Regulate or ban social work agencies to tackle ‘profiteering’, urges ADCS president

Steve Crocker warns recruitment firms are increasingly limiting supply of staff to councils, leading to persistent vacancies and higher costs - but industry body labels comments 'absurd'

ADCS president Steve Crocker
ADCS president Steve Crocker (credit: ADCS)

How, if at all, should agency social work be reformed?

  • There should be no change to current arrangements (36%, 360 Votes)
  • National pay rates should be introduced for agency staff (18%, 180 Votes)
  • Local authority-owned staff banks should become the first port of call for temporary staff (18%, 180 Votes)
  • Agencies should be banned from statutory social work (12%, 116 Votes)
  • Social workers should be prevented from working for agencies in their early career (11%, 112 Votes)
  • Regional memoranda of understanding capping pay rates should be more tightly adhered to by councils (5%, 48 Votes)

Total Voters: 996

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The government should “regulate or preferably ban” social work employment agencies to tackle increased “profiteering” in the way they supply staff to councils, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services president has said.

Steve Crocker made the call in his speech to the association’s annual conference yesterday, in which he said agencies were “contacting our social workers, hoovering them up and then selling them back to us at twice the cost”, which was contrary to the public interest and that of taxpayers.

However, the industry body for employment agencies described his comments as “absurd” and said they did a “huge amount” for the sector.

Speaking to Community Care after the speech, Crocker took particular aim at what he said was an increasing practice of agencies limiting their supply of staff to teams of workers, rather than individual locums.

Councils ‘struggling to manage agency behaviour’

“I think things have changed,” said Crocker, the director for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. “Increasingly, we’re struggling to manage the activity and behaviour of some of the agencies, which is increasingly focused on limiting the supply of the workforce to only offering them as a team rather than individual workers.”

If I have someone in Andover who has gone off for six months on maternity leave, I can’t find an agency worker for love nor money. I can get eight agency workers. This seems really wrong.

“Increasingly, directors of children’s services are frustrated and we can’t see why this is in the public interest. We’re increasingly seeing social workers being tapped up by agencies then offered back to us for double the cost. We think this has gone beyond the point where it’s acceptable and we need urgent action.”

Crocker’s proposal goes beyond one made last year by his predecessor as ADCS president, Charlotte Ramsden, who called for the introduction of agreed national pay rates to tackle issues including locum staff leaving mid-contract to take up more lucrative positions.

Ramsden raised concerns that councils were not adhering to regional memoranda of understanding – which cap agency pay rates – when they had acute recruitment needs, particularly following poor inspection outcomes.

Situation deteriorating

Crocker said his tougher stance reflected the fact that the situation had got worse in the past year. He added that the tendency for agencies to supply teams had two key effects.

“It means we don’t have enough social workers to do the work we need them to do,” he said. “You are carrying vacancies until you have the need for a whole team. And/or you end up paying high costs for those you bring in because you’re desperate.”

Crocker’s proposals also go beyond those put forward by the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, which called in its final report for tighter rules on the use of agency staff to reduce their use by councils. It suggested ensuring councils adhere to existing regional memoranda of understanding and be prevented from hiring agency social workers who had not completed the first two years of its proposed early career framework.

Crocker endorsed the second of these points in his speech, saying that the sector should “move quickly to tie an early career framework to a statutory provider, so social workers can’t work for agencies in their formative professional years”.

Preventing early career social workers from going locum

He added: “Graduates being drawn to agency work almost straight out of university is a relatively new phenomenon. The worry is that this could compromise
on quality as access to support, supervision and reflection are critical to excellent practice.”

The number of full-time equivalent agency workers in statutory children’s services in England increased by 3% from September 2020 to September 2021 to 5,977, a fourth consecutive annual rise, according to Department for Education figures. But agency worker rates have remained relatively flat since at least 2017, with 15.5% of all local authority or trust children’s social workers in England employed through agencies in September 2021. Just over three quarters (76.3%) of agency social workers were covering vacancies, a similar rate to 2020.

In his speech, Crocker said that councils needed to be open to looking at what they offered staff to attract them to take up permanent social work roles.

He told Community Care that he backed the care review’s call for a five-year early career framework, coupled with national pay scales which practitioners would move up as they progressed, saying this would incentivise people to stay with employers.

Crocker also backed the review’s proposal to create local authority-owned staff banks, which it said should be the first port of call when councils needed additional practitioners.

