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County to fill vacancies in Family Services

Two resignations, burn-out lead to reassessment of agency

WORTHINGTON -- Requests to replace two employees in the Family Service Agency were approved Tuesday morning by Nobles County commissioners, but the agency will need to reassess just how large of a caseload can be placed on employees.

FSA Director Nicole Names said resignations were received within the past two weeks from a social worker and a case aid employee. The social worker handled 22 or 23 cases, doing investigations and working with families. The case aid was the only one in the agency and worked on nearly 75 child care cases, assisted in child protection, did data entry and reporting and provided transportation related to case work.

Names said both positions are necessary and need to be filled.

"We have about 100 cases (in social work), and would not be able to manage without the position," she said. As for the case aid, Names said, "She's heavily relied on in her position. We need this position filled to continue to operate."

The two individuals who resigned their positions have accepted jobs in other counties.

Nobles County Administrator Mel Ruppert said he met with family services a week ago to discuss the resignations and the number of caseloads.

"There's no question with the economy the way it is, it places a large load on human services," Ruppert said. "Staff has done a good job in managing those cases as well as they can, but we're seeing some burnout."

"We are going to be reviewing all of our staff -- all of our caseloads -- and seeing if there can be some reorganization," said Names. "We have some work ahead as we continue to look at our staff resources and try to manage our volume."

(For more news from the county board, see Wednesday's edition of the Daily Globe or visit online at