MIDLAND - You've probably heard of the backlog that Child Protective Services is dealing with. At the same time, they're seeing an increase of cases in the Basin. A few weeks ago, NewsWest 9 reported that CPS had to bring additional workers to West Texas to help keep up.
"For the past 24 months, the investigative program for Child Protective Services, particularly in Midland and Odessa, have experienced a staff turnover and a low retention among our staff," CPS Spokesperson, Marleigh Meisner, said.
This has caused CPS to have a back log of approximately 500 cases.
"Of those investigations, we have made contact with all of the families involved. We have simply not completed those investigations," Meisner said.
CPS tells NewsWest 9, they always make the initial contact with the children within 24 to 72 hours. They are behind in the second step in the investigation which involves the paperwork and the closing of the cases. This has caused workers to have a large case load and that is why CPS has been asking for help from other places around the state.
"One of the things we have done is brought in additional investigators into the Permian Basin from other areas of the state. They have been arriving since about April 2nd. Prior to that, we did have other people assisting the agency," Meisner said.
The investigators will stay for the next five to six weeks hoping to clear up the backlog. For organizations like CASA, that helps these abused or neglected children but it only creates a bigger need for their own volunteers.
"We're behind 300 cases. If the backlog is there, then that creates more of a need. But the main people it puts a burden on, is the children. They're in limbo right now, the back log of cases hasn't been investigated in a same sense. They haven't been removed to be able to find somewhere where they are safe," CASA Executive Director, Lyn White Guiesler, said.
There are several ways you can help CPS. You can donate to the Rainbow Room, those are rooms that provide clothing and items for families.
You can also volunteer with CPS.
If you are interested in working with CPS, you can head to their website and apply online at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Page.