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NEWS
August 7, 1987
The circumstances were pathetic almost beyond belief. The little girl's dried-out body was found in May, kneeling beside her bed in a West Philadelphia housing project apartment, apparently in the spot where she had died three months before. The girl's 22-year old mother has been charged with murder for allowing the child to starve to death. The death raised the question of whether others were to blame as well. Child welfare workers working for the city had been aware that Sylvia Smith had been the victim of child abuse prior to her death.
NEWS
June 1, 2004
SO JILL Porter thinks locking up social workers is a good idea. Figures, since she has never had to go from crack house to crack house in search of a newborn child to investigate reports of child abuse and neglect. Figures, since neither she nor Judge Kevin Dougherty have ever had to trudge up a five-story tenement in the blazing summer heat to rescue an abandoned infant living in squalor and filth. Our city social workers are dedicated to the welfare of all children and go above and beyond the call of duty every day of their working lives, risking their own health and safety to secure the health and safety of the city's most vulnerable children.
NEWS
June 25, 2009
I READ the articles commending the Philadelphia teacher of the year and the police officer who won the Fencl Award. I congratulate both. But where is the recognition for the Department of Human Services staff who work tirelessly to protect the city's most vulnerable citizens, the children of Philadelphia? Yes, we've gotten some negative press lately regarding child fatalities, but there's so much good that comes from this agency for children removed from unsafe situations, reunified with families made safer through services, permanent homes found for children where reunification isn't an option.
NEWS
July 16, 1987 | By LESLIE SCISM, Daily News Staff Writer
Department of Human Services social workers have two major complaints: "There's not enough workers, and there's not enough resources," says Ed Nowak, a shop steward of District Council 47, of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. State inspectors who visited Human Services late last year confirmed that caseloads are high. The inspection, which came about a month after the city closed its file on 3-year-old Sylvia Smith, the West Philadelphia child found starved to death in May, revealed that one social worker was handling 95 cases - 65 more than state regulations permit.
NEWS
June 30, 1988 | By KATHY SHEEHAN, Daily News Staff Writer
Some 12,000 social workers in state Welfare Department offices and hospitals plan to walk off the job at midnight after rejecting a three-year contract offer last night that included a two-tier system of raises. RoscoeJohnson, president of Local 668 of the Service Employees International Union, also known as the Pennsylvania Social Services Union, said 2,000 union members in Philadelphia voted last night to strike when the contract expires tonight. A state spokesman said the state would try to keep hospital and Welfare offices open tomorrow with management personnel if the union walks out. "Obviously the commonwealth wants to resolve the differences and doesn't want any termination of services," said spokesman John Taylor.
NEWS
March 29, 1999 | By Francesca Chapman Daily News wire services contributed to this report
Social workers not amused by 'Norm Show' He's maddened scores of fans who have walked out on his off-colored comedy routines, he's annoyed his former bosses at "Saturday Night Live," and now Norm Macdonald has even irritated a group of people who are ordinarily known for their empathy: social workers. In his new sitcom "The Norm Show," Macdonald's tax-evading character is told by a judge that he can go to jail, or perform community service by becoming a social worker. He chooses the second option.
NEWS
February 18, 1997 | By Liz Levine
A key component is seldom cited in the current school-reform discussions. As a social worker, I visited many public schools, including those at the bottom in student performance. I met regularly with teachers, principals, guidance counselors and school psychologists. I generally found students in classes, and teachers teaching. The hallways were quiet and the students well-behaved. I found educators to be very skilled - and completely overwhelmed. Without fail, teachers and administrators at each school expressed a similar wish - to have social workers relieve them of some of their burden.
NEWS
August 20, 1987 | BY THOMAS PAINE CRONIN
Social workers are not miracle workers. No one feels worse than the social workers who handled the cases of 3-year-old Sylvia Smith, who starved to death at the hands of her mother, and of 2-year-old Malik Richard Barnhill, who died of abuse and neglect in a North Philadelphia rowhouse. Is it the social worker's fault these two children died? Mayor Goode says so. He said they "did not do all that they should have," and recommended that the workers and their supervisors be disciplined.
NEWS
April 7, 1991 | By Lini S. Kadaba, Inquirer Staff Writer
For Tracey Skolnick, the three days of intense training in Norristown amounted to a crash course in child-welfare issues - a sort of Real-Life Social Work 101. "When you first come (to the job), you don't know anything," said Skolnick, a case worker for Montgomery County's Office of Children and Youth for just 2 1/2 months. "It's overwhelming. " Now, she says, she will manage her eight cases with more confidence. And organizers of the state-mandated training hope she will have even more competence.
