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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ex NorCo CYF Staffer on Packer - "She Fooled All of Us!"

Until late December, Mary Beth Jacavage was employed in Northampton County's Children Youth and Families Division (CYF). You can still see her name listed on the County web page as a General Protective Services Intake Supervisor. This Bloomsburg University graduate, with a degree in psychology, spent 22 years on the front lines of child abuse, as well as an additional year in Early Intervention. She believes that CYF is in need of an overhaul. She was also able to share what she knows about Sara Packer, the ex-adoption supervisor charged with murdering and dismembering her own adopted daughter.

Sara Packer: Jacavage was employed by NorCo CYF during the entire time that Packer was there, but never directly supervised her. "She fooled all of us!" is how she summed up Packer. "Nothing was saying to us that she was going too rape and murder a child." But she described her as liking to dress in Goth attire, or dyeing her hair numerous different colors. She indicated that ne fellow supervisor had expressed concerns about Packer. She also said that Packer had told her co-workers that she never wanted to adopt Grace. She only wanted a boy, bit Pennsylvania promotes sibling adoption, and Packer would be unable to adopt the boy unless she also took Grace.

CYF workers: Jacavage indicates that the staff is overworked and underpaid. I know from other sources that twelve hour days are not common, and the starting salary for a Caseworker I is only about $33,000. She indicated that the low salary is "no excuse for an uncaring and inhumane attitude." She indicated that most caseworker are conscientious and work hard, but there are a few "who are cold and power hungry and disrespectful."

CYF Administration: Most of her criticism is focused on Director Kevin Dolan and his Assistant, Patricia Himmelwright, as well as their managing attorney, Valerie Cammarene. In fairness, and this has been my big concern all along, they have been muzzled and are unable to respond. But after speaking with Jacavage, I believe her concerns about Valerie Cammarene. If true, they illustrate a person who is cold and disrespectful.
  • At a dependency hearing this summer, a mother was in court who had children with several different fathers. According to Jacavage, Cammarene started singing a song about it, set to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," ridiculing the mother. We all have opinions about women whose poor choices often lead to multiple fathers, but Cammarene publicly humiliated the mother, displaying a total lack of respect. Kevin Dolan was apprised of this situation, and refused to do anything.
  • In another dependency matter involving a father who was extremely nervous, Cammerene taunted him with "Let the games begin!"  
  • In a dependency or custody matter in which a judge had requested information from CYF, Cammerene took it upon herself to review the file, gave erroneous information to the court because she failed to read it properly, and the judge awarded custody to the wrong party. The child involved was so devastated by this turn of events that she tried to commit suicide. She was sent to a psychiatric facility, where another patient assaulted her and knocked out a tooth. 
I have focused on the Cammarene allegations because she just happens to be the attorney who is reviewing the cases on which Packer worked.  The state DHS has decided to conduct its own investigation.

I have hesitated to write about Jacavage for two reasons. First, what she tells me is inconsistent with my own interactions with Kevin Dolan. Second, he's unable to respond. But I am disclosing her more pertinent criticisms primarily because this kind of abuse has happened befo CYF.

In 2010, Jose Huertas Aponte, a NorCo CYF caseworker, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12 year-old boy. Judge Michael Koury sentenced him to 12-24 years in state prison, the maximum he could impose under state law. “You of all people know it was your job to help and protect children,” Judge Koury said.

That's a job we all have.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't read any more about this story - because the details make me sick to my stomach. Throw the two monsters in prison and throw away the key. That poor angel must have endured much pain, abuse and torture at their hands.

Anonymous said...

I know MBJ and she is spot on. I understand how you feel about Dolan but somewhere along his 30+ years in CYF he started to believe all the hype folks like you gave him. In other words he was a legend in his own mind. If young female employees are your pastime at least children are safe, if one does not become distracted. However, problems are many fold and the CYF Admisntration like any large and overprotected bureaucracy has grown stale and over concerned about it own reputation. If you want some of the dirty laundry talk to your super buddy the former County Executive, he knows a great deal about the players involved. He was not responsible for this situation but he knows the history of all the players being discussed. The good, the bad and the not so good habits.

