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FROM THIS EPISODE

After years of finger-pointing over the abuse and death of children in public care, social workers have sued LA County over staffing ratios at the Department of Children and Family Services. They claim they're often responsible for twice as many endangered children as their contract calls for. We hear from a social worker who's quitting her job and from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Also, retired Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court Ron George talks about same-sex marriage and why legislators w don't provide more money for the justice system.

Image-for-WWLA.jpgOn our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, President Obama's Affordable Care Act is the biggest new government program since Medicare, but the disastrous roll-out is threatening his second term.  Can he restore public confidence before he becomes a "lame duck?"

Banner Image: Angelica Cervantes (R) and her six-yera-old son Tomas Cervantes, sit in a motel room, Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Gideon Brower
Anna Scott

Reporter's Notebook Former California Chief Justice Ronald George 9 MIN, 49 SEC

ww131107George_bk.jpgAs a young lawyer, Ronald George defended capital punishment before the US Supreme Court. As a superior court judge, he spent two years conducting the trial of Hillside Strangler Angelo Buono. As Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court, he cast the deciding vote to legalize same-sex marriage — then wrote the opinion upholding Proposition 8, which restored the ban on that same practice. Those stories and more make up his 800-page oral history, Chief: The Quest for Justice in California.

Guests:
Ronald George, California State Supreme Court

Chief

Ronald M. George

Main Topic Are LA Social Workers 'Set Up for Failure?' 18 MIN, 41 SEC

LA County's Department of Children and Family Services receives 160,000 child-abuse hotline calls every year. In February, a scathing report commissioned by the Board of Supervisors blamed bureaucrats and social workers for leaving children in unsafe homes. In July, new management moved swiftly to fire four child welfare workers in the case of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy allegedly tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend. Later that month, yet another panel was created to investigate and recommend "sweeping reforms." This week, the union of 55,000 workers sued the County, claiming that an arbitrator's ruling to reduce worker caseloads is being ignored.

Guests:
Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times (@gtherolf)
Zev Yaroslavsky, LA County Board of Supervisors (@ZevYaroslavsky)
April Carlson, LA County Department of Children and Family Services
Philip Browning, LA County Department of Children and Family Services

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