Overwhelming caseloads and a lack of safety training puts social workers at an exceptionally high risk. These professionals report to put their own safety on the back burner while handling a large number at cases. While the federal guidelines recommend no more than 12 cases per caseworker, caseworkers in St. Albans, VT average a caseload of 24.8. If these social workers limited themselves to the federal recommendation, the entire office would be able to handle only 60.4% of their current cases. This reveals another dilemma: a dearth of qualified professionals in this area or just budget cuts?
Either way, security has shamefully faded to the background. Does it take a death of a local social worker, for Vermont’s DCF offices to establish mandatory safety training programs and protocols such as the buddy system when making home visits? Please chime in.