Testimony on HB 5035: An Act Adjusting the State Budget for the Biennium

DCF Budget Adjustment

Appropriations Committee

February 21, 2018

Submitted by: Amber Reyna


The National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter, representing over 2600 members, supports the Department of Children and Families budget request to hire 132 social workers in effort to lower the overwhelming caseloads and enable DCF social workers to better serve children throughout Connecticut.


It is without question that DCF social workers are maxed out on caseworker to client ratios already. These overwhelming caseloads prevent social workers from being able to adequately address the needs of the clients they serve. Our children and families in this state deserve better. The approval of this budget allotment will also help DCF to better meet the standards and objectives set out by the Juan F. Decent Decree, which continues to hold the state of Connecticut under intense federal scrutiny. While DCF has done the best they can with their given resources, the needs of the constituents that depend on DCF services continue to increase.


An article published by the CT Mirror on Feb. 4th, 2018 titled “If this social worker had a magic wand…” demonstrates the overload of cases and challenges that current DCF social workers are experiencing in order to best serve the needs of their clients. Within this article, it also states that the court monitor report released in January of 2018 has determined that over 62% of our state’s social workers had too many cases on their active caseload. Furthermore, this article mentions that on an average day the Department of Children and Families is serving around 15,000 children with active cases with just a little more than just 1,100 social workers for the job. An overwhelming ratio, they indicate, which has not changed in years.


Before 2012 the percentage of social workers with social work degrees employed by DCF was only 28%. In 2012 DCF began to hire almost without exception professional social workers who hold a BSW or MSW degree. This has helped to create a positive culture change in the agency with improved case outcomes. An additional 132 professionally trained social workers will greatly assist the agency in meeting its objectives.


We must do more collectively as a state to better serve the needs of community and securing our future. This involves making sure our youth are set for success and we cannot continue to jeopardize this progress. Please consider the youth that will be affected, as well as the social workers who have the best interests in serving those in need by passing this budget allotment request for the Department of Children and Families.







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