The courts and the CYF Administrators worked hand in hand. In doing so, many murmured that sometimes the children were less represented than the interests of the courts and attorneys.
Somewhere along the line the fight for the children became more of a cover my ass and ego trip for some.

MBJ is right, caseworkers in CYF are underpaid and overstressed. This division needs an independent review from top to bottom but particularly at the top and not just by some pals in the private sector.
In Our Humble Opinion.

Anonymous said...

She was treated inhumanely yet she stayed for 22 years??? Packer should have been looked at because of how she dressed and the colors in her hair?? That is discrimination. Hair color and clothes does not define a person. People who dress goth are not all murderers and disgusting humans. BO you gave a disgruntled ex employee a blog to blast her administration. What happened to everything on Packer which is how this began? BO why aren't you questioning who gave Packer those children and should have been monitoring her home? Instead your post is MBJ doesn't like Dolan.

Anonymous said...

Multicolored hair and goth clothing for an adult is a red flag. Of course it's not a reason to terminate but it's an indication that a person may need attention.

You may "freely express" yourself through any variety of hairdo and dress when you are on your own time. When you are at work play the part. Those who refuse will likely violate other standards.

george schaller said...

Bernie,
I had to have redd this article with that repulsive sight that moved next to paragraphs. I have a tecniq that truely tells the tail, just look into one eyes to the soul and the deviant ill behaviors become obvious and there agenda design true da life. This is just one of the many modern social illZ unaddressed coming to a head similar to the catholic church with ties to the local vatican and church on the run doling out the dollars!
Just look deep into those eyes hiding behind the glasses and the sic sic sadistic evilness almost jumps out and slaps one in the face! Issues of the Hole exemplified in one picture. Many a once fine examplary institution that help mold a child has become corrupted by the political sell sell sell design by the urbanistZ and there realestate counterparts, this isn't even mentioning there banking institution callaborators?
This country and all governmental opperations that are human services need a big big overhaul, begining with the courts and there opperatives that all seem to collude in this sell sell sell design?
REpublican redd
humanist by design

Bernie O'Hare said...

"She was treated inhumanely yet she stayed for 22 years??"

She did not say she was treated inhumanely. She said that some people in CYF treat children poorly, but most are fine.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Packer should have been looked at because of how she dressed and the colors in her hair?? That is discrimination. Hair color and clothes does not define a person. People who dress goth are not all murderers and disgusting humans. BO you gave a disgruntled ex employee a blog to blast her administration. What happened to everything on Packer which is how this began? BO why aren't you questioning who gave Packer those children and should have been monitoring her home? Instead your post is MBJ doesn't like Dolan."

Of course no one would conclude that a person is a murderer simply bc of his or her attire,or how he or she dyes her hair. MBJ acknowledged that herself and made that clear to me when I spoke to her. But one could safely conclude she was unusual.

As for the complaints about Dolan, I believe them inconsistent with what I have seen personally and Kevin is unable to defend himself. This really makes me hesitate. But I nonetheless feel that the dooe should be opened bc of (1) the gravity of this case, (2) the fact that this is the second time that a CYF staffer has gone off the rails in NC, and (3) county officials are unwilling to reassure the pubic or defend their own staffers in even the most general terms.

Anonymous said...

I love my job as a caseworker. I love working with families and helping them to overcome huge hurtles and come out the other side being the best moms, dads, families as they can be. Our families are as diverse as they come. Drugs, alcohol, domestic violence come in every socioeconomic class there is. Helping each family reach its potential is my goal on a daily basis. I personally am upset that one person in our area, who was involved in our agency is tarnishing all that we as caseworker do. Yes, we have limited budgets to work with for services. Yes, we are not paid a lot for what we do. Yes, we meet violent people on a daily basis. But I still love my job. I get to use the skills I have learned in life and school every day. I get to use my brian, my caring, my experience in life with people. People who have had a bump in the road and need help getting back onto the road. We are not baby snatchers. We want kids to be with their families. We see daily the trauma children go through being removed from their "norm". We have hearts and care when no one else does. MBJ makes wonderful points. Maybe it's time to improve the way social service is done as a whole. Not close mental health hospitals, drug and alcohol centers, or in home services that help families. That is why I do what I do every day...not to be a hero but to help families be what they started out to be when people had a baby...a family.

