ST. THOMAS — Human Services Commissioner Kimberly Causey-Gomez is blaming a backlog of cases in its Division of Children and Family Services on a staffing shortage.

“With the exception of the St. Croix District Foster Care and Adoptions Unit, every other unit within DCFS has critical vacancies. Staff in these units are managing an excessive number of cases,” Causey-Gomez said.

Her comments came during a meeting of the Youth, Sports, Parks and Recreation Committee hearing on Friday, where she told senators that the division has a caseload of more than 300 children and families to deal with.

According to Causey-Gomez, the division is divided into two components — Protective Unit and the Foster Care and Adoptions Unit.

There are 115 children and family cases monitored by the Protective Unit in the St. Croix District, and 107 cases in the St. Thomas-St. John District. The Foster Care and Adoptions Unit is currently responsible for 32 cases on St. Croix, and 57 cases in the St. Thomas-St. John District, she said.

Causey-Gomez added that the Protective Unit in the St. Thomas-St. John District operates with a district manager and one family services specialist. The Foster Care and Adoptions Office in that district operates with one social worker and one family services specialist, and is in need of a district manager.

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