Mass. social worker raps child strip searches

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LEOMINSTER, Mass. (AP) - State social workers in Leominster say they are forced to strip search children receiving social services when allegations or a history of physical abuse is at issue.

Social worker Joseph Manna, who works in the Leominster office of the Department of Children and Families and also is a vice president of the union representing caseworkers, says some social workers have quit because of the strip search policy.

Cayenne Isaksen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families, said in a statement that workers view a child’s body to document physical abuse if it’s evident. She was not more specific.

Manna says the policy of “viewing bodies” in the Leominster office requires social workers to view children who are not investigated for physical abuse. He says state law does not permit such searches.

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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