INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 4, 2015) - Current and former DCS case workers are speaking out and claiming the work load is far too much, with children and families, falling through the cracks.
DCS workers allege, the department continues to break the law which requires no more than 17 cases per case manager.
“Every ongoing case manager that was not brand new had well over 30 cases,” said a retired four year employee of Bartholomew County DCS who did not want to be identified.
He saw the numbers, and claims that DCS maintains a ratio of 17 cases per every case manager, and claims that is a lie.
“The reason that I left was not because I didn’t believe in the job and what it meant and what it was supposed to mean, but because I could not accomplish what I felt needed accomplished,” he said.
This DCS employee claiming on average, case managers may have 30 or more cases at any given time; well over the required state minimum of 17.
This worker was so overwhelmed and unable to accomplish any real help that he quit.
“We may not catch them when they’re completely loaded and passed out while their two year old is walking down the street,” he said.
We were flooded with emails following our DCS crisis story. All shared similar sentiments.
“Case loads are double if not triple the 17 case limit! In a year and change the lightest case load I have seen is 30 cases.”
“I knew DCS Case Managers who had over 40 cases.”
We received an outpouring of claims from DCS workers past and present that the department is overwhelmed and understaffed.
Horrific child abuse and neglect cases confirm that there are families falling through the cracks. In Anderson, a mentally handicapped 15 year old was taken from her grandparents’ house, weighing less than 40 pounds, and barely able to breathe. The family had multiple prior DCS visits.
In Marion County, a paralyzed 18 year old girl, was killed allegedly from such severe neglect and pulled from her home, covered in severe and gruesome bedsores. They too had prior DCS visits.
“We are getting help for our case managers. We went to the legislature, asked for an increase in funding and to hire new staff which we were granted,” said James Wide, Director of Communications for DCS.
DCS officials say they are aware of shortcomings in their staff and are constantly working to improve. This year, the department received $7.5 million in funding from the general assembly to hire an additional 100 case managers and 17 supervisors.
“From the outside perspective, it does look very bleak. But I would want them to know we are addressing it. We’re doing everything not in a gunshot way, we’re doing it very methodically so that we can have this sustaining,” said Wide.