On August 18, 2023, UPE continued the Meet and Confer with CPS management with regard to the above.
Per our previous Meet and Confer, UPE and management agreed to check in every thirty (30) days following the opening of the Welcoming Houses. Prior to the meeting, we received information regarding working conditions at the homes. Most issues centered on safety, supplies, training, and job duties. More specifically, running out of supplies and food, lighting, aggressive youth, what are the job duties, and when will the guidelines be coming?
Regarding safety, specifically lighting, while we were meeting, the department informed us that the owner of Pennsylvania had decided on a vendor to perform the work. The lighting at Chicago was also brought up, and the department said they would look into it. If you encounter an aggressive youth, per the department, you should first attempt to de-escalate, then contact the direct number/s for the assigned Sheriff’s Deputies (SDs) if de-escalation does not work. The department also suggested contacting The Source. The department has been made aware that there have been instances where the SDs have not answered; the department will be taking that back to the Sheriff’s Office. Per the department, a supervisor is assigned to order all supplies and/or food. CDSs should be covering each other for breaks and lunches. If there is not another CDS to cover, an FSW or a SW can cover. Cathi Johnson stated that she is in the process of writing the guidelines for the Youth Engagement Social Worker.
Thank you to the participants for your advocacy
Eric Booker, Priscilla Cochran-Navarra and Sarah Singleton