DfE – we need to do more

In its spending review in 2021, the government set a target on the proportion of agency social workers used by local authority children’s services though did not set a specific measure to reduce this to.

Responding to a question on the issue at the ADCS conference today, the DfE’s director for children’s social care, Suzanne Lunn, said: “I think our strategy in recent years has been to encourage regional memoranda of understanding but we recognise the concerns those are not working when individual authorities have particular pressures.”

She added: “We recognise that we probably need to do more in this space at a national level. I can’t say what. We will need to test the evidence on it and the views of ministers – I don’t know what these are yet. We really want to hear your views about regulation options in this space. It’s not just about the money – we’ve heard concerns about quality and what you are buying. Over the next few months, we should have some serious discussions on what we should do.”

‘Completely absurd’

However, Cocker’s comments were heavily criticised by the industry body for employment agencies.

“The president of the ADCS’s comments are completely absurd,” said Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation.

“Agencies do a huge amount of work to support the care system, and are certainly not the cause of its problems. Rather than blaming agencies unfairly, ADCS would do better to work with us to build a care system that delivers a great service at good value to the taxpayer – as well as paying social care workers what they deserve and treating them well, whether they are substantive or temporary staff.”


More from Community Care

42 Responses to Regulate or ban social work agencies to tackle ‘profiteering’, urges ADCS president

  1. Abdul July 8, 2022 at 2:22 pm #

    Absolute nonsense from ADCS President. He wants to lower the low wage already, and the majority of us Social Workers work around 15 – 20 hours per week, above and above our ‘paid hours’, as there is no paid overtime (unlike the NHS and Police), and he wants to exploit us further. No thanks, the amount of work local authority workers do for free is a shame and a scandal, and we are contstantly overworked and underpaid. He’s an embarrassment, how much is he earning?

    • Anon July 28, 2022 at 12:59 pm #

      Well said

  2. Ignatious Mwariwangu July 8, 2022 at 2:30 pm #

    Local authorities must pay better wages to manage staff retention. If they channel the money they pay agency staff to increase wages for permanent staff they would help minimise staff shortages.

  3. Marie July 8, 2022 at 2:42 pm #

    Maybe try paying social workers properly and giving them caseloads they can reasonably be expected to manage in under 40 hours a week. Wages have reduced in real terms since 2010. Most workers I know on agency say that they can’t afford to go permanent.

  4. Beverley Harris July 8, 2022 at 2:49 pm #

    Social work salaries should reflect the work that social workers do. Social workers are having to hold large caseloads and cover absent social workers whilst managing a high caseload snd cover additional duty days. Duty tasks, safeguarding concerns and complex need cases can take days to resolve with case management work building up.

    If you were to ask social workers how many hours over their contracted hours they worked the majority would say at least 5-10. Over a team of 10 workers that equates to 1.5 full time workers. Many social workers are at breaking point and at risk of burn out causing them to lewve the profession whilst still paying their srudent loan for a compulsory degree. This is a decision i made myself recently.

    We are lucky if we receive a 1% pay increase. This does not cover the additional cost of being expected to work at home increasing our utility bills. Initially we were expected to find somewhere private in out own homes to speak with clients and other professionals – not every social worker has a spare room in their home! We are not home workers we were told we are hybrid therefore cannot claim for working from home.

    • Julia July 10, 2022 at 4:27 pm #

      I agree with your comments, although I would say that you underestimate the hours that front line CP staff work over and above our contracted time.
      I can’t wait to get out of front line work. If they can find the money to pay agency workers, then they can increase the pay of their loyal permanent staff. These retention bonuses are short term solutions but should really be the norm. If our R&R bonus is removed after the 3 years we have been promised, then I can see a mass exodus from my LA.

  5. Kit July 8, 2022 at 2:51 pm #

    Do agency workers get paid too much or are full time positions paid too little?
    I feel that, is the real question. The problem is, you are asked to work over time in a restricted system were you can only take 1-2 days flexi a month and instead of tackling the issue by reducing caseloads they are increasing. In Agency there is more autonomy, either you get paid for the hours, or you take your time owed as you are not part of their flexi scheme.

