Schuylkill C&Y Pushed to the Limits

In a recent article in the Pottsville Republican and Herald, the Schuylkill County Board of Commissioners heard arguments to increase funding for the county Children and Youth Services department. Historically, C&Y is the least popular agency among county citizens. However, they provide a valuable service to Schuylkill children and their families. Recently, an influx of transports from New York, Philadelphia, and Reading have besieged the county and brought along with them their family problems. This has led to an increase in open cases and the need for more placements of abused and neglected children. C&Y director Gerald Campbell reported that 71 transient families were referred the agency during the last four months of 2007. Even more referrals are on the horizon. At the same time, C&Y has suffered high turnover with their already short staff, which has put a massive strain on the remaining caseworkers. At last count, the agency needed to fill six caseworker slots and two supervisor positions.

As most of my readers know, The Clarke Report is a staunch advocate of less government spending and instrusion into people’s lives. However, C&Y provides an invaluable service to families and the community at large. They protect abused and neglected children, provide treatment for children with behavioral issues, and assist parents in improving a nurturing environment for their families. Of the many uses for taxpayer dollars, allocation to C&Y is at the top of my list for most important expenditures. 

C&Y needs more staff, more resources, and a better facility in which to work. Currently, they are housed at the county human services building on Centre Street in Pottsville. The area is just too darn small for the staff that they have now. If the agency is going to expand to meet the needs of the community, their work space must grow as well. Caseworkers can’t work efficiently when they are right on top of one another. Can you imagine drafting an effective family service plan when a co-worker less than two feet away is taking a call from an irate parent? Schuylkill C&Y caseworkers do it everyday and they shouldn’t have to. In a time when the county is planning to sink millions of taxpayer dollars into a “pre-release center” (AKA a new county prison) for the deadbeats and low-lives of the area, I don’t think its too much to ask to provide those sworn to protect our children and aid our families with a sufficient space in which to work. The Clarke Report challenges the Board of Commissioners to act swiftly. Let’s see where their priorities lie.

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8 Comments

Filed under County Government

8 responses to “Schuylkill C&Y Pushed to the Limits

  1. Do Not Publish

    I wonder who we have to thank for the “influx of transports from New York, Philadelphia, and Reading that have besieged the county and brought along with them their family problems.”
    Could it be Barefield Development Corp.? What did they think would happen when they decided that the only new residential development in Pottsville would be Low-Income. Recently, I have heard many people discuss the need to curtail Barefield’s aggressive development plans for our fair city. If we don’t turn this around we’ll be looking at another inner city Reading. We’re going to need to build 2 new prisions to hold the masses of Low-Income law breakers that Barefield is pouring into our community.
    Before you get started, I’m not saying that Low-Income = Law Breakers. I’m saying that statistically, it’s the lower income people who strain a cities limited resources the most.

  2. Thunderstorm

    Children and Youth may need more space but I think money needs to go towards training their caseworkers. How many of them have kids of their own? Rarely any. A high percentage does not. They don’t have a clue about how to raise a child & what their needs are. They pick about every ridiculous thing. They seriously don’t have a clue. Also they complain about their high caseloads and how they are understaffed. Hello! Maybe if they would stop harassing people that don’t need it and focus on the people that really do need it. Coming from a C&Y worker that quit there. They are instructed to push for mental health issues if nothing negative can be found against the parent(s). THAT IS A FACT! A county counseling place had to send a letter to C&Y because they were sending too many people to them for counseling when not needed. A lot of them come into people’s homes and make up lies to keep a case open or exaggerate stories. They don’t come to court & say anything good. I pity the judges that have to hear C&Y cases. Hearing the ridiculous things they come on the stand and say just to try and keep the case open or even worse try and take the child or children when not needed. They think they are untouchable. I was at a C&Y hearing and boy did they make themselves look like a**’s. The look on their faces when the defendant and the lawyer put them to shame. They came to the hearing like a bull and then when they started looking stupid they didn’t ask too many more questions. I am not saying all workers there are like this. The workers that do what is right end up quiting all the time or being forced to quit or they will be fired. The agency for the most part is a joke. How many children died after being investigated by SC C&Y? The parents were investigated & there was evidence of danger & the caseworker closed the case and then the child ended up dead. I believe one case was in New Ringgold. The child was being starved to death & died. There is so much more I could say here but I am going to leave it at that.

