I am writing in support of State’s Attorney Michael Kainen’s remarks in Sunday’s Rutland Herald. Mr. Kainen concluded, “Dezirae’s death was a horrible tragedy. But rushing to blame dedicated social workers who are overworked and under-resourced is hardly constructive.”
My condolences go out to Dezirae’s family as well as the workers at DCF.
Imagine being a worker at DCF, an agency that only makes the news when horrific tragedies occur. “Another successful adoption,” or “Teen placed in safe home” are headlines that you will never see in the paper, since everything you do is protected by privacy provisions.
Federal and state laws mandate that every effort be made to return children in custody to their biological parents. Proof of abuse is hard to establish, and the same people who will vilify you when tragedy occurs don’t want to stick their necks out and get the proof (and then testify in court) as is required by law.
As a worker at DCF, you know that ensuring the health and safety of Vermont’s children is a major priority of most citizens. But every year, as a DCF worker, you see your share of the state budget decrease while your workload increases.
If you still feel the need to blame someone, please take the outrage you feel and place it firmly where it belongs: on the person the state charges, tries and convicts for this heinous crime. Then re-dedicate yourself to doing what you can to support social services in your community, either with a group or as an individual.
I am lucky enough to be part of one of the hundreds of DCF cases that ended happier than a Hollywood movie. I just wanted to publicly thank DCF for the opportunity they provided me and my family.
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