    Social workers need a work life balance and when sw’s are working over 15 hours extra a week and then lose all but 4 of those hours, of course they go agency. It is all well and good to say ‘well we need to work smarter’, if you have a homeless child with you at 5pm, you wait with that child or find someone that can, cause most social workers care about their clients and often put their needs first knowing full well you are eating in to your own time.

    It is not all about pay, being a contracted worker is great, you have access to training but that is also routinely cancelled as work takes priority and then you lose your flexi. So you think to yourself, why not work agency, the perks of a contract are minimal may as well have more control over my time.

    It needs an overhaul, and Social Workers should be paid more.

  6. Neurodivergent social worker July 8, 2022 at 2:53 pm #

    Make permanent jobs actually appealing and more and more social workers wouldn’t be moving to agency. With the risk in costs this year I cant afford to be a permanent social worker, plus on agency my experience so far is i’m treated better. I cam say no to new cases, within reason, if my caseload is unmanageable, i’m not asked to take on extra roles within the team on top of my caseload and I can stay out of the office politics. In a permanent roles I felt when I tried to speak up I wasn’t listened to and the was over loaded by cases and extra roles. It’s either struggle on a permanent social workers salary undertaking an extremely stressful job or have more autonomy on agency and actually get paid a decent wage.

  7. Kathy July 8, 2022 at 3:18 pm #

    How about pay permanent social workers a decent living wage including overtime and expenses and you may find you can reduce reliance on Agency staff!!!!!

  8. Patricia July 8, 2022 at 3:18 pm #

    If employers cared enough to look after their staff better we wouldn’t leave to join agencies. Money is one aspect but not the main reason. Though it pains me to insist on a reasonably manageable work load when permanent colleagues are overwhelmed I can do this because my agency backs me up. The answer is obvious. Moaning about profiteering while exploiting the good will of permanent staff is not going to stop them retiring early, leaving to join an agency or getting a less stressful job. Fewer conferences and bothering to address our pleas for better pay and conditions would be time well spent.

  9. Beth July 8, 2022 at 3:26 pm #

    I both agree and disagree. I have just had experience of a locum team and they did not deliver their brief! I am a locum but was working via the LA’s attached agency. They were being paid a fortune perhaps double my pay!
    In the end my contract became unviable as I was not earning any more than a regular member of staff. To note I had no access to sick pay or pension. You have to earn more within reason to enable you to take this into account.
    National & Regional pay capping doesn’t work. It’s been tried but as demand grows the rates raise. It’s not a balanced view above as good locums are worth their weight in gold!
    The other issue is the agencies! There needs to be clarity of rates and they should be made to pass on an agreed percentage of the rate they charge the LA. Lots of agencies just fleece the locum who are the ones working hard!
    The agencies need sorting but what about the appalling pay rates for Social Workers!!! Pay and conditions have deteriorated and please can someone tell me how such a complex role holds such low regard.

    • Social Worker X July 10, 2022 at 4:30 pm #

      It is a common misconception that agency workers are paid double. I can assure you it doesn’t work out as double once you take into account the extra deductions such as Employer’s National Insurance that we have to pay in addition to the usual taxes. I am currently on a £32/hr full-time contract and take home approx £150 extra a week on top of what I would be getting on a permanent contract – hardly riches! When you also take into account no holiday pay or pension it is clear that the financial benefits are less than you might imagine.

      I would be happy to work directly for an LA as a temp worker however they would need to pay me at a higher rate than permanent staff to account for the lack of job security and benefits.

      • Beth July 11, 2022 at 5:30 pm #

        I wasn’t on double but I do know these ‘teams’ of ‘experts’ are not always what they seem and can earn large amounts of money.

        Sometimes LA’s need expert teams to help them practice or catch up and there are some good ones too!

        There are too many middlemen like Matrix taking a cut. The agencies need to be more transparent too. The profession has no voice!

  10. S. trots July 8, 2022 at 3:45 pm #

    If social workers were paid a decent salary for the ongoing stress related work we do, managing risk that at times is unmanageable high caseloads lack of support and coping with blame when cases go wrong.
    I cant work out how LA are willing to pay agency staff for years at such high rates however, keep permanent staff on low pay scales.
    I’m not surprised staff are turning to agencies for a decent pay.

