Stephanie Sledge TheGovernmentRag 12/22/2010
Breaking: Missouri woman treated like a terrorist at a career center and asked to submit to psychological domestic abuse assessments to job search
More radical governmental control and spying has snuck its way into Missouri’s Department of Social Services Family Division and their contracted job search program called the Missouri Career Center, according to a long-time Nodaway County, Missouri resident. “Doreen”, (wants her name to remain anonymous because she fears retaliation by DFS), told The Government Rag today that she went to her scheduled appointment at the Missouri Career Center, which was mandatory for her to receive TANF benefits. When she arrived she was told they were going to go over a few items with her before they started the job search. Once the interview started, she was handed a piece of paper called a Domestic Violence screening and asked questions about her personal psychological state and insinuated that they were looking for terrorists. When she recognized that this was a clear violation of her right to privacy she spoke out against the so-called job search tactics and refused to take part in the assessment citing that she was there for a job search and not a psychological evaluation. Doreen expressed that she felt like the workers were trained to scan people for terrorism and directly reported to DFS if they do not comply.
Doreen has been a long time manager for a local company for over 8 years and recently was laid off due to the economic crumbling of America. She applied for government TANF assistance two months ago and receives a check to help her family for approximately two-hundred dollars. Doreen expressed that she has children, recently seperated, and has always been self-supporting. She also expressed that she doesn’t like government hand-outs but at this particular time, she needs help until she can find employment. Doreen was utterly appalled at the way the Missouri Career Center participates in the enabling of governmental spying, unlawful questioning, and probing into the psychological state of an individual when they are just there to look for jobs.
Doreen is a long-time activists for civil liberties and told the workers that the assessment was unconstitutional and did not have anything to do with her job searching. The workers, who she described as “dumbed down” were in virtual shock that someone could actually buck-the-system and question authority. Doreen also expressed, “I was so profoundly in shock that the workers literally just closed the book on me and told me that if I did not take part in this domestic violence assessment that I would be reported to my worker and deemed as “non-compliant.” I told the worker that I was not being non-compliant and that I am willing to participate in the job search requirements – but would not complete a psychological assessment when there is no court order, no doctor’s order, and no reason for them to conduct an investigation into my psychological state. I also reminded them that I have a right to privacy and that I did not feel that a career center has the authority to make such an assessment on me and report back to the government. I then stood up, told them that this was unlawful, and left the career center.”
After Doreen left the Missouri Career Center, she returned home and called her social worker in charge of her case to explain that she was not going to submit to this form of governmental spying or put up with a contracted career center gathering psychological information while treating her like a terrorists when she was just there to do a job search. The social worker told Doreen that she would look into the situation and get back to her about her options. As of this morning, Doreen says that the social worker called her back and told her that she would have to sign the assessment but that she could just write on the back that she is refusing to answer the questions. Doreen is hopeful that she will not have to submit to anymore radical governmental tyranny to get a job. Doreen expressed, “that the government seems to think that if a person needs government help for a few months that they should submit to the authorities and subject themselves to unconstitutional and unlawful mind-control tactics. People need to realize that just because you ask for help does not mean you are a lab rat for the system.”