AUGUSTA- Officials from the Office of Child and Family Services updated state legislators Monday on the status of child welfare in the state.
According to Director Todd Landry, there has been a significant increase in the number of children under state care over the past year.
“When you have more kids in care, it taxes the system because you’re playing a little bit of catch up. To the credit of our governor, to the legislature and others, we are now catching up on that,” Landry said.
“We got more caseworkers being hired, as authorized by the legislature in the budget, so we think we’re going to be making more headway in that area in particular,” he said.
Landry said more caseworkers, supervisors, and case aides are being added to the department.
He said that makes it easier to safely help keep families intact.
“We’ve hired about 22 of the 33 lines that were authorized in the budget. So now we’ve got to make sure they’re well trained, well supported and then they’re out in the field to help reduce the caseworker demands that we’re experiencing right now,” Landry said.
The report currently shows the staffing turnover and vacancy rate within the department is at a two-year low, which officials said will only benefit families and children in care for the foreseeable future.
“I think all of us recognize how important it is for our kids to be safe in our state and our families to be well supported. We’re only are as strong as our children’s’ futures are bright,” Landry said.