TEXAS - After KVUE reported that the commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services asked for more money to hire hundreds of additional case workers, he has asked in a letter sent to senators Thursday for a bump in salary for various positions.
The plan laid out in a letter signed by DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman is a part of his intent to overhaul Child Protective Services. In October, CPS workers didn't see 2,844 children in Texas. Over 500 of those children were at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.
Whitman is asking senators for 200 more CPS case workers and 100 special investigators to "assist with the investigations and locate children and their families timely." In addition, he's requesting 250 other case worker positions.
Of the 550 case worker requested positions, 166 people would be dedicated to the Austin area, since it is deemed a region in need.
With other supervisor requests, the total number of new employees Commissioner Whitman is requesting: 829 full time employees.
Additionally, Whitman has requested a $1,000 per month increase in salary for caseworkers, supervisors and program directors across Texas. He said this will help decrease his high rate of turnover.
The letter also states that CPS is teaming up with the Texas Department of Public Safety to find, and see, about 2,000 children who have not been seen and have been reported as possibly abused or neglected.
Whitman said they have also taken action to improve the work environment at CPS, including training and supporting staff. He said they plan to introduce a new supervisor training model on Dec. 1.
Read Whitman's complete letter below: