AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An outside review of child protective services in Texas has found that state caseworkers only spend 26 percent of their time actually meeting with children and families.
The report released Wednesday comes as the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services struggles with rising caseloads and chronic staffing problems. Annual turnover in some regions is as high as 40 percent among caseworks, many of whom are hired at a starting salary of $34,000.
Seven foster children in Texas died from maltreatment in 2013 - a nearly fourfold increase from the year prior.
The state paid a New Hampshire consulting firm $750,000 to review how its child protection agency does business. Agency commissioner John Specia says the state would "do everything better" if caseworkers spent more time in homes.
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