Why Some LA County Social Workers Don’t Want People To Know Where They Work – LAist

Jessica Chandler says as a foster youth, she used to hate social workers…until she became one. (Courtsey HBO)

Documentary filmmakers Deborah Oppenheimer and Mark Jonathan Harris said they spoke to a couple hundred social workers while doing research for their new HBO documentary, “Foster.”

Most of them would immediately start crying when they came in for their interviews.

“They told us that they don’t tell their friends, tell their families that they work for the Department of Children and Family Services,” Oppenheimer told KPCC’s Take Two. “They turn their badges around when they walk into public places [like] a restaurant.”

A lot of social workers feel that the public perception of anyone who works in foster care generally skews negative, in part because the system only gets public attention when something goes wrong, the filmmakers said.

“One of the reasons we wanted to make this movie was because we do feel like the public gets their information at the time of a fatality or at the time of a crisis. And the consequence of that is that people turn away in despair,” said Oppenheimer, who produced the film. “The magnitude of it seems so enormous, that they throw up their hands and they think they don’t know what to do.”

Read the full story here.

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