NEWS
July 16, 1987 | By LESLIE SCISM, Daily News Staff Writer
Department of Human Services social workers have two major complaints: "There's not enough workers, and there's not enough resources," says Ed Nowak, a shop steward of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. State inspectors who visited Human Services late last year confirmed that caseloads are high. The inspection, which came about a month after the city closed its file on 3-year-old Sylvia Smith, the West Philadelphia child found starved to death in May, revealed that one social worker was handling 95 cases - 65 more than state regulations permit.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 21, 2015
A telling tumble I do not think it appropriate to question mayoral candidate Lynne M. Abraham's health because of her age. However, her recent collapse at a televised debate appropriately raised a question about her judgment. In other words, what could she have been thinking if, in fact, as reported, she had not eaten all day? I ask the question as a longtime admirer. But with her judgment at issue, that bears directly on her qualifications to govern Philadelphia. |Karen Porter, West Chester Time taken for tests As a retired School District teacher, I am in complete agreement with a recent letter writer who cited two of the real problems with testing: that they address only an extremely limited set of skills, and that they do not take into account the variety of backgrounds from which the student body is drawn ("One size doesn't fit," April 13)
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
Here is the sad, short story of the life of Sebastian. And the story of the agency charged with protecting him. Sebastian's story is heartbreaking. The other story is proof that while Philadelphia has come a long way in protecting endangered children, there is still a good way to go. Sebastian Wallace died of an overdose in October. He was 2. He had enough of his father's illegally obtained Oxycodone pills in him to kill an adult three times over. Police in Bucks County - where Sebastian was staying with his father - have not said exactly how Sebastian ingested the pills.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Irv Segal, 81, of Warminster, formerly of Elkins Park, a pioneer in the development of social and recreational programs for special populations, died Tuesday, Feb. 3, of kidney failure at Abington Hospice in Warminster. In the 1960s, Mr. Segal, a licensed social worker, founded one of the earliest socialization programs for those with special needs, and in 1972, he branched out by founding the Guided Tour Inc. The social agency, believed by his family to be one of the first of its kind, took thousands of adults with developmental and physical challenges on supervised vacations in the United States and throughout the world.
NEWS
November 4, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Geraldine Saunders Jones, 73, of Wyncote, a social worker and pastor's wife who did not let a physical handicap stop her from carrying out her life's work, died Monday, Oct. 27, at Dresher Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center. A Philadelphia native, Mrs. Jones married her college sweetheart, the Rev. G. Daniel Jones, on Nov. 27, 1965, in Tioga Presbyterian Church. The two built a life around his pastoral assignments and her social work. Three years later, as she was driving on Route 128 around Boston, an 18-wheel tractor-trailer collided with her car. The accident left Mrs. Jones a paraplegic using a wheelchair, but her spirit was undaunted.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2014 | Inquirer staff
First, she lost Here Comes Honey Boo Boo the TV show. Now, June "Mama June" Shannon , 35, could lose Honey Boo Boo the girl - her daughter Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson , 9-year-old star of the show - and Alana's sisters, Lauryn ("Pumpkin"), 14, and Jessica ("Chubbs"), 17. Citing "an insider," website Radar Online reports that the Georgia Division of Family and Child Services is looking into Mama June's relationship with Mark McDaniel , 53, and its possible effect on her girls.
NEWS
October 22, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
DARLIENE BONNER demonstrated in her early teens that she wasn't about to let rules and regulations stand in her way. She was in middle school at age 14 when she decided she wanted to attend West Philadelphia High School because she thought it would give her the quality education that she wanted. Unfortunately, the school was outside the boundary of her South Philadelphia neighborhood and those pesky rules and regulations said she couldn't go there. Oh, yeah? Darliene challenged the school district and, although it's not known what her arguments were, they were obviously persuasive because she was admitted to West Philadelphia High School.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Katherine Linton Eyre, 89, a social worker in the Philadelphia area, died Saturday, Oct. 4, of breast cancer at Rydal Park in Jenkintown, where she had lived for 14 years. Formerly of Fox Chase Manor in Abington Township and the Tacony section of Philadelphia, Mrs. Eyre graduated from Frankford High School. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Wilson College and a master's degree in social services from Bryn Mawr College. Mrs. Eyre was a preacher's daughter who lived through the Depression and World War II. "She was exposed to social justice issues, so she took into consideration the poor, the mentally ill, and the elderly" in her life choices, said daughter-in-law Jenifer Eyre.
NEWS
August 20, 2014 | By Franziska Holzschuh, Inquirer Staff Writer
Renee Shai Levine loved reading to children, not only infants but also elementary students. She was convinced it would "encourage them to read and listen," reinforce their development, and prepare them for their future lives, her son Stefan said. "She felt everyone could achieve excellence. " Mrs. Levine, 82, a school social worker, died Saturday, Aug. 17, after a long battle with cancer. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mrs. Levine graduated from Midwood High School in 1948 and Brooklyn College in 1952.
NEWS
July 26, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Ben Finley, and Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writers
A troubled patient opened fire on a caseworker and psychiatrist in a small office at a unit of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Delaware County on Thursday afternoon, police said, leading the doctor to draw his own weapon and shoot the assailant. The confrontation left the caseworker, 53-year-old Theresa Hunt, dead and the 52-year-old psychiatrist, a veteran doctor at the hospital whom sources identified as Lee Silverman, with a graze wound to the head. The patient, Richard Plotts, was in critical condition Thursday night from three gunshot wounds.
NEWS
June 13, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THEY WERE foster kids. And disabled kids. Children who needed help. Instead, a group of tax preparers with a Southwest Philadelphia company and a former social worker with Catholic Social Services allegedly used the kids' identities to profit in a scheme by falsely claiming them as dependents on clients' income-tax returns, according to documents unsealed yesterday by the U.S. Attorney's Office. The alleged scheme lasted from about January 2008 to April 2013 and involved tax preparers with Medmans Financial Services, on 65th Street near Chester Avenue and on Woodland Avenue near 66th Street.
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