Social Work: A Capitalism Story

October 2, 2009

This morning, the OPK was not exactly negative, it was just kind of negative.

For the month of September, I made 97% of my productivity at my for-profit, community-based mental health agency. Yay on me.

Last night, I saw Capitalism: A Love Story. In it, there is a piece about a judge in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania who made a deal with a for-profit juvenile detention center to detain as many children as possible for their financial gain.

Yesterday, a coworker who is leaving said that there was once this woman at the agency who kept taking a client to her house for sessions. The departing coworker complained to my boss, her boss’ boss and her boss’ boss, as well as her own licensing board, but nothing was done.

It makes me wonder how much money the CE-whatever of my company is making from my 97% productivity, if they even have the balls to distribute that data to emplyees and why all of my families seem so much more high functioning than my families in my previous state, but are receiving more intensive services.

Having worked for a year in a high performing, public charter school in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country in one of the most scrutinized school districts in the country, I know the politics in these situations are always murky, heart-rending mixture of good intentions, federal funding and civil right violations. I’m not trying to cook up any conspiracy theories, but I would love an hour or two with Lexis-Nexus followed by a half hour with a social work scholar specializing on the privatization of human services.

Also, yesterday, the training director for our state kept saying how certification in the company’s treatment model would one day be more valuable than clinical licensure. I wanted to raise my hand and paraphrase what she had just said to make sure that I heard her right, but I just looked at other people’s faces instead. Maybe I’ll ask a few more questions when my probationary period is over and I’ve got that golden health insurance.


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