Social Workers need better protection from Coronavirus to keep themselves and the families they serve safe! And with the Coronavirus pandemic upon us, SEIU 721 is advocating hard at every level of government to secure better protections for us as we continue to do our duty on the frontline.
As a result of our union’s work – and in cooperation with the LA County CEO and DCFS management – the department recently announced some new policy changes:
- Anyone ages 65 and up with health risks – or individuals of any age with major health risks – should go home immediately.
- Members who are able to telework from home should request to do so; however, in cases of severe emergencies, abuse or neglect, in-person assessments may still be required.
- Medical notes are not required to telework.
- SEIU 721 leadership has made repeated demands for an additional 29,000 sets of masks and protective gloves. We know you need this equipment immediately and we will continue fighting for it.
- Our union requested – and was granted – a State waiver for all ER workers investigating five-day referrals for the timeframe to be expanded to ten days.
- In-person visits for children in out-of-home care are being done remotely.
SEIU 721 leadership is also advocating:
- That non-emergency, face-to-face contact be done virtually or telephonically.
- That the federal government grant us a waiver for all home visits – or a “blanket order” for visits to be waived.
However, these requests have not yet been approved. We will notify you immediately if and when they are.
We fully recognize and respect that DCFS support staff and Human Services Agency (HSA) personnel are a vital part of keeping children and families safe, too. SEIU 721 will have a more tailored update soon for LA County DCFS members who provide services outside of social work.
In the meantime, know that our union is here to help and support you. Please continue to communicate with us so we can get you what you need on the frontline. We, as social workers and county workers, are united to keep LA County’s children and families safe.
Together, we rise.