Ga. agency re­sponds to child safety probe back­log

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

AT­LANTA (AP) — The in­terim di­rec­tor of the Ge­or­gia Di­vi­sion of Fam­ily and Chil­dren Ser­vices has or­dered manda­tory over­time to ad­dress back­logged child pro­tec­tive ser­vices in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

DFCS of­fi­cials said Tues­day that more than 3,300 in­ves­ti­ga­tions are over­due and the num­ber ac­counts for nearly 50 per­cent of the state’s cur­rent caseload. Of­fi­cials say in­ves­ti­ga­tions into child safety are sup­posed to be com­pleted within 45 days.

In­terim Di­rec­tor Bobby Ca­gle says he con­sid­ers each case a po­ten­tial risk for vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren.

Of­fi­cials say re­ports of child abuse and ne­glect have risen over the past year from an aver­age of about 6,600 re­ports to 8,400 re­ports monthly.

Gov. Nathan Deal au­tho­rized fund­ing for an additional 500 case­work­ers over the next three years. Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices spokes­woman Ravae Gra­ham says 175 have been hired so far.

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