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Interim DCFS leader meets with lawmakers to discuss agency's failures

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BATON ROUGE - The faces of Mitchell Robinson III and Jahrei Paul were front and center Friday as a Senate committee met with the new leaders at the Department of Children and Family Services.

Interim Secretary Terri Ricks says the policies at DCFS need fine-tuning.

That comes after several high-profile cases of abuse, and even death, of children the agency was tasked with keeping safe.

Ricks says she's adding new positions including a "case assigner." 

With more than 1,100 open positions at DCFS, Ricks says they're working tirelessly to hire and train as many people as possible.

Senator Katrina Jackson says they need to work on hiring strategies to prevent more tragedies.

“I believe that at some point, we make a lot of tough decisions on budgets every day, but tough decisions can’t amount to kids being harmed," Jackson said.

Senator Regina Barrow added her own concerns about the growing case load and lack of employees.

“Government cannot fix this issue on its own. We cannot fix this issue on its own. It’s a humongous problem that we have, and we’re going to need folks to wrap their arms around when they see things happening in the community," Barrow said.


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