Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Prisoners in a House of Torture, but We Survived" - A Wake-Up Call for Social Workers

The article, “We Were Prisoners in a House of Torture, but We Survived” by Liz Brody, tells the story of how fraternal twins, Kristen and Will Stillman, endured through about a decade of senseless and inhumane cruelty inflicted by their foster family but then rose from the ashes as young adults to demand justice and make better lives for themselves. Read the article for details because its too dark to describe it here!

Although the Stillmans eventually got justice as adults, it haunts me incessantly how the multiple social workers that came to investigate the family never noticed a problem. As a case manager, I'm embarrassed by it. Despite obvious signs of child abuse (like multiple unwanted pregnancies, self-mutilation, social isolation, and even a blatant attempt by Will to report the abuse) those social workers did their jobs half-assed and never even bothered to speak to the children privately to get their side of the story. It makes me want to re-evaluate the whole way I do my job, because I never want to let something like this drift past me unnoticed.