Officials: Significant Improvements’ To Child Abuse Hotline Response

HARRISBURG (CBS) —  The state Department of Human Resources says it has made ‘significant’ strides toward resolving problems with Pennsylvania’s child abuse hotline… problems that were highlighted by the auditor general in May.

The auditor general said in early 2015, when the Department of Human Services was overwhelmed by new laws enacted after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, 43-percent of calls to the statewide child abuse call center were abandoned or deflected. When the audit was released in May, Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said that number had been reduced to 12-percent. Now he says it is down to just 2-percent…

“There are a couple of times in the last week or so that it reached zero-percent,” he says. “But you’re always going to have a few folks who hang up… maybe they don’t want to wait more than 20 seconds or so. But getting it down to 2-percent is something we think is manageable and a good customer service level.”

Dallas also says processing of background check clearances for people who work with children is down from 26 days to less than two days.

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