York County Children, Youth and Families had as many as 29 caseworker vacancies last year. As of June 3, the agency was operating with just six.
York County has maintained its status of being third highest in Pennsylvania for the number of child abuse referrals. While there was a decrease in these referrals, the county had an increase for General Protective Service’s referrals for neglect.
Caseworkers in our local child welfare agency are, in a sense, first responders without a uniform. When called to a home where abuse is suspected, they're entering a mysterious place with potential perils as they approach people who don't want their attention and bemoan public intervention on behalf of the government. The stigma that a caseworker is there to take a child from his home unfortunately persists, even though this is never a caseworkers' initial goal.
Laws require the agency to make reasonable efforts with families to provide services that will help families remedy the conditions that brought them into the child welfare system so that children can remain in their own homes safely. When a children’s safety cannot be ensured in the home and they are removed, the first goal is to reunite them with their family as soon as possible.
Caseworkers are required to work long hours with extreme demands, little appreciation, great criticism and dramatic impacts on their own personal lives. Yet because of their courage, sacrifices, passion and advocacy for York County children and families, we have seen positive outcomes related to children involved in our system.
In comparison to other similar-sized counties, York County is performing well when it comes to the median length of stay for children who are removed from their home and placed in out-of-home care. Children removed from their homes in York County spend much less time in out of home care than children do in other counties in Pennsylvania. Also, York County children who are reunified with their families are less likely to come back into care than in other counties statewide.
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The Pennsylvania State Resource Family Association is holding their 43rd State Wide Conference October 16-18, 2019. During this conference, the Association accepts nominations from their provider agencies for various awards, including Caseworker of the Year. Laura Pisano was nominated by one of our provider agencies for this honor. On October 4, 2019, Laura was informed that out of all the nominations that were received, Laura was chosen as the Pennsylvania State Resource Association’s Caseworker of the Year. Laura will be presented with this award on October 18, 2019, during the Associations Conference.
Since May 21, 2007, Laura Pisano has been a vital part of the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families. In 2007, Laura received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social work from Kutztown University and in 2012 Laura obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Weidner University. While at York County, Laura has worked in Intake, Family Support, and Placement and for the last 6 plus years, Laura has worked in the Permanency Unit. Since coming to the Permanency Unit, Laura has finalized over 125 adoptions. Laura is a vital part of the Permanency Unit and is always willing to lend a helping hand. Being a caseworker is a tough job. Laura is dedicated to the families and children that she serves and always ensures the families and the children have all their needs met, whether it be through referring for services, or just being there to listen when the family is in crisis. Laura has a passion for her work and for her families. Laura is insightful, intelligent and most of all compassionate. There are days that Laura may shed many tears for the children and families she serves, but there are many more days that she shares in the joy of seeing a forever family created when an adoption is finalized.
Laura has been married to Robert “Bobby” Pisano for 11 years and has two beautiful children, Colton 7 and Norah 5. Laura enjoys family time, and supporting her children and her husband in their various sporting adventures.
York County Human Services
100 West Market Street York, PA 17401 US