ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has approved hiring 100 new child protective service workers to help with a recent spike in new cases.<br />
Deal said in a statement Wednesday that the number of child abuse and neglect reports has increased significantly since the Division of Family and Children Services launched a centralized 24-hour child protective services intake center.<br />
The agency reported a backlog of more than 3,300 child protective services investigations in late June. Deal says he's looking to reach a goal of a 15 to one caseload to caseworker ratio by 2017.<br />
The move is the latest in a series by state officials to improve child welfare services after several high-profile deaths involving children who had been involved with DFCS. Bobby Cagle was recently named as the agency's Interim Commissioner.