Budget Cuts Could Cause Deadly Circumstances For DHS - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Budget Cuts Could Cause Deadly Circumstances For DHS

The Department of Human Services used to have 22 social workers investigating Harrison County child abuse and neglect cases. Now, because of budget cuts, just six people are in that office.

The staffing situation is so dangerous, people who work with child safety issues formed their own group. Harrison County's child safety advocates sat down with Gulfport Rep. Roger Ishee and a member of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's staff. They showed the two gentlemen pictures of child abuse, and they said children could die if DHS doesn't return all 22 investigators to Harrison County's division of children and family services.

"What we can't handle is that the agency, the governmental services agency responsible for helping those children when their families can't or won't, is also neglecting them by not providing adequate staff," child safety advocate Freida Kaletsch said.

The governor's representative said he'll meet with DHS next week to see what can be done to bring in more child abuse investigators. Rep. Ishee said he'll ask the governor to call a special session so lawmakers can tackle this staffing emergency.

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