Social Services creates positions after high-profile cases

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – There is a new wave of changes coming to the Department of Social Services in Erie County.

Child Protective Services, within Social Services, has come under intense scrutiny after a number of high-profile cases, such as Eain Brooks and Abdi Mohammed, two young lives lost to violence.

Since the death of those two young boys, 18 new caseworkers were hired. Now three new deputy commissioners and three new, separate areas of concentration have been created as part of the restructuring of Erie County’s largest department, Social Services.

One of the new deputy commissioners was promoted from within. Another was hired from the Erie County Child Care Resource Network and the third was hired from Catholic Charities.

Erie County Social Services Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer said, “We really were looking very, very hard for the right skill set, for folks that have different skills than our current management team has and brought new expertise. I would tell you that these are three individuals who bring different skill sets, different backgrounds and different perspective. And it makes us a stronger organization having them be a part of our team.”

The three areas the deputy commissioners are divided into are family protection, family independence, which includes benefits like HEAP and Food Stamps, and lastly administrative services. Previously, there was no dividing line between those three services.

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