Since the governor surprised us with her announcement that Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson will move over to the beleaguered Children Youth and Families Department, we’ve heard some pointed objections.
Namely, what does Jacobson know about child abuse?
Point taken. Personally, I regret the loss of the energetic, personable Jacobson from our tourism efforts.
That said, this reshuffling could work. But it’s a qualified “could.”
Since young Omaree Varela broke our hearts last year, we’ve learned a lot about CYFD: chronic understaffing, overworked and underpaid social workers, mismanagement from top to bottom, and poor communications with police.
Former and current workers described salaries lower than other government workers, constant turnover in staff because of poor management, a cliquish atmosphere in which promotions and even office furniture depended on who you know.
According to the Legislative Council Service, the time needed to complete an investigation increased from 58.2 days in 2008 to 86.4 days in 2012.
One organization’s study, released in March, found:
CYFD investigators receive a few months’ training. Other states in the region require six months’ training before they receive their first case.