Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 90th General Assembly
November 25th, 2016 • News
November 25, 2016 – Senator Keith Ingram audio report of news from the 90th General Assembly.
In this week’s report:
- There are encouraging developments shaping up in the Department of Human Services. It looks as if the department and the governor are serious about improving child services over the long term.
- The department’s Division of Children and Family Services is going through turmoil, and we need to implement substantive changes as soon as possible in order to protect children in danger of abuse and neglect.
- The Division has issued a report in which it says that the state’s foster care system is in crisis. Those are alarming words, especially for the 5,200 children now in foster care and their families.
- Employee turnover is one of the root causes of the foster care crisis. There has been an exodus of experienced personnel, combined with high turnover among newly hired family service workers.
- What this means is that workloads get larger. Case workers take longer to make home visits and schedule services such as counseling. The result is that children remain in foster care for longer periods, because the process of safely returning them to their families is being drawn out.
- This has led to an alarming increase in the number of children in foster care. In the past year alone, the Human Services Department has seen an increase of 30% in the number of children in foster care.
- One solution is to hire more family service workers. The governor has proposed adding $26.7 million to the DHS budget so it can meet the need for more care and services for broken families.
- This is not an argument for expanding government. It is a clear example of how improved government services can help children be reunited with their families by providing families with the help they need.
Click to Listen - Audio Recording from November 25, 2016