October's been a relatively quiet month for the Monroe County Legislature, with little in the way of major or controversial legislation. But one piece of legislation did catch my eye.
The Lej routinely votes to accept various state and federal grants. And this week, a couple of Legislature committees considered a $50,000 grant that's meant to help county Child Protective Services staff wrap-up some open cases.
Several years ago, CPS staffing levels and caseloads were a major concern to Legislature Democrats and to some children's advocates. And county Dems still regularly question the administration about caseloads.
CPS does have a system in place where staff are paid overtime to close cases or, in some instances, to maintain progress on a case. The $50,000 grant will go toward a similar effort; the money will cover overtime costs for staff to complete some cases, with priority given to overdue cases, county spokesperson Justin Feasel told me in an e-mail.
Feasel also provided some statistics about CPS caseloads. He said that the department is currently investigating approximately 875 abuse or neglect cases. And so far this year, it has investigated and completed 5,000 abuse or neglect cases, he said. Approximately 27 percent of reports were substantiated in September, which is close to the 29.6 percent monthly average for the year, he said. And the average caseload at the end of the month was 13.4 cases per caseworker, he said.