Republicans are reluctant to hire nearly 100 state social workers to deal with the growing number of child abuse cases. Instead, G-O-P leaders want to emphasize abuse prevention programs and better training for existing workers. Representative Dave Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, says getting more training for “mandatory” child abuse reporters like teachers and doctors, is his number one concern. Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson testified today before the committee drafting the department of human services budget, and she said hiring more social workers for child abuse investigations should be the priority. Senator Ken Veenstra, a republican from Orange City, wants to find some way to discourage single-parent families. One idea he likes is mandatory premarital counseling.He stresses a related commitment and agreed obligation to function, as a parent should in caring for their children. A few years ago a bill which called for “covenant marriage” and forced premarital counseling died in the legislature.
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