Perfect Storm


All in a Days Work, Personal / Friday, June 12th, 2009

Perfect Storm. Seriously, this story is still stuck with me and scares me so. And makes me feel, almost guilty for leaving this profession and wandering into the Development side instead of the hands-on counseling side. I mean, the circumstances around my assault and other administrative problems shortly there after led me with no choice but to resign. But I never went back to the field either, idealism shattered.

Violence at group homes prompted by “perfect storm”

“You have more violent kids coming into these homes, you have counties that won’t pay for children to stay long enough for change to happen, and you have agencies like New Directions trying to deal with these kids with the resources they have at hand,” the professional said.

“It’s not all the fault of the kids, it’s not all the fault of the counties, and it’s not all the fault of New Directions. But you have a perfect storm [of risk factors].”

My God this was true 10 years ago when I was working in the field I can’t even begin to imagine how it is now.

“I’m not saying it’s necessarily the facility’s fault,” Young said. “Maybe it’s the decisions made about where these youths are placed. When these systems were put in place, lower-level [offenders] were placed there. Now we have youths with more serious issues being placed there.”

Defenders and critics alike agree on that point, that youths in such group homes are more troubled — and violent — than 10 or 20 years ago.

See above comment.

Some have questioned why a 24-year-old woman was left alone at night with five troubled youths, who presumably were referred there from Family Court. Both Greco’s brother and a close friend have suggested that her working alone was a concern and that she was on the verge of quitting her job.

But Greco, who worked roughly a 2-10 p. m. shift, had been in that position for two years and was familiar with both the home and the youths living there, New Directions officials said.

“Based on our previous experience with our group homes, there had been no reason to suspect that the East Avenue home was staffed inappropriately,” Gallagher said. “To have a single worker on duty is a common situation in group homes across the state.”

Painful. My God, it’s like reading about me 10 years ago. My brother and friends were more than concerned as well. And I gave the party line about ratio of residents to staff as well. Sigh…dangerous.

My heart to all of the poor woman’s friends and family…

Whatcha talkin' bout Willis?