SEIU Local 721 is leading the way in protecting our members and making our workplaces safe. Working in collaboration with Los Angeles County, our Brothers and Sisters at the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services recently secured a set of victories whose impact will be felt across L.A., San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties, as well as statewide:
- Active shooter training in all DCFS offices
- Increased metal detector and body scan use
- Consistent responsibilities and duties for all security personnel
- Field safety and de-escalation techniques for social workers
- Guidelines for handling a suspicious package, hostage situation, bomb threat, and violent or threatening behavior
New and current child welfare personnel who perform tasks involving direct contact with clients in a field setting will be offered the opportunity to attend one of six Field Safety Training courses offered over the course of February, March, and May, in order to develop a personal field safety plan.
We must do all we can to protect ourselves, and each other. Threats, concerns, or acts of violence in the workplace will be taken seriously and must be reported immediately. Supervisors and managers are required to notify the Office of Security Management, and notify law enforcement, when appropriate, of any incidents. Reports will be investigated and actions taken to keep workers safe.
In collaboration with L.A. County, our SEIU 721 member leaders, made sure L.A. County DCFS offices were prepared for any disaster. We conducted a safety audit in each regional office, and began reviewing concerns on a case-by-case basis, and are implementing improvements beyond those listed, where needed.
These victories were due to the hard work of the SEIU 721 Caseload Accountability Panel. Thank you to the members of the CAP group: Dina Petruzzi, Paula Gamboa, Chy Chy Ekeochah, David Green, and Mike Green.
Your vision and courage have won the support of elected and appointed officials, as well as our officers, E-Board, and Brothers and Sisters throughout SEIU 721! Other county and city offices in L.A., S.B. and Ventura, can now look to L.A. County DCFS as a model to emulate, and our representatives in Sacramento can once again translate our members’ ideas and voices into new state policies.