CPS workers find case relief after agency overhaul

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The state agency in charge of protecting our children is undergoing a major overhaul.

Reports of foster children sleeping in state offices and caseworkers that were spread thin are just a couple reasons the Governor made fixing the Child Protective Services agency a priority.

News Three's Whitney Miller, rode along with a local caseworker to find out if those changes are actually making a difference.

"Seven to ten are the most common caseloads for workers right now," said Mehek Virani, a Child Protective Services Investigator for the Department of Family and Protection Services (DFPS).

Virani has been working cases across the Brazos Valley for nearly a year.

"We receive all different types of concerns, from drugs in the household to lack of resources in the home," she said.

In May, Virani says she had upwards of 17 cases, meaning she's responsible for checking in on all of those children each month. Now, it’s much lower.

Last September, DFPS became its own state agency. Officials say that change allowed them to give caseworkers a pay raise.

"Now that we are seeing an increase in salary, we are seeing more caseworkers are staying within the department," said Lisa Block of DFPS.

The additional investigators have helped lighten the workload.

"We know those cases are coming in every day,” said Block. “So if they are spread out among a number of caseworkers, then each caseworker can concentrate on the case's details."

The agency says since last year, the turnover rate for CPS investigators is down 35 percent.