Southeastern PA

Pa. auditor general releases report on child welfare system

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has released his findings after a year-long review of state's child welfare system.

In a report titled "State of the Child," DePasquale said the state's child welfare system is broken, and he's calling for changes.

"The system itself is setting the kids and the case workers up for failure," DePasquale said.

The report specifically focused the Children and Youth Services (CYS) case workers at the county level. Officials said breakdowns in the system are preventing caseworkers from doing their jobs.

Those breakdowns include inadequate training, low pay, high turnover, and overwhelming caseloads.

The report took a close look at 13 counties, including Bucks, Dauphin, and Philadelphia.

"Case workers who make the initial contacts with families known as in-take case workers went from having generally manageable case loads of about 20 to juggling sometimes more than 75 cases at a time," DePasquale said.

The auditor general said the expansion of mandated reporters in 2015 following the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the opioid epidemic have led to a spike in cases.

Now, he's calling for changes, including revamping trainings, reducing paper work and creating a new position at the state level to help oversee change within the department.

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