Sunday, November 02, 2003

Social Work Rant & Homeschooling Rant (all in one post!)

Reading this follow-up article on the NJ case where a family was apparently starving their adopted sons reminded me of what a difficult job it is to be a social worker. I am not writing this to excuse the actions of the social workers involved! Nevertheless, social workers are even less appreciated than teachers. They have huge caseloads, they don't get paid much, and the only time they get attention is when something goes really, really wrong, as in the NJ situation. I remember reading (several years ago - sorry, forgot the source) that while most Americans complain about the overall state of teaching & schools, they generally give their local schools, and their kids' teachers, high marks. But many people go through life without ever getting to know any social workers, so we know them mostly through media images. And that's too bad, because I believe they are doing a very difficult, heart-breaking job under rotten conditions for low pay. Please keep in mind, when reading stories about abused kids, that for every social worker who screws up, many others are out there plugging away, doing everything they can for the families in their care.

Another thought in response to the article: with all the emphasis on standards & testing, how is it possible that 23 states let families homeschool their kids with little or no accountability or oversight? Hello?

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