BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The head of the state's child welfare agency says staffing issues remain a big challenge for the organization.
In the past decade, Secretary Marketa Walters says the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has lost about 600 people on the frontlines of child welfare. That has stretched workers thin and increased their workloads. Turnover is also a problem, she says. It's the highest in the Baton Rouge area, at 50 percent for child welfare workers.
Walters says many of these problems began during the Jindal administration. "Our people were treated horribly, people were afraid to speak up, to tell the truth, to talk back. I'm stunned at the hurt and PTSD and trauma that I walked into," said Walters.
Walters says they are working to improve morale. Her agency recently received a grant to study and improve recruitment and staffing issues going forward.