- Associated Press - Thursday, February 15, 2018

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials say they need more staffers in Delaware’s juvenile detention facilities and more child abuse caseworkers.

The Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families told lawmakers Thursday that they need 29 more positions in secure care facilities for youth, at a cost of about $2 million. Officials say reliance on temporary, part-time workers and mandatory overtime has resulted in staff fatigue and poor morale.

Officials also are seeking $2 million for 30 more positions in the Division of Family Services, which received almost 20,400 reports of alleged child abuse or neglect last year and investigated about 8,470 of those complaints. The average caseload is roughly double what is called for in state law.

Meanwhile, officials say Delaware’s child abuse hotline has wait times of 40 minutes or more.

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