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Auditor General: PA Child Welfare System Beset By 'Breathtaking' Turnover

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- The auditor general has briefed a state House committee on a devastating report on Pennsylvania's child welfare system, which concludes there is a lack of support for caseworkers on the front lines.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale appeared before the state House Children and Youth Committee to discuss his "State of the Child" report issued in September. DePasquale painted a bleak picture: at-risk children ill-served by a system plagued by what he termed the 'breathtaking' turnover of overworked, underpaid, stressed employees. DePasquale told the committee of his conversations with college-age students…

"I describe this job and the pay," DePasquale said. "They say, 'I'd rather work at Starbucks for $10,000 less.' They just don't want to do it."

But DePasquale says it's not just about the pay. He says caseworkers often leave just as their work to turn around the life a child starts paying off. And he says the problems are being magnified by the opioid crisis. Lawmakers say they are searching for solutions.

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