WTF
😐 Jessica Fu

Did you stumble across one of these freaky things while walking to work this morning?

If you scurried away out of fear before taking a closer look, here's what's up: These "Baby Jayden" dolls have been dotted around the city to raise awareness about Washington state social workers' campaign for higher wages. As the cost of living in King County rises, social workers across Washington state are struggling to stay afloat.


As a result, according to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, there is about a 20 percent turnover rate for child welfare social workers.

Here's more from Washington Federation of State Employees:

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Baby Jayden represents the kids waiting for care in King County. The courts have ruled that a ratio of eighteen caseload to one social worker (caseload) is the standard. But in King County, 67% of social worker caseloads exceed this standard. A single case can include multiple kids and adults.

This caseload crisis slows down the response that is possible for kids who need care now. This caseload crisis has led to a tremendous retention crisis that is magnified by the reality that people who do the work can’t even afford to live in the area where the work is performed.

What's going on in your neighborhood? Send news tips to neighborhoods@thestranger.com.