Anonymous said...

Bernie if you read the article today in the MC, it will make you sick. The Lehigh County DA let this case fall through the cracks in 21010. At that time Packer's then husband was found to have had sex with one of the foster kids. Martin concluded Sara Parker was not involved. When it was found that Grace was abused she was taken from Sara Parker then at some point went back but none bothered to double check.

This is system break down of epic proportions. Wonder if part of this is people who never worry about elections cause they automatically get reelected. Also bureaucrats that are all "above " scrutiny due to their reputation.

At the end of the day this sordid affair should become a case study for how the entire system from CYF to the DA to the courts can fail a child who "falls through the cracks".

Not an indictment on anyone merely an observation of everything.

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:05, Thanks very much for what you do.

Anonymous said...

Correction, the DA stated the case apparently fell through the cracks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:11, It appears that DA Martin did what he could with the facts he had. I certainly see nothing in these stories that justifies blaming him for anything except doing his job. The more compelling question is how we handle foster care and our entire dependency system.

Anonymous said...

I guess the big question is even though Sara Packer was allegedly not involved in her husbands sexual stuff, she knew about it. Yet even after that and an incident where Grace was pulled from her care, at some point she was sent back to the home.

Sorry too many red flags that were ignored on this case. The excuse of "we did what we could" is no longer good enough.

Anonymous said...

305 I give to you a standing ovation! And if you know me, you know I highly respect your work, and your motivation to help!
Well said, very well said! Thank you!

439----Thanks so much----I hate the anonymous thing here sometimes, but I hope I can really thank all of you personally, in person someday for your willingness to support the truth!

Thanks a million-----Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

We all question why Grace was still with her----Inclusive of me. Here are some assumptions, not factual, pure assumptions. If There was sufficient evidence to suggest that Sara was implicated in any way in the abuse, she would be given an "indicated status" through the Pa Statewide registry. This indicated status could be given whether she actually committed abusive acts and/or simply knew and did nothing.
The criminal piece of this is separate from the child welfare piece---meaning you can have an indicated status but not be criminally charged.
A newspaper reporter told me that Sara had an indicated status, she appealed that status, and won the appeal. If this is factual, and again, it has NOT been at all confirmed, but if she appealed and was successful, that is a plausible explanation for children being in her care.
The other assumption is after being given the indicated status, she was told by child welfare authorities that she needed to complete some type of offender treatment and prove herself to not be a threat to children in her care. She would be monitored during this time as an ongoing assessment should have been taking place looking at her entire circumstance to assure safety of children in her care. Child welfare authorities would look to the treatment team for a recommendation of how successful she was in completion of treatment, and should also be looking at all other aspects, inclusive of new relationships, and the risk they may pose to,the children.
The obvious assumption here is she successfully completed treatment, all other aspects of risk/safety appeared minimal, and children were returned. Typically, during period of ongoing treatment and assessment, a plan is put in place so that the offenders either have supervised contact, or no contact at all depending on circumstance. I strongly suspect that one of the above scenarios is likely true, however, the child welfare system presents many variables. Anything is possible.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

This one really hurts.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I guess the big question is even though Sara Packer was allegedly not involved in her husbands sexual stuff, she knew about it. "

I believe there are indications that she was involved. The affidavit of PC in the murder case indicates that, according to Sullivan,she was turned on when he was raping her adopted daughter. In addition, she took far fewer sleeping pills than Sullivan, and I believe it is within the realm of possibility that she may have been trying to do in the one witness who could clearly implicate her.

Anonymous said...

I have no reason to doubt you other that how you take advantage of friends and families requests. and sara packer and her defense in in jaic

Anonymous said...

BO, I was talking to someone who has a great deal of experience in the Human Services field. The person made some interesting points. One point was that in thousands of cases where good things happen, sadly bad things can and do happen. Secondly, and sadly, all to often bureaucracy tends to close ranks when something does happen instead of really exploring what happened. The person also said politics can sometimes come into play. For example HD Directors are appointed and supposedly not really part of the entrenched bureaucracy. However, if they try to make changes or question existing policy they are sometimes attacked by back channels to county council who may want to score points over the executive. Also the courts sill often close ranks with the lifetime bureaucratic leadership.

