Social services leader seeks money for child welfare cases
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's social services agency is asking for a sizable jump in next year's budget, largely to deal with child welfare cases that the department leader says are overwhelming workers.
Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters told the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday without additional funds, "we are not serving children and families well."
The department has taken repeated cuts since 2009, slashing its budget in half.
Walters said those cuts have hampered agency response to child neglect and child abuse, doubling caseloads and chasing away employees.
The department asked for a $99 million increase in the upcoming 2017-18 budget, a 14 percent increase. Walters says she knows she can't get such a boost with the state's dire financial problems, but says it's her job to describe the problems.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
FEMA and EBR Parish to buy several flooded homes
Donaldsonville video cameras assist Assumption homicide investigation
Deputies warn of scammers posing as utility workers in Ascension
Thieves run out of Walmart with cart full of stolen beer
8-year-old shot by 2-year-old brother Tuesday afternoon