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Poloncarz calls for change in Social Services

Stressed by the economy, Erie County Executive Poloncarz says the department of Social Services needs help and reorganization.

The County Executive says the department has too much caseload and not enough top management. He says there is one deputy commissioner for nearly 2,000 employees while frequent critic Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has two deputies for 35 people.

There will be several deputies under the reorganization, each tasked with a particular part of the department's caseload.

"We're been seeing these exploding case loads all across the Department of Social Services which is putting a significant stress and strain on the resources that we have," Poloncarz said.

"We plan on creating an additional Child Protective Services team, actual case workers and management to address the issue of the exploding case load in Child Protective Services."

Poloncarz says it's not clear why the CPS caseload is so much larger here than in other similar counties although it may be related to poverty.

The reorganization isn't supposed to cost more management money since budgeted cash will be shifted from areas where it wasn't all being spent to the new areas.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.