Gov. Nathan Deal today approved the hire of 100 new child protective service workers to assist with a recent influx of cases. The number of reports of child abuse and neglect has significantly increased since the opening of a centralized 24/7 Child Protective Services Intake Communications Center.
"If we do nothing else, we must always do everything in our power to ensure that our children are safe and that they get their best shot at a good life," Deal said. "Since June of last year, we have seen a 63 percent increase in the number of investigations and family support cases. I saw it necessary to hire 100 new workers, in addition to the 175 included in this year's budget. No child welfare case should ever lack the attention it so greatly deserves. Supplemental personnel will better equip our state to manage recent demand and help us reach our goal of a 15:1 caseload to caseworker ratio -- a nationwide best practice -- by 2017."
Funding for additional personnel will be included in the governor's amended FY15 budget.
"Over the last several months, Georgia DFCS has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of reports of child maltreatment," said Bobby Cagle, interim director of the Division of Family and Children Services. "These 100 new positions, in addition to the 175 previously committed and hired July 1, will allow us to quickly improve safety for vulnerable children throughout the state. I greatly appreciate Governor Deal's leadership in recognizing the pressing need and quickly allocating additional staff."
The governor will continue to evaluate the ratio between number of caseworkers and caseload on an ongoing basis.