To the editor:
This letter is in response to the most recent article written by Mike Shields. ``Losing children to state hits home for Lawrence couple'' is the latest in a long line of what this social worker considers to be irresponsible journalism. This attempt to capture the ``essence'' of what life is like in the system serves as a grossly biased attack on the local foster care agency and the social workers who work there. The LJW has located one family and effectively reported their views on the overall handling of their case since October of 1997.
Secondly, it has portrayed the social workers involved in this case as carefree individuals who thrive on creating meaningless hoops for parents to jump through prior to achieving reintegration. A child-in-need-of-care case is placed in a public forum. Unfortunately, the social workers involved, bound by an ethical code, are unable to comment. The LJW is taking a one-sided approach in playing on the emotions of this community, and for what reason, I am not sure.
I do not see child advocacy as part of the agenda with this article. It is an attack, plain and simple. Secondly, it serves as another obstacle we must face when engaging our families. I look forward to reading about more parents who are wronged by their social workers. That is what social workers do.
Throughout the entire year and a half that I have worked as a social worker I have had your articles thrown in my face. Today, I will no longer take the high road when it comes to this article and others like it. Your reporting lacks integrity and is uninformed, despite what ``confidential sources'' may say.
It makes a thankless job even more thankless, and as I look around, I see an office of hard-working people that deserve better. I see an office of people who question why they do the things they do. See if you can guess why there is such high turnover in this profession. The children of this community do not need your biased journalism. They need advocates who can help develop creative solutions to the problems presented by today's social service delivery system.