Social Workers Plead for Help From Kentucky Lawmakers

Nov 17, 2016

A current and a former state social worker pleaded with lawmakers to help alleviate staff shortages and rising caseloads.

Louisville social service worker Katy Coleman told the House-Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday that workers are quitting at "astronomical proportions," leaving children even more helpless.

The Department for Community Based Services has been hollowed out by repeated budget cuts over the years. In that time, social workers say their jobs have become even more necessary because of the heroin abuse epidemic.

Coleman says there are nearly 8,100 children in foster care, a 200-child increase over a few months ago.

Cabinet Deputy Secretary Tim Feeley says officials are working hard to recruit, hire and retain more workers and improve conditions and pay for staff.