PA Auditor General Praises Outlines Child Welfare System Improvement Plan

DePasquale has 28 recommendations to improve “broken” system

Parent and Child at Playground
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HARRISBURG (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released his action plan to improve the commonwealth’s child welfare system Wednesday.

The plan includes 28 recommendations for improving the state’s Children, Youth, and Families services.

Some of the suggestions include better staffing of the state’s ChildLine, spending an additional $90 million to fund caseworkers at the county level and bringing state child welfare laws into federal compliance to make Pennsylvania eligible for millions of dollars in additional funding.

“It’s going to be a long-term process on getting the funding in line and also the coordination between the counties and the case workers and law enforcement,” DePasquale told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News Wednesday. “That’s simply something we’re going to have to be vigilant on for a long period of time.”

Other recommendations include improving job training and criteria; something the auditor general says is already in the works between the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Human Services.  

“Also as a result of our report and the good work of people at the Department of Human Services, reducing the case load maximum from 30 right now – which is simply unmanageable for a caseworker – down to about 10,” DePasquale said. “We think that’s going to be tremendous progress as well.”

The recommendations come after DePasquale met with child welfare caseworkers, child abuse pediatricians and other experts from across the state following his release of the 80-page “State of the Child” report last fall that found the state’s welfare system is “broken.”

Jennifer Bloodworth and Joe DeStio contributed to this article.

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