Video content below:

“I pray every day when I go into some of these houses. Lord just get me out safe and get home to my family”…
Interviewed NY ACS Caseworker

In a recent article an ACS caseworker reached out to ABC7’s the Investigators after several child specialists were injured in serious attacks. The revelations were shocking…from stories of violent attacks to the deep psychological trauma of being stalked and having any sense of a private life being eroded. So afraid of repercussions as a result of going public the interviewed ACS workers felt it necessary to hide their identities. This is both shocking and a searing indictment on a society that makes it acceptable to attack caseworkers tasked with the protection of the most vulnerable of children. Some key revelations raised across the original article included:

  • how a former client stalked a caseworker for months, repeatedly showing up at the case worker’s office, and finally tracking her to her home.
  • how one caseworker was viciously attacked as they checked their mailbox.
  • how a caseworker was attacked by the mother of a vulnerable child under ACS watch.
  • how having an open policy of caseworker details online allowed attackers to track workers to their homes

The expose will serve as a catalyst for some much needed change in terms of the accessibility of caseworker data and perhaps as a forerunner to improved legislation to protect lone and visiting workers. GuardianMPS clients’ experiences shows that the suggested strategy of going into client homes in pairs is while certainly aspirational is unworkable in the public sector due to labor costs. Clients of GuardianMPS have opted to implement a much more cost effective solution in GuardianMPS allowing instant notification and real-time as it happens recording of any incidents that may occur. What is needed in these situations is a robust solution to informing co-workers and emergency services of the rising temperature of a situation like this. GuardianMPS Marketing Manager Tim Wilson says :

“……..What some don’t realize is that emergency response systems are designed to ALLOW ALARMS!  – no matter if it’s 1 or 100 a day. They think it’s like those break the glass alarms, it’s a one time deal that you better be damn sure of before you “press the button”  and that doing it too early will have some punitive effect.  WE WANT YOU TO PRESS THE BUTTON, the very SECOND you feel you might be under threat or uneasy – that’s where our system comes into its own in getting you help.”

And what happens if the situation doesn’t escalate? You get home safe, we stand down and a light on a screen in our monitoring station goes from red back to green, that’s it. Just like you, we just get on with our jobs.

Budgets are increasingly shrinking and accompanied caseworkers is an increasingly unlikely policy in the light of this. Stretched and vulnerable caseworkers need to know they are supported, they will get assistance and most importantly they are not alone.

In fact it’s our mantra, “You’re not alone when you work on your own!” – was created for situations just like this.

Why not ask for a callback to find out more about how GuardianMPS forms an effective and affordable visiting worker support strategy for those that work in the field.

For a full account of the original The Investigators article click here.

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