  3. Hank Clarke

    Thunderstorm,

    You don’t know your head from your ass. Your “facts” are nothing but conjecture and I would gander to guess that you are either one of the abusive or neglectful parents that C&Y is forced to “harass” or you have a friend or family member that your choose to defend because admitting that they are abusive or neglectful would mean that you have been complicit in their behavior.

    I worked closely with Sch. C&Y as a provider for three years. I would say that 80% of the caseworkers there have children, not that having children of your own has anything to do with identifying when a child is being abused or neglected.

    I went to court nearly a hundred times in those 3 years. Only twice did the court rule against the recommendation of the agency. So, I don’t know where you get the idea that they get their asses handed to them on a regular basis.

    Finally, caseworkers are indeed overworked. Not because they choose to open up cases, but because good people keep reporting the abuse and neglect of certain parents. The average caseload of a worker is 25. That is 25 families. Sometimes with 3, 4, and 5 children that they must see once a month. Add to that non-compliance of drug addicted, neglectful, and abusive parents and you have a shitstorm that leads good people to leave the profession jaded and burned out.

    Maybe if friends, family members, and neighbors took a stake in the lives of the children, the government wouldn’t have to step in and play nurse maid.

  4. scott

    hank clarke
    I am afraid YOU are the one who doesnt know his head from his ass .my longtime schoolmate was a c&y case worker and your couldnt be more wrong. about 80% do not have children. about 80% dont stay working for c&y for longer then 1 year decause they cant get past the immoral actions they are forced to take as commanded by the supervisors. and again of course you are going to defend c&y because you know any case worker who dissagrees with c&y s supervisors or show signs of being compassionate, are let go, or layed off. and as everyone knows the caseworks are instructed to lie, so your point of view has little to no weight. no one is going to believe a liar. mabe one day as you grow up you will see the truth. in your heart of hearts. but untill then, please dont belittle people who have experienced these problems and know first hand what is going on. they are the familys who are suffering at your hand. and if they are so good why did the state step in when a child in c&y s care died and downgrade the agencys status? oh i see now your quiet. write back with a rebuttal and i will fire back with 0ver 10 years of documented cases where c&y dropped the ball and then everyone can see how intelligent you really are and mabe after everyone reads the 10 years of horror stories of several different familys people will be more enlightened as to why you would lie to protect your job.
    Osiris

  5. Hank Clarke

    Wow, your long-time school mate, huh? Well, I guess that just knocks me out of the water considering that my wife has been a C&Y casseworker for nearly a decade and I, personally worked with Sch. C&Y as one of their providers for 3 years.

    Yep, you got me!

    Just as an aside, everytime I hear someone say or see someone write “lie” it throws up red flags of someone who has been involved with the agency themselves.

    It never fails to amaze me how many times I hear the mother of a 6-year old who was molested by her boyfriend say that C&Y “lied”. Or when a father accused of burning cigarette holes into his 12 year-old’s arm says that his caseworker “lied”. or the meth head mom who left her two toddlers with the “responsible 10 year old” for 8 hours so that she could fetch herself another fix, say that the caseworker “lied”. (BTW, all examples are real cases in Sch. Co. that I had to deal with).

    These people have such persecution complex’s that they actually believe these caseworkers sit aroudn thinking about the best ways to break up families and screw certain people. The reality is that each caseworker is so overworked with cases that they’ll do just about anything to close the case. In my opinion most the mistakes that I have seen C&Y make was closing a case TOO EARLY, which led to more abuse and more neglect down the line, requiring the child to be re-placed.

  6. Hank Clarke

    oh, and another thing scott. In the three years that I worked closely with C&Y, there were only 1 caseworker layed off or fired and that is because she was so behind on her paperwork that the agency received a citation from the state for it.

    And just for your information, any decision to place or remove from placement does not come from the caseworker or their direct supervisor. Rather it comes from a placement committee made up of the director of placement, the supervisors, and the assigned caseworker.

    But go ahead and fire with your documented evidence of C&Y “dropping the ball” because that just shows that YOU ARE A PERSON INVOLVED WITH THE AGENCY, and have zero credibility to lecture me as I do not take lectures from abusive and neglectful parents.

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