In its recent session, the Texas Legislature targeted the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services for assistance.

DFPS was losing valuable employees through turnover rates that seemed to high and possibly endangered the folks the department is tasked with protecting.

Legislators sought fit to help with funding, hoping increases in pay, better training and more would help retain employees who joined the Child Protective Services division.

Children, as many say, are our most precious natural resource.

But what about older adults?

Not content with stopping at just CPS, legislators took their efforts a step further and recently provided additional funds and resources to help the Adult Protective Services division combat problems similar to what CPS was seeing.

The good folks at APS recently came out and said the assistance is helping.

“We had a legislative session in which CPS received raises, and it did a lot to help that program initially,” said Mary Walker, a DFPS media specialist. “And the APS folks (had) already been looking at the possibility of asking the legislature for making a push for pay increases for its caseworkers as well, and that’s what happened. The legislature gave APS workers a pay boost as well. These are not easy jobs, and whatever they could do to provide and make it better for those caseworkers, they decided to do that.”

The money added caseworkers to help lighten the load at APS. The division instituted a mentorship-type program to help train the newer workers in hopes of preparing them for what’s the come so they aren’t over-stressed, over-worked and forced out of the industry.

The need was great and the help seems to have changed things for the better, Walker and other department media specialists recently said.

They said the turnover rate for caseworkers fell from 25% in 2018 to 20% in 2019, based on first-quarter data.

The said estimates show the 2020 turnover rate will fall even further, possibly to below the 17% mark.

First-year caseworkers were leaving at about a 50% clip in 2018, according to figures the department released.

That number is expected to fall to about 31% for this year, the department said.

The hope is that APS employees will be able to better handle the workload. It could lead to an increase in adult lives saved.

And isn’t that the goal? One life lost that could’ve been saved is one life too many.

Our Voice is the opinion of the editorial board of the Seguin Gazette.

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