Child Protective Services to have an added presence in area schools

Sep 2, 2015

Child Protective Services workers will be spending two days a week in Erie County's 28 suburban school districts, working with district social workers.

Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger says CPS workers will be added at 28 school districts.
Credit WBFO News file photo

Buffalo already has some county workers through the Say Yes program. Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger says the workers will give the department a better eye on what is going on in individual districts by being on the ground.

Dirschberger says he hopes the plan will "improve the collaboration communication with school districts in regard to investigations, as well as to start to look at things from a more preventive eye."

School districts around the county are changing and the CPS workers will have an early look at what's going on.

"We want to identify those families that are in need, whatever their need might be, whether it's mental health, drug and alcohol. We have a lot of good families in Erie County that for some reason start to have a bit of struggles," Dirschberger said.

West Seneca Superintendent Mark Crawford says 35 percent of his district's students are getting free or reduced-price lunches, a leading indicator of possible other problems. Crawford says the CPS workers bring an area of knowledge which is helpful.

"Society has changed and we have a lot of working parents and single parent households and given those situations, domestic situations you have a corresponding set of challenges," Crawford said.