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Caseworkers

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NEWS
June 27, 1991 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
It is an economic triple threat that could slash up to 5,700 jobs in Bucks County. In the spring, three of the county's major employers - USX Corp., 3M and the Warminster Naval Air Development Center - announced they were closing, moving or curtailing operations. Although many of the layoffs could be a few years down the road, workers at the Bucks County Assistance Office in Bristol Township said they had seen a drastic rise in the number of people applying for aid in recent months.
NEWS
November 9, 2003 | By Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
They've been called unqualified, untrained, incompetent. Yet, they are on call 24 hours a day, working grueling jobs that expose them to horrors that one retired employee likens to "spending time in Vietnam. " And New Jersey's child-welfare caseworkers - a safety net for the most vulnerable children - are the first to be blamed when they miss a falling child. After Bruce Jackson, a malnourished 19-year-old weighing just 45 pounds, was found in Collingswood, nine state Division of Youth and Family Services employees were suspended for failing to protect him and his three adopted brothers, who also were severely malnourished.
NEWS
August 4, 1993 | By Robert Moran, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Seeking a better-educated staff for Children and Youth Services, the Delaware County Council yesterday approved $15,127 for two caseworkers to begin a specialized master's degree program at Widener University. Since 1991, the county has paid the way for department employees to enroll in the university's master's of social work program, which was designed by Widener specifically for the county, said Mary Germond, Children and Youth Services director. Only four of the department's 81 caseworkers have master's degrees.
NEWS
May 18, 1990 | By Loretta Tofani, Inquirer Staff Writer
The files of persons with AIDS or other communicable diseases who get state medical or welfare benefits would be marked with a big red letter "C" under proposed state guidelines designed to protect caseworkers from diseases, according to a Department of Public Welfare memorandum. Caseworkers who do not want to visit persons with AIDS or other communicable diseases could have their cases reassigned to other caseworkers, under the same policy. The policy, scheduled to go into effect next week, is under review as a result of criticism by the American Civil Liberties Foundation of Pennsylvania, according to LeRoy Hedgepeth, a welfare department spokesman.
NEWS
June 30, 2012 | By Amy Worden, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - First the Department of Public Welfare jumped the gun on the budget process Monday by notifying 70,000 recipients of general cash assistance that the program would be eliminated on July 1. Only the budget hadn't passed the legislature yet. Then a top agency official on Thursday threatened caseworkers fielding calls from distraught clients with disciplinary action if they suggested they call their state lawmakers to voice their...
NEWS
August 3, 2012 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
State officials have arrested two caseworkers from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's Darby Borough office and charged them with stealing nearly $300,000 in public assistance funds in separate schemes. The two were identified as Cynthia A. Lewis, 47, of Oxford Street, Lansdowne, and Ivan Jones, 43, of the 1400 block of South Etting Street, said Attorney General Linda Kelly. According to a grand jury presentment, Lewis created six false public-assistance accounts and routed $254,000 to herself between 2007 and 2011.
NEWS
November 4, 2003 | By Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A boisterous rally of about 100 state caseworkers yesterday protested that they have been made scapegoats for another horrific and high-profile failure of New Jersey's child-welfare system. "Caseworkers do not kill children. Caseworkers do not abuse children," said Carla Katz, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1034, which represents 700 Division of Youth and Family Services workers in South Jersey. "We do not need knee-jerk reactions. We do not need caseworkers vilified," she said in Camden, where the rally was held at a DYFS office.
NEWS
August 13, 2008 | By Nancy Phillips and Kia Gregory INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Just one day after they were charged in the starvation death of their 14-year-old daughter, the parents of Danieal Kelly sued the city for failing to step in and save her. Yesterday, amid criticism that they were seeking to profit from their child's death, Andrea and Daniel Kelly were dropped from the suit. Their lawyers, Eric Zajac and Brian R. Mildenberg, said the Kellys agreed to be removed as administrators of the estate and to have a trustee appointed instead. In a statement, the lawyers said that if the parents were convicted of a crime, any money recovered in the lawsuit would go to Danieal Kelly's siblings, "most of whom are impoverished children in foster care.
NEWS
February 14, 1998 | By Thomas Ginsberg, INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
Little attention is paid to prevention of child abuse in New Jersey, and the state's foster care system is in crisis, according to a long-awaited report by a blue ribbon panel. The 224-page tome was released yesterday after more than a year of preparation by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Protection Services. Its 25 members were appointed by Gov. Whitman following claims of a collapse in services, severe mismanagement and dreadful morale that was leaving tens of thousands of children at risk of neglect, abuse and death.
