We want to welcome Bobby Cagle to the department and look forward to working with him. Mr. Cagle certainly understands what’s at stake – he was in foster care as child and served as a caseworker. As director of Georgia’s child welfare system, Cagle was recognized by child advocates for addressing the root causes of a number of child fatalities and other child safety issues in his state – such as high caseloads, inadequate training, and high employee turnover – instead of simply scapegoating individual workers for systemic problems.
While some press reports have expressed concern about how Mr. Cagle will navigate the change from Georgia to Los Angeles County’s more diverse, inclusive and pro-Labor political environment, we believe he deserves the benefit of the doubt. We’re less concerned about where Mr. Cagle comes from and more interested in where he wants to take the department.
SEIU 721 has made substantial progress fighting for lower caseloads, better training and a mentor for every new social worker. We look forward to continuing down the Road to Child Safety with Mr. Cagle behind the wheel.