Hundreds of children did not have documented face to face contact with Child Protective Service case workers in the month of February, FOX4 has learned. The agency has come under increased public scrutiny after the death of a 4-year-old Grand Prairie girl.
A turnover rate of nearly 6 out of every 10 case workers led to some lapses in monitoring children that the agency is now working to correct.
"It really is, obviously it was a problem, and it needed to be addressed quickly and effectively," said CPS spokesman Marissa Gonzales.
During the last week in February, CPS brought in 65 case workers from around the state to help with investigations. Since then, regions are continuing to send 10 case workers a week on a rotating basis to fill the gaps.
"When we ask workers why they're leaving, answers they give: workload, type of job, it's extremely difficult, I think everyone knows that,” Gonzales said. “Wanting a balanced work and family life."
Another big problem is placing children who are determined to be in danger. There are so few foster homes that sometimes children sleep in offices while two caseworkers stay watch through the night.
After questions were raised about Leiliana Wright’s death there have been some big staffing changes at CPS.
The regional director, Jackie Freeman, announced her retirement Tuesday. The program administrator, Stacy Reynolds, is on administrative leave. A special investigator was forced to resign while a case supervisor and case worker were fired.
George Cannata, a 19-year veteran of CPS, will take over as director in May.
Wright, 4, was violent beaten after she drank some of her little brother's juice. According to police records, she was tied in a closet and ultimately died after being thrown against a wall. Police say the beating happened at the hands of her mother and mother's boyfriend who were high on heroin.