  11. Paul July 8, 2022 at 4:08 pm #

    Councils are part of the problem taking on newly qualified. I remember you needed at least 3 years post qualifying experience in an LA post to go agency. If councils take on an agency new qualified agencies will be to happy fill the post, but who ensures that year is assessed?
    Another point re costs. Most LAs use a recruitment provider (Matrix, Comensura etc) who also charge thus racking up the costs when you add the small amount agencies take.
    Finally, given crisis in social work re shortage of workers, government and LAs need focus on making it a decent career. Sadly, it is cyclic, staff come, dumped high case load from week one and many IT systems rubbish. Not all are integrated childrens systems since Cameron ruled not necessary, seeking save money many councils kept to out of date systems that do not assist social work. I suggest ADs spend some time on the floor and look at if the system us fit for purpose.

  12. Pete July 8, 2022 at 4:21 pm #

    The market knows best Steve, come on. You’re not going to be President of the ADCS for long with radical ideas like this

    • Dot July 9, 2022 at 3:19 pm #

      One persons radical idea might sound like see what’s infront if my eyes to another person.

  13. Yoni July 8, 2022 at 7:26 pm #

    I have been an agency worker for 10 years. I have always stayed for at least a year, and once 4 years. It’s less the pay that keeps me agency more the respect I get which I don’t feel is the same when a permanent member of staff. Until that changes I won’t become an employee.

  14. Job July 8, 2022 at 8:08 pm #

    Mr Crocker when you start getting off your high , out of touch horse realize that some of us are SW where there is only one earner in the home, with a couple of children. We don’t have a free childcare system and rent/mortgage/fuel etc has all gone up. Why Don’t we create a system where there is a statutory requirement for SW to log the hours they work and get paid per hour worked. Then maybe , just maybe you will see those agency workers returning to full time employment. I wonder how much you yet paid ? Or are you on a contract with your many hats on. #getridofyourmemorandum it’s unconstitutional and smells like market manipulation (dishonest and serving your own self interest).

  15. Agencywork July 8, 2022 at 8:44 pm #

    Be quiet mr. You probably receive a nice salary and don’t understand the struggles a permanent social worker undergoes. Let us get what we’re worth via agency. Stop hating.

  16. Andrea Ba July 8, 2022 at 10:35 pm #

    The only reason I went to agency was to get paid a semi-decent wage after 8 years being paid peanuts. After paying an accountant, sorting my tax and annual leave, that rate wasn’t really that great anyway
    Why isn’t one of the suggestions in the poll to pay statutory social workers a proper wage for their hard work?
    That is the problem; Educated professionals giving blood, sweat and tears and being under valued.

  17. Sally July 9, 2022 at 7:16 am #

    No need for lashing out against agencies. Solution is simple. Look after us, care for us, listen to us, we won’t leave and you won’t have to cough up the fees. Still not all bad. Good to know that even Directors get to face up to how it feels to be powerless and exploited.

  18. Mark July 9, 2022 at 9:35 am #

    The solution to this is simple. Most people become agency workers because local authority pay for social workers is poor. Increase the pay rates for social workers, give them a decent pay rise each year, and this will help to retain them!

  19. Rob July 9, 2022 at 4:40 pm #

    Seen a few comments touching on this already, the fact is after 7 years in practice there is no way I would go back permanent for such a large pay cut. LA’s need a long hard look and think about why they are willing to pay through the nose for agency fees and locum rates when they should be compensating their permanent workforce on similar rates; the job is Incredibly demanding and stressful and employers simply don’t value the workforce so naturally they are being hoovered by agencies

  20. frustrated July 9, 2022 at 9:49 pm #

    Worst thing I ever did was stop being an agency worker and become a permanent member of staff. They treated me appalling now I am not a Social Worker at all.

  21. Agency July 10, 2022 at 6:47 am #

    I have been a SW for ten years 7 of which i have been agency and right now there is no incentive to go permanent, the minimum acceptable amount as a SW to go perm would be 50k/year anything less is not worth discussing. Crocker needs to spend some time with frontline SW and not make silly comments.

  22. DKR July 10, 2022 at 11:26 am #

    Matters can be remedied by increased salaries being paid by Local Authorities nationally to a level commensurate to the responsibility SW’s have to manage.

    A lot of locums are simply mercenary individuals who only serve their own interests and are beyond contempt, but until more generous pay levels are offered to permanent workers these people will continue to exploit !!

