Frontline staff at Rhode Island's Department of Children, Youth, and Families consistently have caseloads well above the recommended fourteen cases per worker.

The state’s Child Advocate had pressed the department to hire more caseworkers and supervisors, following the death of a child in state care earlier this year. And DCYF this summer announced it would create 23 new frontline positions.

According to the department, all of those positions have now been filled, as have all vacancies caused by internal promotions. Five positions were filled internally by workers whose positions had been moved to the Department of Human Services (DHS). Twenty are already working, and the last three hires are set to start within a month.

At the time of DCYF's announcement, the department also had thirteen open caseworker positions. The department has filled seven of those positions, and six are still open.

But the issue of high caseloads has not been resolved. As of Friday, the average social caseworker in the department still had seventeen families on their docket. That’s a decrease of just one from caseloads reported this summer.