Social Service Workers Lose 92 Cases of Possible Child Abuse

Jun 22, 2015

Credit Tim Massey / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

State social service officials in Northern Kentucky say they lost track of nearly 100 cases involving possible child abuse or neglect, with some languishing for months before being recently rediscovered.

The Courier-Journal ( reports officials from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services have been scrambling to assign 92 cases that were found in the Boone County office earlier this year.

Current and former social workers report increasing disarray at the agency, describing it as a punishing, pressure-cooker environment where they are driven to meet quotas and punished for reporting problems.

Department commissioner Teresa James says she has been trying to recruit workers, reduce caseloads and improve working conditions, but the relatively low pay — social workers start at about $32,000 a year — and stressful work make it difficult.