The Children Deserve a Loving Home Act would fix the most glaring problems in Alaska’s foster care system. The bill establishes caseload limits for caseworkers. Currently, the national standard of 12 cases per worker is exceeded in six of the Office of Children’s Services offices across the state, with caseload averages of 30 to 43 cases per worker. The bill seeks to fix the staggering 50 percent burnout rate for new workers by increasing training and limiting cases for new workers to 6 cases during their first 3 months and 12 during their first six months. Estimates show it costs the state $50,000 each time a new worker leaves in their first year on the job. The bill also seeks to decrease the number of activities foster parents need to get prior approval for, including taking foster youth on a vacation.
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