Child protection is a top priority for Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue this legislative session. Perdue is pushing for changes to ensure child safety in the state of Georgia.
Perdue is working with state officials who deal with child abuse cases. He wants to get more workers out in the field and do more to target those who prey on little children.
Thomas County's Department of Family and Children Services director says since public awareness of child abuse has risen, there has been an increase in reports of child abuse cases in Thomas County.
"In order for us to do a thorough job we need staff on hand to be able to do those investigations," says Linda Hogan.
Hogan says it's encouraging to know that the governor has recognized that. Gov. Perdue says he wants to put more caseworkers on the front line for DFAX and budget wise plans to hire 65 more caseworkers for the state.
Perdue's goal to tighten child protection laws has no boundaries. He has worked with Georgia Bureau of Investigations targeting child pornography offenders as well.
"We looked at the computer expert here that deals with taking child porn images off of computers and having the evidence to prosecute people who prey on children," says Gov. Perdue.
Hogan says the ratio of cases to workers is high and more workers will lower the caseload, so workers can continue to efficiently protect children and their families as well.
Also to lessen the number of cases, the Georgia Department of Family and Children recently made it a requirement for social workers to make home visits if there's even a suspicion of abuse.
As far as there being a sufficient number of workers in the field for Thomas County's Department of Family and Children Services, currently it is maintaining the appropriate worker to caseload ratio, but more workers will ensure that they'll be to handle the anticipated increase of cases in the future.