Ga. agency responds to child safety probe backlog

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Updated: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 01:15:25 EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Division of Family and Children Services investigators have been ordered to work at least eight hours of weekly overtime until backlogged child protective services investigations have been eliminated.

State officials said Tuesday that more than 3,300 investigations are overdue and the number accounts for nearly half of the agency's current caseload. Child safety investigations are supposed to be completed within 45 days. The agency's Interim Director Bobby Cagle says he considers each case a potential risk for vulnerable children.

Officials say child abuse and neglect reports have risen in the past year from an average of about 6,600 to 8,400 reports monthly.

Gov. Nathan Deal authorized funding for an additional 500 caseworkers over the next three years. Department of Human Services spokeswoman Ravae Graham says 175 have been hired.

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