“There are gobs of paperwork, they’ve collected it since the 50’s,” said Allbright. “They boxed it all up and put it in storage, and now they’re trying to convert it all to digital copies by scanning them”
Allbright continued, “we have to go through and compare the hard copy to the original copy, and that’s my job.”
Allbright is a slender short guy, who always dresses sharp and has an equally sharp mouth. As he sipped his oversized cup of sleepy time tea, he shared some of the most prominent cases he’s come across, many ranging from hilarious to gut wrenching.
“The best files to read are the case referrals. You read everything; a lot of it is about revenge on exes, baby mama’s, baby drama. Every referral has to be investigated no matter what,” said Allbright. “People call in with some crazy shit.”
However some of the things that Allbright encounters are hard to understand and take a large emotional toll.
“I also see photos of abuse. A lot of cigarette burns bruises, diaper rashes. This one I remember was a little boy probably three or four, and he was abused covered in cigarette burns, but in the evidence photos he looked happy as ever. That got to me, because the poor little thing didn’t know what was going on.”
Allbright also has insight to other departments associated with social services. Many of the workers get together on breaks to share stories and get support if they have a particularly difficult case.
“One of my friends that works up in benefits plus, which covers food stamps. On breaks we get together and share stories and hear some crazy stuff,” said Allbright. “This guy she was helping had mental issues, and she had to complete an interview with him. He, during the interview, pulled out a grocery bag literally filled with shit. He said that he was collecting people and animal poop. She was petrified. But cases like that show us why we exist, to help people.”
He continued, “They all have cans of Lysol and air fresheners on their desks, they have competitions about who has the best air fresheners. They get the brunt of smelly people up there, but I’m safe from that down in my job.”
Other ones can be more crazy, Allbright continued, “This one woman was reported to have an illegal babysitting ring set up. Apparently she was babysitting 16 to 18 kids daily. When the social workers came she sent all the kids across the highway to hide in the bushes and behind cars, eventually she was caught.”
Allbright has been working at family services for almost a year and a half; trying to gain experience fro his sociology and psychology double major.
“When I have especially hard days, normally when we’re working on a current case, I pick up a bottle of margaritas on the way home and clear my night for Honey Boo Boo,” laughed Albright. “It doesn’t get to me as much as it used to, I remind myself that if I’m reading about it, someone knows what’s going on, and there’s help on the way.”