Higher caseloads at Division of Children and Family Services impact services for foster kids | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 11, 2017

Higher caseloads at Division of Children and Family Services impact services for foster kids

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 2:09 PM

Benji Hardy reports for the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network that the state Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services is still struggling to reduce the average caseload of its field staff:

One consequence of high caseloads is that some foster children have little direct contact with the child welfare agency ultimately responsible for their care. In the 2017 fiscal year, 28 percent of foster children did not receive a face-to-face monthly visit from their family service caseworker.

Also, 13 percent of foster children received no monthly face-to-face contact from any DCFS staff, regardless of their position or the purpose of the visit. That’s an increase since 2014, when the figure was 4 percent. Over that same period, the number of children in the foster system swelled from about 4,100 to about 5,100.
Benji reports that the issue attracted attention from state lawmakers last week. The state foster care population has increased dramatically in recent years, putting greater strain on the system.

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