Bill would deal with Children’s Administration workload

  • Peninsula Daily News news sources
  • Sunday, February 10, 2008 9:00pm
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Peninsula Daily News news sources

OLYMPIA — State senators last week suggested a few ways to reduce workload in the Children’s Administration, arousing the opposition of the employees’ union.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee, pointed to a recent study that says the agency would need another 1,500 social workers to do all of the work it’s assigned.

Hargrove, one of the three legislators representing the North Olympic Peninsula in Olympia, and his colleagues on the committee have proposed requiring:

  • Contracting with private agencies for routine monthly visits to dependent children, SB 6871.

  • Making 15 percent of all new social worker hires level one and two positions.

    This is intended to help senior social workers with their administrative tasks, SB 6891.

  • Reaching national accreditation for all field offices this year, in SB 6766.

    Union representatives, children’s advocates and the head of the Children’s Administration commended the senators on their initiative, but took issue with parts of the bills.

    Notably, the Washington Federation of State Employees, which represents the agency social workers, said contracting out visits would violate their contracts.

    “We will always be opposed to legislative mandates to contract out work our members do,” federation lobbyist Dennis Eagle said.

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