I found the entire conversation very illuminating. I know you know some past folks in different positions but it is a shame you could not talk to this person as they really had noting to gain or lose and no bone in this fight.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I would love to be able to talk to Valerie in particular, since she came under some serious criticism. The fact that these people are unable to speak is what made me hesitate whether I should write this at all.

Anonymous said...

Caseworker salaries are negotiated by their union and capped by the state. Northampton County caseworkers are working under an expired contract. The costs of caseworker salaries are largely reimbursed by the state and use little county money. The Northampton County caseworker pay scale hits the state salary cap. The state cap reflects the value that the state and its citizens place on the work of caseworkers. The state has been working hard to privatize the work of many caseworkers so that it costs the state less. The result is that the state is paying less to private contractors who pay less. The contract is negotiated with county administration and not CYF administration.

Anonymous said...

What is an HD Director?

Anonymous said...

The work of a caseworker can be difficult. Stresses come from a number of places. First, the subject matter is difficult, and caseworkers listen daily to stories of misfortune and suffering and illness and poverty and abuse and neglect. Such a daily negative barrage has a cumulative effect on anyone. Second, clients of caseworkers are not always voluntary so are not always helpful and cooperative. Those that seek help are not always able to help those who help them - drugs, alcohol, mental illness, physical disability, poverty, personalities. Third, many in the community, even professionals, don't really understand what caseworkers do, and they place unreasonable and unrealistic demands on caseworkers, yell at caseworkers, blame caseworkers, interfere with caseworkers, and request all sorts of information and access that is confidential under the law. Oh, how many times dealing with particular "professionals" can be the most difficult part of the job. Fourth, the demands and requirements to complete local and state bureaucratic, redundant, unhelpful paperwork can be overwhelming and take more time to complete than a 10 minute visit or telephone call with a client, especially in CYF. Fifth, internal politics, getting a lot of attention here, are inevitable where more than two people come together in an endeavor. It can be difficult to just do what you are supposed to do and mind your own business. Sixth, pressures from the community produced by election results, local and state budgets, news events, blogs, Facebook posts, and activist individuals or groups. Seventh, stresses and pressures from one's own personal life outside of work. Caseworkers need to balance all of these successfully every day all the time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:39, I appreciate and respect what you do, and doubt I could do it for very long. Whay changes would you make, if you were King (or Queen).

Anonymous said...

Sara Packer was not the only caseworker in Northampton County or elsewhere with unnatural colored hair or hairstyle. If this is to be considered a red flag, there are still those out there waving flags. You cannot penalize someone for hair color? Schools do it. Putting a green or orange or blue or other color is not what you would expect of professional. That ER nurse with purple hair any time other than Halloween does not touch me or my children. I can't imagine a caseworker with green hair being taken seriously in court or taking a child from school to foster care, much less being promoted. But they are, and everywhere. Maybe its just me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I can think of one exception. The boys on William Allen's basketball team like to dye their hair unusual colors, mostly blue and yellow, with an occasional orange. They are showmen. It's kinda' neat, to be honest. Gives them swag.

Anonymous said...

Maybe off the main topic here, but, Wow, 845, hair color and clothes are often how people define themselves. Shouldn't we pay attention when someone is telling us who they are? Wouldn't that be disrespectful?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You're getting caught up in attire. I'm a bit more concerned about her statements that she never wanted Grace.

Anonymous said...

Kids doing this dye the hair thing in high school is one step away for a gang life! That's what all that swag talk is about.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Those are their school colors . Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

1055, grandson?

Anonymous said...

You can not tell good people from bad people by their looks, it's silly to even try.

From what I understand, there was history here that went beyond how someone looks.

Someone drop the ball... as we eviscerate each other based on politics and everything else...Can't we get THIS right? WTF

Anonymous said...

