DFCS case workers will now be required to work overtime in an effort to reduce the thousands of backlogged child protective cases through out the state.
Starting Tuesday, workers at the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services will be required to work a minimum of eight hours overtime each week until each of the more than 3,300 overdue child protective services investigations are taken care of. The 3,300 overdue cases represent about half of all child protective service investigations, according to the Georgia Department of Human Services. Bobby Cagle, interim director of Georgia DFCS implemented the policy following a rise in reports of child abuse and neglect in the last year.
Reports have increased by almost 2000 cases monthly to an average of 8,400 initial reports a month, according to DHS. With the new policy, Cagle hopes to take care of 95 percent of the overloaded cases safely and completely by the end of July.
In addition to the mandatory increase in working hours, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has promised to allocate funding for 500 additional case workers over the next three years. 175 have already been hired.