Commissioner: More staff needed for county’s child protective services

NORWICH – The number of ongoing child protective services cases are exceeding the time limits mandated by New York State and could put Chenango County into a liable situation, according to Department of Social Services Commissioner Bette Osborne.

As a result, Osborne appeared before her department’s standing committee on Tuesday to request additional staff. She said 50 percent of the department’s open cases involving children have reporting deadlines that are overdue.

“Thank God nothing has happened; no child has died or something like that in Chenango County. But, we can’t afford for that to happen,” she said.

Turnover rates in DSS’s Child Protective Services unit are a “chronic” problem, one shared by 14 other counties in the state, Osborne said. Employees typically use county social services departments as a stepping stone for future jobs in the non-for-profit sector or in bigger cities where salaries and benefits are greater.

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