Department of Child Services to hire 113 more caseworkers amid heavy caseload

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By: Brian Slodysko/Associated Press

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s child welfare agency is being told to hire more than 100 additional caseworkers to deal with a big jump in child abuse and neglect cases.

Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday he was authorizing the Department of Child Services to add 113 caseworkers.

The agency says it has seen a 26 percent increase in its caseload over the past year. Pence blamed much of that increase on drug abuse, particularly heroin addiction.

Separately, the Legislature this year approved $7.5 million to add about 100 caseworkers after the agency was criticized for having most of its child welfare workers dealing with larger caseloads than allowed by state law.

Pence says most of those workers have been hired and the second group of additional staffers will cost around $7 million more.