BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Erie County Commissioner of Social Services says she's been planning to ask for positions for several months. But the recent tragic death of Eain Brooks has sped things up.
On Tuesday Carol Dankert-Maurer requested 10 new positions: three managers and seven CPS case workers.
"We would not be asking for 10 if we did not think that was the right number. We also would be asking for more if we didn't think that was sufficient," she said.
The county currently has 96 CPS case workers, but Dankert-Mauer says they are overburdened. The state recommends each only handle 15 cases at one time. But 25 of them exceeded that limit in July. And 16 exceeded the limit in August.
"We have some case workers who have 15. We have some, unfortunately, who have 20, 22 or 27," Dankert-Maurer said.
But the department has a lot of challenges. Dankert-Mauer told the Erie County Legislature turnover is high in CPS because it's a difficult, stressful job with low pay.
The presentation seemed to go according to party lines. The democrats sound more receptive to County Executive Mark Poloncarz' plan. to reorganize the Department of Social Services.
The biggest hang-up for Republicans is the idea of hiring three managers in addition to the seven CPS case workers.
"I certainly agree there needs to be more boots on the ground. More Child Protective Service workers who deal directly with the public and are out there. It's the bureaucratic positions, the deputy commissioners and the like that I have a problem with, especially given the scant qualifications for them," Republican Legislator Kevin Hardwick said.
But Democratic Legislator Tom Mazur argued, "You need managers. Just like in a combat situation. You need captains and you need generals."
Poloncarz wants county legislators to vote on the positions this Thursday. They say the hirings will be budget neutral in 2013-2014 by using existing funds and moving around money within the department.
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After a slow and slippery commute Thursday night, many western New Yorkers are waking up early, hoping they can get to work on time Friday morning.
NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has obtained a court order to prevent a Buffalo woman from ever selling puppies again.
A 24-year-old man being sought after his mother and brother were found dead in their Lehigh Acres, Florida home may be heading to Buffalo.
Around 5 p.m. on Thursday near the corner of Model City Road and Rt. 104, police say 84-year-old Jose Martinez was hit by a car driven by 82-year-old Maura Nolan. Both are residents of Lewiston.
The Erie County Legislature approved a resolution Thursday to immediately hire 15 seasonal drivers to fill a staff shortage.