1039, I agree. However, my problem with internal politics is when it becomes corrupt, unethical, harms children and families, and staff who refuse to accept these practices are punished. It is important for the public to understand this portrays a thumbnail sketch of problems that need to be exposed. Administration is hypocritical, they expect of others what is not expected of themselves. If I signed off on sick time for an employee I supervise, then went and spent the afternoon at his home after drinking large amounts of wine at lunch with him, and then returning to work later that day, I venture to say I would have been suspended or fired. This is what the taxpayers have funded---not only observed by me, but several other co-workers. I don't know perhaps I should have just looked the other way?
Some years ago there was a case I was working on and children needed to be placed away from their mother and the maternal grandmother came forward for the children. Although she had some challenges, she was more than workable. At that time, we were dictated by a "kinship" bulletin to do everything we possibly could to keep kids with family, inclusive of providing services to them in order to preserve the family. I fought hard and won to keep kids with this grandmother, but Kevin was heavily supporting a co-supervisor who repeatedly told me we should "JUST PUT THEM IN FOSTER CARE, IT WILL BE EASIER"------you too should be appalled, extremely appalled by this! It is criminal, in my opinion. This individual is currently involved in another legal matter within another department in DHS, and I am not surprised.
For you critics looking to why did she stay 22 years????
I have colleagues/friends, who fought side by side with me, I was not alone!!! These people got me through, my exposure of this agency is HEAVILY supported, that's why I have the courage to do it. They are scared and rightly so, these administrators have attempted many times to come after me, but when I stood tall and firm against them, they backed down, knowing deep down who was right! It has not been easy to say the least, but I don't want pity, I don't want attention, please believe me the kids and families of,this county deserve better than what The leader of this division continues to cultivate.
I want to end with one last story that I hope brings people to have more faith in what I am saying. Some years ago, an adopted young man was brought to my attention as I was being directed to remove custody from his adoptive parents and place him in foster care because allegedly they did not want him anymore. Upon assessment, I learned this young man to be locked away in a Residential treatment facility for several years, never ever having received one ounce of treatment for the issue he was placed for. I discovered this by reading through the history of the case and his adoptive parents kept insisting it was true. I advocated for his adoptive parents to not lose custody of this child because clearly this was not their fault! To me the system failed this child, period! Administrator Ross Marcus attempted to discipline me for reading the child's record. After threatening to go to the press, he backed down and went on his not so merry way! Thank you all for listening---believe me my intentions are pure, at this point I welcome critics!
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

"Maybe off the main topic here, but, Wow, 845, hair color and clothes are often how people define themselves" 11:04PM

What if a caseworker was dying their hair the favorite color of a child for which they wish to show solidarity, it might just reach a kid. The kid might think someone cares about me enough to look foolish, the kid might even feel part of the team.

Looks mean nothing without context. History matters most and now Grace is part of OUR history.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1055, grandson?"

No, bigot. My grandson does b=not dye his hair.It is something some of the boys (and girls) at Wm Allen do, and it is their school color. They are proud and should be. You are a bigot and shouldn't be.

Gary W. Gorman said...



"I don't know perhaps I should have just looked the other way?" Mary Beth Jacavage



Um, yes! YES, you did...look the other way. You admittedly never raised any real or valid concerns about Sara Packer, you engaged in gossip, innuendo and/or rumor with your co-horts-in-crime (I mean co-workers) by enjoying and listening to how s/he would label Ms. Packer as a "freak" and now after 22 years with the County, a cushy retirement package and faced with devastating headlines about what your co-worker did, you are blogging and talking about how everyone is wrong and you were always right; libeling Kevin Dolan, Pat Himmelwright and Val Cammerenne along your bitter way.

As I say to my adopted (and biological) children...point the finger at yourself and stop blaming everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Gary, if you haven't noticed, that is exactly what I am doing, even in my cushy retirement. I am taking responsibility and doing the right thing!

Gary W. Gorman said...

too bad that it took you 22 years to figure it out. now, you unleash your venom. I wish you acted like this when Sara Packer was your contemporary. She got promoted because she didn't create waves, kept to herself and pointed fingers at everyone but herself, much to the enjoyment of her audience...hmmm....sounds like you.

I notice.

Anonymous said...

