Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2014

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Family Services workers cite concerns about safety, caseloads

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 | 8 p.m.

Employees in the department responsible for Clark County’s foster care system are calling for changes because of safety concerns and excessive caseloads.

Three employees of the Department of Family Services aired their concerns today during a Clark County Commission meeting.

The group presented a petition with signatures from 61 percent of the department’s employees calling for county management to work with frontline staff to implement changes to improve safety for workers and the children for whom they are responsible.

One issue highlighted was the large caseloads employees carry.

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said it was unacceptable that case managers were juggling as many as 40 cases at a time.

“I still think that we’ve got issues here,” Giunchigliani said.

To address the situation, Giunchigliani and Commissioner Susan Brager are forming a working group to bring together employees and management.

The issues were raised during Tuesday’s commission meeting by three employees who are members of the Service Employees International Union. Dozens more employees and union members filled the gallery during the meeting.

The Department of Family Services is responsible for the county’s foster care system and child protective services.

The department is in the process of hiring 96 new positions to help reduce the caseload, a 14 percent increase in staffing.

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