By Staff –
The move follows reports the department has been understaffed, and its workers have been saddled with too-heavy caseloads in addition to the recent, high-profile death of a local three-year-old who critics say got lost in the system.
“We know child abuse happens in every state, in every county, and in every town, village, and city,” Dinolfo stated. “The sad truth is it happens in homes across this community. Today, I am announcing a comprehensive new eight-point plan for CPS. We know the societal challenges facing CPS here are not unique to our community. I happen to believe we can always do better. Together we are going to do just that, right here in Monroe County.”
The county’s plan includes additional funding for 30 new caseworker positions; increased compensation for workers; and the creation of a new child abuse and maltreatment hotline.
View Dinolfo’s full plan below, according to a county press release:
- The county’s 2018 County Budget will reflect funding for 30 new CPS Caseworker positions. The net addition of 30 Caseworkers will bring total CPS staffing back above 2010 levels.
- The county’s 2018 Budget will also include an upgrade to the CPS caseworker salary schedule. This increase in compensation will complement existing recruitment and retention efforts.
- Handheld smart tablets will be made available to all CPS caseworkers in the field to reduce red tape and paperwork. The tablets will connect directly to CPS’s case management hub.
- A local Child Abuse and Maltreatment Hotline will be re-established. The local hotline was closed in 2015. A local hotline allows for better vetting of vital reports made to CPS.
- At Dinolfo’s request, the Monroe County Department of Human Services will conduct a comprehensive review of state laws, regulations and guidelines that govern CPS casework.
- A new CPS Mentoring Program will be launched in 2018. It will include professional best practices, promote positive peer encouragement, and offer continued on-the-job training.
- The Monroe County Department of Human Services will collaborate with a trusted community partner to develop a CPS recruitment and retention public marketing campaign.
- A CPS staff development coordinator will be assigned to also function as a recruitment coordinator, with the goal of helping CPS recruits move from application to employment.
According to officials, the plan has been designed to complement the county’s other new initiatives to improve CPS, which include hiring per diem caseworkers to clear up old cases, as well as increased partnerships with community organizations in order to increase awareness and education regarding child wellness and child abuse prevention.
Individuals in need of help may report any suspected child abuse or maltreatment cases to the county’s Child Abuse Hotline, at 1-800-342-3720.