By Patrick Madden
The District is letting go more than a 110 child welfare workers. More than 50 employees at the Child and Family Services Agency are being laid off because of budget cuts - the rest because of restructuring: the department wants to create new jobs with different qualifications.
The city says the number of cases has dropped since 2003. 13 of the laid-off employees are social workers. Geo T. Johnson, head of the local union that represents the workers, calls the cuts "cold-blooded" and "heartless."
"I think it's probably just a travesty of what they've done to employee rights and we will fight this to the hilt," says Johnson.
For nearly two decades, CFSA has been under some form of court supervision for failures in its child welfare system. Earlier this year, a federal judge rejected the city's attempt to end the supervision. The agency came under intense scrutiny in 2008 following the case of Banita Jacks, who was convicted of killing her daughters after they had been referred to the agency.