It’s hard to imagine many jobs more difficult than that of a caseworker for a child protective services agency. The hours are long, the pay is low, the stress is high and the stakes can be, literally, life and death. Most workers have the best of intentions.

But one of the things caseworkers often say is just not true. Caseworkers often claim they are “damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t.” But when it comes to taking away children, caseworkers are only damned if they don’t. It’s one of the reasons so many children are needlessly consigned to the chaos of foster care.