- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas agency employs dozens of unlicensed workers to help investigate suspected child abuse claims, but the agency says those workers receive special training and are there to assist licensed employees.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/1L6FAiD ) reports the Department for Children and Families has been using the workers, called special investigators, in addition to state-licensed social workers.

DCF says special investigators are required to have a high school diploma, a year of experience and undergo special training. Agency spokeswoman Theresa Freed says almost all have a law enforcement or social work background.

Freed says the agency had 34 special investigators of child abuse and neglect in 2010, and currently employs 54.

The salary for a social worker is $18.26 an hour, while special investigators make $15.75 an hour.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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