  23. dk July 10, 2022 at 9:18 pm #

    How will LAs pay permanent staff more when they’re all millions of pounds in the red on agency costs? I get the broad argument here about decent pay for all, who wouldn’t and who wouldn’t agree? But this is obviously a more complicated issue than that. Agencies and agency staffing has moved a million miles away from what it started out as, from covering and stop-gaps to a standard part of every LA’s workforce. It isn’t sustainable and changes to how agencies work (along with changes to how LAs work) will have to be part of any solution.

    • Just a Manager July 12, 2022 at 7:12 am #

      Whatever the President says in public his members embrace the use of agencies in private. Individual agencies and individual agency workers might appear to be expensive but the savings employers make on not processing payroll, paying holiday or sick pay are massive on the cost of employing permanent staff. I know this as I am a manager and I have been prevented from advertising for two vacancies and told to get agency staff to save “on cost” that come with permanent staff. Apparently we need to have mix of staff to be able to get a grip on staff costs. Perhaps ADCS should concentrate on that strategy by their members.

  24. Burnt Out July 11, 2022 at 10:51 am #

    After working for a very good LA where we used very little agency staff, to having lost some staff during the pandemic (mainly early retirement) we’ve recently undergone a restructure and losing staff left right and centre and almost every team now has multiple agency workers.

    The reasons are clear but management are not listening. Our caseloads are unmanageable, staff are now stressed and going on the long-term sick which increases the pressure on those of us who remain. Then staff start to leave, further increasing the pressure on remaining staff. We feedback to managers all the time but nothing changes. We’re just asking for fewer cases, more flexible hours (we don’t want to work 5 days per week, we want to do 4 days), less meetings and paperwork and more time seeing the service users.

    Still no one listens.

  25. T.Deen July 11, 2022 at 6:57 pm #

    It’s should be illegal for employers not to pay staff overtime. It should be illegal for employers to allow / expect/ insist staff to work excessive hours. There should be a legal limit on the amount of children that social workers are able to work with safely.

  26. Mark Monaghan July 12, 2022 at 12:36 am #

    If it wasnt for agency social workers there would be a lot less of us doing the job!! Local authorities offer us nothing….no training, no money no development. They are a bunch of authoritarians who believe social work is crunching numbers and kpi’s. Put your cappuccino down, get out of your office (off your backside) and do some social work. You wouldnt last a day! Idiot….we work for agencies as we are independent, we gave our time to authorities for nothing. Get rid of us at your peril. In the meantime pay us what we are worth as you cant keep social workers because most of you are crap… offer nothing so we do what needs to be done,protect the people that you can’t earn the money and go…. if you dont want us we will leave and you can carry on ….good luck….

  27. Molly July 12, 2022 at 11:42 am #

    Pay permanent social workers properly so they don’t feel pressured to go agency to support their families. Social workers should be able to do shift work and be paid overtime, like nurses. Make it work. Stop recruiting frontline staff from pre-colonised countries to bring them here n work without proper rights or pay.

  28. George July 12, 2022 at 8:31 pm #

    Full time adults social worker. Just received the 2021 payrise. Monthly take home salary has increased by £12. I used to be paid considerably more than my partner but her 5% year on year payrise means she now earns slightly more than me… she works 3 days a week.

  29. John Simpson July 13, 2022 at 10:52 am #

    Regulate or ban social work agencies to tackle ‘profiteering’, urges ADCS president – You have to wonder why the ADCS president is misguided in his thoughts and views. Sounds suspiciously like he is wanting a form of indentured service for social workers, unsurprisingly for the benefit of local authorities. Quelle surprise!

    If he spent some time reflecting on my so many social workers prefer to work independently then he might start the process of learning why local authorities are no longer able to attract and retain experienced staff. Unsurprisingly, one of the many reasons is poor pay and working conditions. Added to that is dreadful managers who are often clueless and unsupportive. If you deal with that, you might be more successful at keeping your staff. As social workers are now at a premium (i.e. there is greater demand than supply), then if your organisation is not valuing their staff (pay, conditions, emoluments), then there are a range of other alternative providers who are only too happy to employ them instead. (or you can pay a supposed premium for their services via the agency route).

    The current crisis is entirely the fault of local authorities trying to shape the market to their benefit (Yes we see your 1% pay rises if we are lucky!) . It won’t work but we will continue to see these types of articles suggesting its all the fault of those nasty agencies and independent social workers….. Utter hogwash! Get your own house in order before trying to blame others for your own failings. Pay social workers better and resolve the caseload / management issues and most of your recruitment issues will be mitigated.

