Kansas workers responsible for investigating suspected child abuse claims don’t need more than a high school education to get a job in which mistakes could result in death.
The Department for Children and Families has been using the workers, called special investigators, in addition to state-licensed social workers.
DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed says the agency has 71 special investigators and 378 social workers. The state’s jobs board says the special investigator’s job includes assisting in investigating and assessing child abuse and neglect reports. A formal job description says “loss of life, disruption of operations of a major agency” best describes the results of an error by an investigator.
The salary for a social worker is $18.26 an hour, while special investigators make $15.75 an hour.
Associated Press information from: The Topeka Capital-Journal