I get it now, thx.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gary Gorman, You noticed wrong, which is pretty much your norm. Jacavage has made waves at CYF for years. She is not the kind of person who keeps her head down. That has earned her enemies. I completely disagree with her assessment of Kevin Dolan, but not with her right to make her concerns known, so long as she IDs herself. While I am not into internecine warfare within a department, it strikes me that CYF might be just a little too insular. The whole point of my stories is that the county itself needs to stop circling the wagons. I respect the need for confidentiality when it comes to children or an employee matter, but that is often used as an excuse to cover systemic problems, and that could include a management that is all too often willing to protect its own at the expense of children whose interests should be the primary obligation. I agree the message should be considered from all angles. But just as I would not throw Kevin under the bus, nor would i do the same to Mary Beth.

Gary W. Gorman said...

I haven't, not do I intend to, throw Mary Beth under the proverbial bus. I'm simply hoping that she is realizing that the sara packers in the world and her devastation that she havoc'ed aren't a dime/a dozen, but are very calculated maneuvers from a sadistic, paraphilic sociopath. jmho.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Packer would not have been fired for her husband abusing a child. She would have been fired if the DPW found her to be responsible for the abuse of a child. In that case she could not have continued to work for the county or to be a foster parent, or any job that required a child abuse clearance. Being responsible for child abuse is not always a criminal offense, and those decisions are often overturned.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Packer would not have been fired for her husband abusing a child. She would have been fired if the DPW found her to be responsible for the abuse of a child. In that case she could not have continued to work for the county or to be a foster parent, or any job that required a child abuse clearance. Being responsible for child abuse is not always a criminal offense, and those decisions are often overturned.

Anonymous said...

When I had a difference of opinion with my previous managers, I was wrong, even when I was right. That builds resentment. I get that. But I also get that my managers could have been right, too, from a different point of view. I've never had a manager that didn't have a pretty strong ego who didn't enjoy calling the shots and who hated to defer to the opinion of an underling. I would guess you encountered strong egos. Weak individuals with strong egos are dangerous people. When you expose what you want to expose, please stick to the facts, because your opinion won't count, so your examples must stand on their own. And please dont call names or characterize behavior because that might open you up to libel charges. You not only want to be principled, but you also want to look principled. And strong. Coming from a position of strength.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd agree, and what I recite in this blog are what Mary Beth says happened, and fairly recently.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Our, 439? Who do you speak for?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Please do not post anonymous attacks aimed at a reader who identifies himself or herself.

Anonymous said...

It is time for the CYF administrators to retire. Forty + years is enough. The skeletons on the closet would cover a football field.

Anonymous said...

There is a clear distinction between differing opinions and actions/in actions that are taken or not taken that affect peoples lives.
I'm not referring to petty differences of opinion, I stated many true specific examples of abuse of clients by administration.
I find it interesting that 1107---none of these examples mean anything. You still chalk things up to a mere difference of opinion and strong egos? If these clients stood before county council perhaps everyone would believe?
427----yes, an overhaul is needed---they need to go. Staff, children, and families deserve better!

Here is another huge problem Kevin Dolan fails to address---there are some individuals who are required to do paperwork and others who are not monitored, are permitted to do poor work, or no work at all. We have indicated abuse cases lacking any documentation.
Kevin has favorites, has had favorites for his entire tenure, and in the Department as it is currently running, that old saying of "it's not what you know, but who you know", should be the motto for CYF.
When I took the concerns about the agency attorney to Allison Frantz, the first question she asked me was, "who is she connected to?"
You should be appalled by this!!!!
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

717, your examples don't mean nothing. It is very clear that you are quite passionate and believe strongly in what you write about. "I find it interesting" is a bit snarky. I've been under the gun where I worked in the past with a boss that I didnt match with and troublemaking coworker from hell. I can relate in that way, and my kids needed me to pay the rent. Whatever its about, the person in charge is in charge, and different rules apply to them than those who wait or clear tables. Some people argue their feelings and some argue with facts. Asking who somebody knows sounds like a realist wants to find out about personal ties, and a lot of people hire friends. How wrong or right that might be matters less when the hire is a star performer. Reading here anyone can see that the moderator shapes the argument so it appears as he sees it, so he is right to delete comments, even when he is the only one in a conversation calling names, so as a for instance, there is nothing at all you could do ever if your difference of opinion was with this moderator, because he would just delete you. I can easily share your passion, but not your emotion. Nobody cares how I feel, but sometimes I can still effect change stating unemotionally what is and leading others to see what I see. Argue from strength and principle on facts, and dont get yourself deleted.

