Auditor general releases plan to keep at-risk children safer

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Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has released a 43-page report that makes dozens of recommendations to help at-risk children, and he’s calling on lawmakers to make sure those recommendations are possible.

Last year, the auditor general’s office released a “State of the Child” report that detailed problems with the child welfare system. DePasquale on Wednesday released an action plan that details 28 recommendations for fixing those problems.

DePasquale is calling on the General Assembly to provide funding for programs that help keep children out of protective services and juvenile justice systems.

“How in God’s name is the state of Pennsylvania, with a $33 billion budget, going to find the $90 million that we recommend is necessary? Cut me a break. If they want to do it, they will find it,” said DePasquale.

Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller says her office is already working on legislation to address one of the biggest recommendations made: decreasing the workload of caseworkers.

“We agree that one caseworker cannot adequately serve 30 families, which is the ceiling in the current regulation,” said Miller.

DePasquale is calling on lawmakers to act quickly.

“The time to intervene on behalf of these children, to break the cycle of abuse and neglect, is right now,” he said.

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