High turnover, caseloads in Louisiana foster care program
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's social services agency has been so short-staffed amid repeated budget cuts that it didn't ensure the safety of its foster children.
That's the finding of a new Legislative Auditor's report covering the Department of Children and Family Services from 2012 through 2016, during former Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration.
The audit says the agency didn't always conduct required background checks on foster parents and allowed some to take in children even after accusations of abuse and neglect. It describes high caseloads and hefty employee turnover.
Department Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says she knew she inherited "a mess" when she took over the agency last year. She says that since then, she's reorganized, shuffled foster care caseworkers to address shortage areas and beefed up training for employees and foster parents.
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