Now Reading
3 Cass County child safety leaders have been accused of creating a toxic working environment. InForum

3 Cass County child safety leaders have been accused of creating a toxic working environment. InForum


Three Cass County child protective leaders

They have announced that they will resign after an

Internal investigation

They created a toxic work environment.

Cass County Administrator Robert Wilson has confirmed that Linda Dorff, Family Services Division manager, and Tamara Anderson (social worker supervisor), have decided to leave. Forum has requested their departure dates and the cost of severance pay and pay since they were placed on administrative leaves in December.

This confirmation came nearly three weeks after an interim Cass County Human Services director’s investigation revealed that VanCamp, Anderson, and Dorff had conspired to retaliate against employees raising concerns about child protection services management. The investigation revealed that some employees described their work environment as a cycle in domestic violence or bad marriages.

Dorff alerted directors to complaints about supervisors. As the directors looked into more details, more complaints emerged.

One grievance was that VanCamp made fun of an employee who came to him about work concerns in November. Anderson encouraged VanCamp while Dorff advised the supervisors to just ride the wave, according to the report.

Dorff stated that they would direct the next director long-term on how it is here, and that interim directors were only there to observe, as the report claimed.

The employee wrote that it sounded almost like they were planning/scheming.

Employees complained that VanCamp spoke to them in demeaning and inaccessible ways, which resulted in cases not being closed on time.

Cass County was helped by the North Dakota Department of Human Services. It oversees the human service zones.

Heather Steffl, spokeswoman at the state human service department, said in an email that leaving cases open can affect how children and families get services.

She said that personnel investigations are the responsibility of the county.

Anderson did not bully staff, but she was complacent in allowing misconduct to continue, according to the report. According to the report, Anderson was often absent from work and staff described her absence as unresponsive.

The report claimed that Dorff contributed to the distrust in child protective services. According to the report, the majority who were interviewed for the investigation said that Dorff, Anderson, or VanCamp had formed an alliance. This meant that Dorff protected Anderson’s supervisors rather than making them accountable.

Wilson stated that while the investigation was open to them, Wilson and Wilson decided to end it.

Sidney Schock (Economic Assistance Manager in Cass County) is currently on administrative leaves pending allegations of bullying and harassment as well as discrimination and intimidation. It is not clear if his case is related to the investigation into child protection services.

Steffl indicated that the state’s human service department will provide support for Cass County as necessary.

Steffl stated, “We are confident that the Cass County Human Services Zone front-line child welfare professionals will keep children safe and provide the best services.”

Gail Bollinger was appointed in December to replace Gail Johnson as the long-term director for the Cass County Human Services Zone. Monday, she stated at a zone board meeting, that she plans to hold listening sessions with staff to determine how to create a positive work environment.

The Forum did not receive messages from VanCamp or Dorff. Anderson was not reached by attempts to reach him.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.