New Dallas CPS leader wants more case workers hired

The new head of the Dallas region of CPS wants to hire and train more case workers.

George Cannata is in his 3rd week on the job as region three director for CPS and started in 1997 as a case worker himself.

Problems at CPS gained national attention after the death of four-year-old Leiliana Wright earlier this year. The child was beaten while her mother and boyfriend were high on heroin. A special investigator saw Leiliana nearly one month before her killing, yet despite signs of abuse, she was not removed from the home.

“Leiliana's case is a tragedy,” Cannata said. “We have to look back at that case and see what lessons were learned.”

Cannata said being a case walker was probably the toughest anyone could take on. He avoided saying more money would be the answer to the agency’s woes.

“It has to start with the support we give caseworkers. They come on understanding the pay they are going to get,” Cannata said.

A fired supervisor told FOX4 that at the time Leiliana's latest case came into CPS, they were drowning in cases. Leiliana's caseworker had 70 cases. The supervisor said the ideal number is 20-25.

Cannata said 150 new caseworkers will be on the job by June, but he admitted right now caseloads remained high.

Cannata was appointed regional director after the former director retired during the aftermath of Leiliana's case. A total of six employees have left the agency since FOX4 started exposing missed warning signs in Leiliana's case.