NEWS
February 4, 2010 | By Nathan Gorenstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two top managers at the social-service agency that was caring for 14-year-old Danieal Kelly before her death were victimized by their own staff, who lied about how often they made required home visits, defense attorneys said yesterday. In opening statements at the federal trial of the two managers and two staff caseworkers, defense attorneys also attempted to diffuse what lawyer William Brennan called "the elephant in the room" - Kelly's death by starvation in 2006 while the agency, MultiEthnic Behavioral Health Inc., was responsible for her well-being.
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NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON - Four months after being stabbed nearly two dozen times by a client in Camden, child protection worker Leah Coleman thanked the colleagues credited with saving her life as hundreds of union workers cheered her on. Coleman, a worker in the state Department of Children and Families, also joined her union's calls for a better, safer work environment. Two of her caseworker colleagues were recognized at Wednesday's union gathering for grabbing and subduing the attacker until help arrived.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
A woman who stabbed a child protection worker in a state office building in Camden last year pleaded guilty Monday. Taisha Edwards, 31, of Camden, pleaded guilty in Superior Court to attempted murder. In return, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office agreed to recommend a 13-year term in state prison, it said in a news release. Edwards, a client of the state's Department of Children and Families, had been meeting Leah Coleman, a caseworker, at the state agency's Division of Child Protection and Permanency office on the 100 block of Haddon Avenue on Nov. 17, 2014.
NEWS
December 4, 2014 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A state child protection worker, critically injured after she was repeatedly stabbed in the hallway outside her office in Camden, has been released from the hospital, authorities said. And union leaders are continuing to advocate safety improvements for workers in the Department of Children and Families (DCF) across the state, who say they work in extremely dangerous conditions, and who had threatened to stay home this week if things did not improve. Last month, armed guards were removed from offices throughout New Jersey and reassigned to three psychiatric facilities around the state.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Barbara Boyer and Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writers
A woman accused of repeatedly stabbing a child protection worker Monday in a state office building in Camden, from which armed guards had just been withdrawn, had twice before been charged with assault, according to court records. On Tuesday, after Taisha Edwards, 30, of Camden, was charged with attempted murder, union officials who represent the state workers in their offices at 101 Haddon Ave. complained of a lack of protection there. The concerns appeared to lead to action, as the Department of Children and Families decided Tuesday to restore armed guards at the building, according to Hetty Rosenstein, state director for the Communications Workers of America.
NEWS
September 23, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Six years after her interview with a teenage boy set off one of the most explosive criminal cases in state history, Jessica Dershem still works in the same windowless office in her hometown. Dershem, a 32-year-old caseworker with the Clinton County Children and Youth Services department, investigates custody disputes and claims of child abuse and neglect. She handles 12, maybe 15, cases each year. Most never make the news - because they don't involve someone like Jerry Sandusky.
NEWS
August 24, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Betty Lou Turner Sullivan, 89, of Haddonfield, a former social caseworker at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, died of complications of congestive heart failure Monday, Aug. 4, at the health care facility Alaris Health of Cherry Hill. Her husband, Andrew J., died at Alaris on June 19. He was a director of several divisions, such as that for flavor chemistry, at the Campbell Institute for Research and Technology in Camden from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s, said a nephew, Clifford S. Tinder.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
GUN-CONTROL groups regard last week's shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital as another case of a violent wacko who shouldn't have had a firearm, yet owned three. For the National Rifle Association, it's about the "good guy with a gun" - a quick-thinking doctor who likely prevented a mass murder by shooting the "bad guy" before he could reach into his pocket to reload. But last night, it was just about Theresa Hunt, the quirky caseworker who didn't survive. Hunt, 53, was one of nine children.
NEWS
July 25, 2014 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, VINNY VELLA & WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writers farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
DOCTORS ARE known for saving lives - but rarely do they do it with a gun. But that's exactly what happened yesterday, authorities said, when a psychiatrist returned fire on a patient who had shot him in the head and had fatally shot a caseworker at the Sister Marie Lenahan Mercy Wellness Center in Yeadon, Delaware County. "Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives," Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux said. "If he [the doctor] wasn't armed . . . this guy could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.
NEWS
March 12, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Antonio Joseph grew up on the bad side of foster care. As a teenager, he was bounced to 15 homes in four years. He encountered abuse, neglect, manipulation, and abandonment. One foster family promised to take him on vacation if he got a job; instead, they took his earnings to a casino and left him at a stranger's trailer for a week, he said. "I know what not to do," Joseph, 30, of Abington, said. He and his wife, Chris, spent the last two months getting training and background checks to become foster parents.
NEWS
August 3, 2012 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
State officials have arrested two caseworkers from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's Darby Borough office and charged them with stealing nearly $300,000 in public assistance funds in separate schemes. The two were identified as Cynthia A. Lewis, 47, of Oxford Street, Lansdowne, and Ivan Jones, 43, of the 1400 block of South Etting Street, said Attorney General Linda Kelly. According to a grand jury presentment, Lewis created six false public-assistance accounts and routed $254,000 to herself between 2007 and 2011.
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