On the same day the state released an independent report on workload and caseloads of staff at the Indiana Department of Child Services, Gov. Mike Pence sent a letter to several legislators seeking more funding to increase family case managers and supervisors at the state agency.
Despite the addition of 246 family case manager positions since 2013, DCS did not meet the regional caseload average of 12 and 17 cases for assessment and permanency family case managers, respectively, as outlined in Indiana statute.
The report makes several recommendations, including to design and institute case closure special initiatives to be implemented cyclically to help monitor and manage backlogs; identify routine and time-intensive ancillary family case manager duties and realign resources to support the FCMs; and evaluate and develop training systems for employees and supervisors.
The DCS says a few initiatives are currently underway, including restructured new FCM worker training and a comprehensive staff recruitment and retention plan.
In his letter to legislators, Pence asks for an additional $7,512,641 to be included in DCS’ FY 16/17 biennial budget each year to hire 100 additional family case managers and 17 supervisors in newly created positions.
Sen. President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said in a statement he supports the governor’s call for additional funding to hire more caseworkers. Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said he is very glad to see the governor asking for the additional funds and that it will remain “a priority of the Senate Democratic Caucus, that, above everything else, funding for the protection of our children will be in the budget for the coming two years.”
The full report and recommendations are available at www.in.gov/dcs.