Department of Children, Youth, and Families officials told a joint senate committee Wednesday they're making progress addressing 20 recommendations lawmakers issued in January.
Jamia McDonald was appointed to oversee those changes. Among a long list of initiatives underway at the child welfare agency, McDonald told committee members DCYF is working on improving the way new cases are handled and on moving more children out of group homes.
She emphasized the challenges caseworkers face on the job - from an 18 year old computer system to a surge in the number of children needing help.
Lawmakers asked for major changes at DCYF after uncovering troubling trends in the number of children removed from families and placed in group homes - both at rates much higher than the national average. The agency has also run over budget for several years, and asked for more money ahead of schedule to get through the current fiscal year.
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