Job cuts in Oklahoma will benefit child welfare

Published: Jun. 17, 2015 at 11:48 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2015 at 12:33 PM CDT
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MIAMI, OK. (AP) - The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has announced that it will cut 200 positions while adding 300 child welfare workers.

Oklahoma media outlets report department director Ed Lake made the announcement Tuesday. DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell estimated that 50 to 60 of the 200 positions are currently filled by employees whose jobs are being eliminated.

In an email sent to employees, Lake said the agency needs more child welfare specialists.

For employees at risk of losing their jobs, the agency is offering a voluntary severance package that includes longevity and service payments. If not enough people accept the buyout offer, a reduction in force might be implemented.

The DHS is the largest state agency with about 7,000 employees.