by not interviewing
others involved in the boy's care.
The newspaper report spurred the April letter from members of the
Service Employees International Union Local 721, who complained Child
Protective Services was "broken" and that nearly half of child welfare
workers in Riverside had less than a year of seniority.
Union officials said Boyle stopped at their offices earlier this week to
introduce himself and that he would meet with social workers in upcoming
George Daniels, director of the local union, said he could not speculate
whether the April letter was responsible for the review and Boyle's visit.
"We will keep an open mind," Daniels said. "This is a step in the right
direction so that children can be safe."
Staff writer Sandra Stokley contributed to this report.
Reach Kimberly Trone at 951-368-9456 or
CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A
DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NATIONAL
SECURITY AGENCY/CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WIRETAPPING PROGRAM....
CPS Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.
every parent should read this .pdf from
connecticut dcf watch...
Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS
*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*
Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13
Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241
Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5
BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Child ‘services’ are all about the money: Do you find it odd that even though CPS/Social Services has been non-compliant with state and federal mandates over two decades, our legislators continue to allow America’s children to pour into this broken||fx||Spanking||0||April 30th 07 02:40 AM|
|Child ‘services’ are all about the money: Do you find it odd that even though CPS/Social Services has been non-compliant with state and federal mandates over two decades, our legislators continue to allow America’s children to pour into this broken||fx||Foster Parents||0||April 30th 07 02:40 AM|
|Child ‘services’ are all about the money: Do you find it odd that even though CPS/Social Services has been non-compliant with state and federal mandates over two decades, our legislators continue to allow America’s children to pour into this broken||fx||Foster Parents||0||April 30th 07 02:37 AM|
|[FOR SALE] Your Children: WHAT "Child Protective Services" ISREALLY ABOUT...||fx||Spanking||1||March 29th 07 01:25 PM|
|[FOR SALE] Your Children: WHAT "Child Protective Services" ISREALLY ABOUT...||fx||Foster Parents||1||March 29th 07 01:25 PM|