June 15, 2020

On the Job: Alishia Glover

Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, Local 2081

"We’re on telework status and I’m on temporary assignment as a supervisor. The investigators in the field are still going to homes and hospitals to assess safety for children. They check in every morning and every afternoon via phone.

"We ask screening questions like whether the client or someone in the home has been infected, tested positive or been on quarantine. We don’t want any of the employees to put themselves at risk of exposure more than they are already.

"Initially, we didn’t have any PPE [personal protective equipment] at all. The union has maintained contact with management regarding safety issues as they are arising.  AFSCME expressed concerns that staff receive protective equipment to stay safe. We finally got masks and gloves issued.

"This is nothing anyone could be ready for, but we always work together, and this is no different. It’s always a collaborative effort to help each other out. Staff are continuing to rely on each other for support, advice, encouragement, direction and making sure information is shared. Supervisors are doing what they can to be supportive of those in the field, so they maintain their own safety while trying to assess the safety of children.

"Everyone is really trying hard; our staff is doing the best they can and trying to maintain the role and responsibility of the department as it relates to child protection, and also protect ourselves and our families at home.

"I’ve been with the department for 26 years in June. We come into this work for a reason. It isn’t always easy. But maintaining safety of children is important and when you have positive outcomes on your cases and positive influences with the families that helps to keep you focused and motivated."

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