Photography ExhibitsPhoto from "Fighting to Care: California's Social Workers SEIU 535"
Exhibit at U.C. Berkeley Institute of Industrial Relations 1/15-7/15 2002, photo 4 of 12
Terence Rice, Child Social Worker, Emergency Response Command Post (1991)
"It's tough because sometimes it's a losing situation, because regardless of what's happening, you're taking a child from the mother, and the child is traumatized by that. Even a bad mother is sometimes better than our best foster mother because the child is bonded and there is that attachment.
"When I was out there, all I saw was this injury here. I thought that maybe it could have been a fall, but now I can see the linear bruises here and some swelling there, a black eye. We did the right thing in this situation because we had a history of child abuse. We had a baby that was apparently born with an illegal substance in his system. We have an extremely severe injury to a critical part of the body, the head.
"I feel really bad for the parents, because
I really believe that on some level they love their kid and just
want to do what is best, but they are just so wrapped up living
in so much pain themselves they just can't get beyond that to see
the other person. And at this particular time in their lives, until
they are able to do that, you know the child really shouldn't be
there. So, like I say, I don't feel that the job is too fun in the
sense that you are dealing with a lot of pain and a lot of sorrow
and a lot of kids who deserve a lot better."