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UPE News Item

008 Meet & Confer Update

CPS Restructuring

On January 17, 2020, UPE met with the County to discuss the CPS Restructure Pilot. The Restructure Pilot Program is seeking to have Emergency Response Social Workers to assume the Jurisdictional Hearing duties and the Permanency Social Workers to assume the Dispositional Hearing duties in an effort to streamline current CPS case manager practices. The County shared that the first phase will be the testing phase for about 6 months. The County will survey families, get feedback from the workers, county counsel and the court.

Volunteer training will begin the first week of February 2020. UPE was concerned about the County’s plan to “go live” with the protocol at the same time that they were training volunteers. The County agreed to wait until the volunteers have undergone report-writing training before having the pilot begin the testing phase. The County shared that they do not want to test a complicated case initially, but rather start slowly. 

UPE also had concerns about the safety of our members, as they will now be responsible for working with families in which they may have had to remove the children. The County explained that safety is always a concern for the workers but did not have anything new to offer in regards to precautions. UPE stressed the need for the County to be proactive rather than reactive in regards to safety. In an attempt to prioritize safety, UPE asked the County if they are open to ER workers pairing when going out in the field. The County is open to the idea. If you have a safety concern when going to a home, talk to your supervisor about pairing. If you have issues with this, please contact your Business Agent. 

Lastly, there were discussions regarding the integration of Court Services Social Workers into the testing phase of the pilot. UPE made it clear that we need to be a part of those discussions prior to any changes taking place. UPE will be working with the County to schedule subsequent meetings about Court Services to ensure that direct dealing is not occurring and that our members are having their questions answered appropriately.

UPE will meet with the County again following the completion of training. We will discuss progress and next steps. Huge thanks to Jeannine Lopez, Sarah Singleton, Beverly Kearney, Lisa Stephney, Marisa Cisneros, and Julie Wuest for advocating on behalf of our 008 Members. 

 

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