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Minority Caucus urges Poloncarz to meet with Child Protective Services to address ongoing concerns


In a letter to County Executive Mark Poloncarz, legislators are requesting the county administration meet with CPS employees to address ongoing concerns regarding their jobs.

The letter was drafted by Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Joe Lorigo, and signed by Legislators Kevin Hardwick, Lynne Dixon, Ed Rath and John Mills.  The legislators sent the letter after dozens of CPS workers appeared at a Health & Human Services Committee meeting to voice frustrations with below-average pay, short-staffing, heavy caseloads and high turnover rates among employees. A photo of Minority Leader Lorigo speaking to them after that meeting is attached.

As noted in the letter, caseworkers have repeatedly made requests to sit down with the administration to work toward solutions, only to have those requests ignored.  The first request came to the Legislature in August 2017, that letter can be found here. A second letter was sent in January 2018 and can be found here.

“These employees need to be heard,” said Minority Leader Lorigo. “A few weeks ago, nearly 100 caseworkers showed up to the legislature as a cry for help.  I sat down with them and listened to lengthy testimony regarding the many struggles they face. If the administration doesn’t act quickly to address these concerns, they are putting children’s lives at risk.” 

Members of the Legislature’s Majority Caucus were invited to sign on but none expressed interest.