DES MOINES, Iowa--The Democratic-led investigation into the Department of Human Services devolved into a fight over numbers, specifically caseloads of staff looking into child abuse concerns.
State Senator Matt McCoy, chair of the senate oversight committee, has led two months of hearings into the DHS. McCoy contends he has heard from numerous DHS workers, past and present, who say caseloads are unmanageable.
"I'm getting emails from a real live social worker who says, 'My caseload is 70 right now.' the numbers don't make sense. I've got 60 cases. I've got another one...55 cases," said McCoy.
DHS spokeswoman Amy McCoy disputes the senator's assertion. She said she isn't aware of an investigator with 70 cases and released information showing the number of cases for abuse investigators has declined from 15.8 in 2012 to 13.6 in 2017.
Democrats contend continued budget cuts have reduced DHS' ability to properly investigate potential cases of abuse or other issues with children. DHS provided figures that show full-time workers in the department have declined from 5,121 in July, 2011, to 4,432 in July, 2016.