Dallas Morning News: So many Dallas CPS investigators have quit, state has to bring in backups from other areas

Please read this excellent, in-depth report by the Dallas Morning News’ Bob Garrett on Child Protective Services’ employee turnover crisis in the Dallas area: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2016/04/so-many-dallas-cps-investigators-have-quit-the-state-has-to-move-in-backups-from-other-areas.html/

The Department of Family and Protective Services must employ the following changes and request adequate phased-in appropriations to implement these changes in how it recruits and retains its Child Protective Services workforce – its number one asset. DFPS must increase caseworker recruitment standards by requesting a substantial pay raise from the legislature to attract a larger pool of qualified applicants, and compensate those workers for the inherent hazards and stress of the job to enhance retention. Better retention will allow for the requisite field time, which in turn will allow DFPS to train and promote experienced supervisors from the caseworker ranks who are qualified to supervise. DFPS must implement the use of “just-in-time” replacement of workers for caseload control and management and avert the domino effect of resignations leading to reassigned cases to remaining workers leading to double caseloads leading to further resignations. Current Program Director, Program Administrator and Regional Management must reward and recognize quality and thorough casework: not just “currency.”

With educated, compensated, trained staff carrying manageable caseloads and recognized for quality casework, more children will be seen and protected in a more timely basis, which will eliminate the need for “disciplinary” action on delinquent cases and reduce the hostile work environment, resulting in better protected children, child well being and reduced abuse recurrence.

If the agency and the Legislature don’t take these actions, then we should expect the same outcomes detailed in this article to continue in Dallas and across Texas.

Insanity is defined by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Posted on April 4, 2016.