High Caseloads for CPS Child Abuse Investigators Put Kids At Risk

Following the recent death of two-year-old Colton Turner in Austin and the subsequent firing of three CPS employees, questions have been raised in the media about the caseloads for CPS child abuse investigators.

In Austin, each caseworker was responsible for an average of 31 investigations at a time in 2013. The statewide average caseload was 25. (See page 36 of the DFPS Annual Report 2013).

The Child Welfare League of America recommends a maximum of 12.

While some CPS caseworkers are simply not cut out for the job, the legislature is setting up even the best caseworkers to fail by expecting them to cover so many vulnerable children at once.

We've previously noted the same concerns about high caseloads for foster care caseworkers after a spike in child deaths with the very families the state selected to keep them safe.

It's time for the legislature to boost funding for reducing caseloads and keeping kids safe. Fortunately, legislative leaders have identified this issue as a priority for next session.