Anonymous said...

1107and 840---my apology! Thank you for your advice! I re-read your posts and I misinterpreted your point.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

Pat, Kevin, Val,
As you know, every issue I openly revealed on this blog I spoke to each of you respectfully attempting to have some conflict resolution.
In your interests of self protection, you met me with resistance. Your actions were wrong then, and are wrong now.
The children, families and staff deserve much better respect and attention from the department.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

Amen to that!! clear out the top and put people in that are ready to make changes and support the case workers efforts to help these families instead of making every decision about how it impacts the budget that's over by a million dollars thanks to careless spending on things that were far less important then preserving families ..find people who still actually care about the well being of these children to make the ultimate decisions about their custody ...Mary Beth was one of the few supervisors willing to fight for what was right ...not sure anyone else will stand up for the case workers or the families the same way you did ..bravo for your courage in speaking about what we all know to be true ... many of us feared your leaving because their is no longer a voice of reason or protection from the corruption ..supervisors are mostly hired now for how they obey the powers that be instead of their ability to support their case workers or do there jobs ...wish you were still here to lead us but thank you for still telling it like it is !!!

Anonymous said...

As long as the powers that be have a love affair with the leadership of CYF don't expect any changes. If only all those young women over the years could tell us their tales.

Anonymous said...

I have it on good authority that Norco's CYF administrator stands up for caseworkers and children every day in ways most caseworkers wouldnt know. He speaks to a lot of community groups. His good relationships with county administrators brought C and Y exemptions from hiring freezes. Because of Kevin Dolan there is now an inhouse legal team, where years ago caseworkers presented the cases almost themselves with a part time lawyer at their side. He provides trainings and meetings and encourages morale boosting activities. He solicits caseworker opinions and takes those opinions to state meetings. He has lobbied the state overseers to eliminate and reduce cumbersome paperwork and has been given permission to offer overtime for caseworkers to catch up. He tries to put a positive spin on things so caseworkers dont hate where they work and hate their jobs. He has tried to respond to changes in the law and regulations to give his caseworkers an advantage. He supports the agency and caseworkers from inappropriate criticisms and scoldings from the licensing office. He personally fields phone calls and complaints about caseworkers that those caseworkers never even hear about. He defends caseworkers in lawsuits against the sgency. He is paid to manage and to be your boss, not your buddy. He has kept Norco at the top of county C and Y agencies, so keep your ears open at training opportunities with other county C and Y agencies and you'll notice how much better Norco C and Y is than some of its neighbors. As I read your paragraph, you dont present yourself as a seasoned caseworker with generstions of observations to fall back on, but as a newer caseworker with limited historical experience. If you are so unhappy and in such opposition to your employer, you should really evaluate why you stay. Lehigh, Bucks, Berks, Montgomery, and Warren counties might have something better to offer, especially if you think Norco is as bad as you say it is.

Anonymous said...

437---you forgot to mention KevinDolan was just told by the state that he is on the cusp of breaking the law. This law has to do with placing children with next of kin before placing them in foster care. The AOPC, Administrative Office Of Pennsylvania Courts, have observed this department to be sorely lacking. This should come as no surprise, as I have shown you, the motto Kevin supports is, "let's put them in foster care, it will be easier." This is against the law as the AOPC has very strictly informed MR. Dolan.
Sexual Harassment is also against the law.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

943pm. I have the utmost respect for you for your post. Other staff have told me they even fear to post anonymously like you did.
Thank you for,your support. The majority of you there are working so so hard every day. It is you and your colleagues that make Kevin look good
As I said when I left, I will not ever stop supporting the work you do. This is about helping our most vulnerable population, our children!

