News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 25, 2012

Agency blames caseworker turnover on pay, scrutiny

TOM LoBIANCO
Associated Press

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Indiana’s Department of Child Services is blaming low pay and high stress for greater turnover among caseworkers.

The department reports the turnover rate among caseworkers rose to 19 percent this year from 17 percent in 2011.

DCS Chief of Staff John Ryan partly blames the news media for its investigations of child deaths around Indiana. He told members of the state budget committee today that “intense scrutiny” of individual caseworkers has driven them away. He didn’t provide any examples.

Ryan also says that departing caseworkers often cite low pay. Starting caseworkers make about $33,500 a year.

DCS operations have come under scrutiny amid newspaper investigations into child deaths across Indiana. State lawmakers are scheduled to look into the matter themselves in the coming months.