A study by an outside agency looking into Iowa’s child protection system says social workers need more training and fewer cases. The preliminary report on the study by the American Humane Association of Colorado warns that Iowa’s social workers have some of the highest caseloads in the country. The study shows case workers often end up acting as clerks and paper processors without enough time to conduct face-to-face interviews with clients. The study also finds mid-level supervisors are stretched too thin, making it hard for them to give advice on questionable cases. The A-H-A recommends annual standardized training for sexual abuse reporters. The study was prompted by the death of two-year old Shelby Duis. The 82-page report was released to reporters Monday after Governor Vilsack’s weekly news conference with reporters. The Governor said Monday he was upset that a Des Moines Register story said he was trying to keep the report secret, when he hadn’t even had a chance to read it yet. Vilsack says the final version of the study will be used as a guide in improving the way the Department of Human Services handles child abuse cases.
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