Patricia van Staveren

As Interviewed by Sage Willmore, March 24, 2019

Patricia van Staveren: In Her Own Words

Patricia van Staveren. I worked as a social-worker for Child Protective Services. I got my college degree in Michigan and I'm married, three children, seven grandchildren.

So do you think that CPS workers tended to treat parents that had more money, better then parents that didn’t?

Sage I can only tell you what I did. I didn’t. But I will tell you that you have more cases of child abuse and/or neglect turned in in the projects and in apartment buildings then you do in more affluent neighborhoods because the homes are further apart and the neighbors don’t see or hear as much.

So it’s really gotta be blatant if you’re getting out to the neighborhoods. And we did have some in the neighborhoods, and some of it was pretty horrific. But you’ve got to have witnesses -- and a lot of the times in the more affluent areas, there are no witnesses.

And in the projects, everybody knows everybody else’s business. I know a coworker -- and it was a male this time who was out in the projects at night -- and the worker overheard them. There was a drug dealer selling drugs to somebody, and the person buying the drugs said, “Look there’s a cop coming.” And the drug dealer said “Nah, that’s just a social worker he’s going to apartment such and such -- that lady is always in trouble with the Children Protective...” And that was true, that was where he was headed.