FORT WAYNE – Indiana's Department of Child Services blamed low pay and high stress for greater turnover among caseworkers before the state budget committee Wednesday in Fort Wayne.
The department reports the turnover rate among caseworkers rose to 19 percent this year from 17 percent in 2011.
DCS Chief of Staff John Ryan partly blames the news media for its investigations of child deaths around Indiana. He told budget committee members that "intense scrutiny" of individual caseworkers has driven them away. He didn't provide any examples.
Ryan also says that departing caseworkers often cite low pay. Starting caseworkers make about $33,500 a year.
DCS operations have come under scrutiny amid newspaper investigations into child deaths across Indiana. State lawmakers are scheduled to look into the matter themselves in the coming months.