    If you were paying Social Workers £100k per year, there would be no recruitment issues, so the challenge is not a lack of workers, rather it is a lack of suitable remuneration for the roles you have offered. Social workers are no longer dependent on local authorities for their livelihood and the sooner you recognise this fact, the better.

    Viva the revolution!

  30. Sandra July 14, 2022 at 8:45 am #

    ADCS tells social workers that we are paid at the rate we are because that’s the going affordable “market rate” for us. Agencies tell ADCS what the “market rate” is for supplying temporary workers. If the market is a mechanism outside of ADCSs control when settling pay awards than the market is an equally neutral mechanism for determining the rates that agencies charge. It’s ever so straight forward this market and sustainability argument really. It eliminates manipulation of a fair rate of remuneration for workers. Doesn’t it?

  31. Chris Sterry July 15, 2022 at 9:45 pm #

    The ‘Elephant’ in the room is of course the Government, who are really responsible for low pay and not just of Social Workers, this they do by restricting the grants they pay to Local Authorities, (LAs) so, therefore LAs are unable to pay any workers, including Social Workers their real worth.

    It is no wonder that Social Workers are looking to leave LA employment and join agencies so that they can receive their real worth and LAs have to comply, that is, if they want workers to do the work. It is ‘supply and demand’, the agencies have the workers to fill the demand of LAs.

    If, the Government reversed all and every austerity cut, then the supply of workers would diminish and workers would be willing to work for LAs directly.

    After all MPs and Ministers do receive pay increases, but they have their independent pay review body, surely for equality LA workers should also have their independent pay review body and then they too could have their pay increases.

  32. Isla White July 15, 2022 at 10:37 pm #

    Mr Crocker speaks as if he and his members are not the delegated representatives of our employers. By all means urge employers to come up with strategies to keep staff loyal but please also acknowledge that should they wish to ADCS could be powerful advocates for incentivising employers to seriously address the reasons for poor retention.

    • Andy July 17, 2022 at 3:31 pm #

      Well said Isla. This we are leaders but we are powerless nonsense needs to be called out. ADCS are it so no more pretence. We have a saying in Northumberland for people who have the cake, eat the cake then pretend they’ve never seen the cake but I can not repeat it in a professional context!

  33. Rory July 19, 2022 at 10:46 am #

    Social workers are professionals in their own right. Local authorities ( in my experience) treat the workers as a commodity with limited individual professional voice … despite conducting a risk assessment L.A. managers will over ride professional opinion / views because they do not trust the workers, micro management as a result of child deaths dictates out comes for children and their families.

    As a long-standing social work child protection practitioner and practice teacher who has worked in many universities social workers have become risk adverse, the practice is oppressive. Also I do not know any social workers who do not work 10 hours unpaid work per week. When this is challenged social work managers dish out literature telling works to work SMART highest case load numbers 49 cases, recently 35 cases … evidence of child centred practice we are asked for by OFSTEAD ( government) inspectors 35 children in 37 hours takes more than SMARt working. Letting children down is not a good feeling. We as a profession are not valued by society, oh my children and families work well with the relationship based values I was taught in the mid nineties

    A fair days pay for a more than fair days work! Plus a felling of being valued, for protecting the vulnerable in our society.

  34. Simon Side July 19, 2022 at 4:29 pm #

    Doesn’t take much for the liberal diversity mask to slip it seems. Nobody told me when I trained to be a social worker that indentured labour was part of the deal. The social work Establishment is won’t to flaunt its free movement of labour when it comes to the impact of Brexit on but that apparently diesnt any to its own workforce. We are free to sell our labour to whichever employer we choose to or have to whatever peculiar concept of choice Mr Crocker pulls out of his hat. Isla White, neat, nails it.

  35. Leah July 22, 2022 at 7:30 pm #

    Maybe all of you should quit with the complaining and whining. How about us single moms in poverty that get our child support taken away, and are still required to travel 300 miles twice a week to see their child, attending meetings, attending court hearings. The whole time on their own budget,. While all social workers get paid for all of their drive time gas,etc. Then complain about wages and being poor! That is something to complain and whine about. Where is our compensation? Where is our concern? We get none, but an oh well, and get our children taken away anyway. And then left in the dust and offered no more services. Rediculouse. From minnesota