Standing ovation to 943!
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

In the interest of self protection, the administration has now removed front line supervisors from "staffings." A staffing is required for cases where children are at very high risk, and/or an immediate threat of safety exists.
A mix of supervisory staff and admin staff met and as a team, made extremely important decisions. Although this process presented challenges at times, supervisors felt they had a small voice, even though feeling "beat down" at times.
Administrators have now removed supervisory personnel from these staffings and have said, "it's working."

There are supervisors fighting to get back in these staffings to have a voice.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

427 and 1156---thanks so much! Appreciate the support!
Mary Beth

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Because of Kevin Dolan there is now an inhouse legal team,"

Is this an improvement?

Anonymous said...

Bernie--Great observation! Kevin's words say this is a help to workers. I cannot speak for them, but I know first hand there were more complaints than mine to administration regarding Valerie.
Dan has assisted me to get things done on some cases that had been like moving mountains in the agency. One case in particular, Dan assisted with a child going to Florida with family fairly quickly after removing the child, that I gave huge kudos about because it was the right thing, but unusual for the agency.
I have been quick to praise positives at the agency as much as I have advocated for the morally and ethically right things to do.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

The majority of staff at the time supported the hiring of a very competent attorney, Nancy, who is brilliant and a Harvard Graduate, if I have it correctly. We made it known to Kevin we felt she was the best candidate at the time.
Kevin told us hiring her would be like having the "same old, same old."
Some years ago an annual survey done by the staff revealed numerous complaints about the legal department.
Administration actually attempted to implicate me somehow in this, however I was away at a 6 day training at the time, and much to their dismay, they could not hold me responsible for the major complaints being filed.
These complaints continue today. Some caseworkers feel they have been demeaned in open court by their own attorney, and have expressed this to administration. They have told me their stories first hand.
Mary Beth


Anonymous said...

320, to echo previous comment, where did she come from? She was not an active member of the Bar. She was not a common presence in the halls of the courthouse. It might make sense that she got the job because she was really good, but your comments seem to shoot that down. Or that she knew or was related to someone, and I think asking that is a fair question. Solicitor appointments are often based on friendships, politics, and campaign donations, I'm told.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bernie for the exposure! I appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to listen to me and help me and my former colleagues expose this cover up.
Many county officials are now aware, hopefully, these officials are taking necessary steps toward correction.
Amy Trapp, Director of Human Resources continues the cover up.

My deepest and warmest appreciation to all of you who have supported the moral and ethical right things to do!

To WFMZ, NBC, The Morning Call---just to name a few----I am very interested, I must take care of a few things, but I am not going away!

This blog is one of the finest things ever happened in Northampton County----kudos to you Bernie! I was a reader, but never had posted a single comment until now---one last thought for everyone which will stay with me for a long time-----
WEAK INDIVIDUALS WITH STRONG EGOS ARE DANGEROUS PEOPLE---Anonymous

With Deep Appreciation,
Mary Beth

Bernie O'Hare said...

As near as I can tell, Cammarene was a deputy solicitor in Lehigh County for a number of years. That was her only job coming to NorCo. While in Lehigh County, she did write an article on the Indian Child Welfare Act. https://www.pabar.org/public/committees/CHI01/pubs/newsletters/ChildAdvSpring06.pdf

Anonymous said...

1115, I wonder what her particular duties were as a solicitor. I wonder if she was a political appointee. I wonder if she left after a change of the county's top leader to make way for a new appointee or if there was another reason. I wonder if Mr. Gorman is able to shed any light on that.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think being an agency solicitor is easy??? 90% of the time, caseworkers do not agree with court decisions. Valerie is faced with criticism everyday from caseworkers that are guided by their hearts and emotions for the children they protect. Valerie needs to look at situations from a legal standpoint so just because she differs in views, some view her negatively. I can't imagine how one would feel going to work everyday knowing that decisions that have to be made are not going to be liked but that is the job. I commend her for the work she does!

Bernie O'Hare said...

She was not a political appointee and is career service. I posted some information about her that reflects on her poorly and lends credence to those who say CYF needs some changes. But I have also received information, and as recently as today, from people who think very highly of her and her abilities. So I appreciate your perspective.