Indiana child welfare agency to spend $22M on raises

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Department of Child Services is spending $22 million on raises for staff as part of an effort to improve the agency that’s seen rising caseloads and internal battles.

The Journal Gazette reports that the raises that will take effect Wednesday for more than 3,600 employees, or about 87 percent of the agency’s staff. Department spokeswoman Noelle Russell says the raises will bring caseworkers’ salaries on par with child welfare workers in other states.

The raises come after Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb created a group to review the agency following criticism from the department’s former director, Mary Beth Bonaventura.

Long festering problems in the child welfare system exploded into public view in December when Bonaventura resigned. In a scathing letter, she accused Holcomb’s administration of making management changes and service cuts that “all but ensure children will die.”

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